Landon Mitchell, 7, had three cavities that needed to be filled. While most kids would dread the painful procedure, Landon woke up on the day of his appointment actually feeling excited.
The little boy knew a very special guest would be right there with him in the dentist’s chair.
When Dr. Jennifer Bryk Hechko opened her pediatric dental practice in Brecksville, Ohio, she enlisted the help of her aunt’s 10-pound Bishon-Maltese mix, Balto.
Balto is a certified therapy dog trained to calm children during stressful dental procedures. While there are offices in the surrounding area with in-office therapy animals, Jennifer says it’s rathe uncommon to find those who specifically work with children who suffer from anxiety or have special needs.
The instant Balto was placed on Landon’s lap, he noticeably eases up and stays focused on petting him and keeping him close. The five-year-old pup instinctually knows what he needs to do to change the boy’s energy.
Jennifer has been so impressed by Balto’s impact that she’s working on a research project examining the human-animal bond.