The other day I had to go to the dentist. I've been having dental issues, which are currently still unresolved. I need to go see a periodontist, which I don't think my Medicaid will cover, which means I'll have to pay out of pocket, and I'm betting it will be expensive, so I don't want to go. Well, that's not the only reason I don't want to go, but it is a big reason. But I think I am going to have to because my mouth hurts and it's hard to eat.
Anyway. I usually don't take Isaac to the dentist with me. Actually, I never have before. I think I would have a hard time maintaining control of him while the dentist is messing around in my mouth, because I wouldn't be able to issue verbal commands, and I'm not sure he'd really be able to see my hands well when I'm lying back in the dental chair in order to give hand signals instead of verbal commands (I don't have hand signals for all his commands, but I do for the most common ones, like sit and lie down). I wasn't even sure where I'd put him, because usually the dentist sits on one side of the chair and the assistant sits on the other, so where would I put Isaac that he wouldn't be in the way but I could still hold his leash and he could see my hands for hand signals? So I never took him in the past.
But I knew this was going to be a very quick visit. The dentist was just going to look in my mouth, tell me my gum still looked inflamed, and tell me I was going to need to see a periodontist. I knew that was what was going to happen, and that is in fact exactly what happened. I was feeling pretty anxious, though, and wanted to have Isaac with me. And I thought it would work out OK since it would be such a quick visit.
And Isaac did fantastic. I was so proud of him.
I should also say that my dentist and his staff did fantastic, too. The receptionist didn't say anything about Isaac when she say him. The dental assistant that led me from the waiting room to the exam room didn't say anything about him, either. When the dentist walked in, he said, "I see you brought a body guard." That, by the way, is the same thing he said when I brought a friend with me when I had all the work done for my bridge. The exact same thing. Other than that, he ignored Isaac.
I think all that ignoring by the dentist and staff made it easier for Isaac to do a good job. He sprawled out in the waiting room and snoozed (and drooled) while waiting for us to be called back. He lay down where I told him in the exam room. The dental assistant was opening some packages of tools and he raised his head up and looked like he was thinking of getting up, but put his head back down when I told him to. When the dentist came in, he did the same thing, raised his head and looked like he was thinking about getting up. But again, he put his head back down when I told him to. Other than that, he just lay there with his head on his paws, quiet and still.
I know there were tons of interesting new smells in that place and I was very proud of him for not trying to sniff everything. As a reward, I let him spend a long time sniffing the parking lot when we left. He found it pretty interesting, too. He's weird that way.