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Dogs at the office? Fine – but this is taking it too far

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The scraping, the spraying, and that drill – the dentist's chair can be a terrifying place, especially for kids.

To calm the little ones' nerves, a dentist in Williamsville, New York, has brought in his sidekick to ease the pain – his golden retriever, Brooke.

A photo of the big pooch on a young patient has gone viral after being posted on Reddit last week.

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Dr. Paul Weiss's dog, who's a trained therapy canine, visits the office once a week. Kids apparently play fetch with her, and she calms them during procedures.

"The gratification of taking a nervous child and turning them into someone who's comfortable at a dentist's office is really something great," Weiss told Biz Journal.

Even for a dog-loving, dentist-fearing girl, this is going too far. Sure, I've read about the stress-relieving effects of dogs in university, calming crazed students during exams. And dogs in regular cubicle offices would sure be a welcomed reprieve. But dogs in the dentist office? Can this be sanitary? And what about those kiddies who fear dogs in the first place?

The after-dentist 'clean mouth' feeling is a rare, wonderful reward for an hour of pain and suffering – and there's something inherently off-putting about mixing that feeling and the feeling of dog breath on your face.

Still, Weiss insists the office is cleaned thoroughly after each visit from Brooke – and she gets a bath before coming to work.

What do you think: Would you like your dentist more if he brought his dog?

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Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More

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