Buddy and the Dentist

Paul Morrone |

We all remember from our childhood how our parents taught us to brush our teeth on a regular basis. This ritual is part of most people’s daily hygiene and not much thought is given to performing the routine and simple task. Remember when you went to the dentist and after all the probing and prodding the exam did not reveal any cavities? I hated having cavities filled and that high pitched noise of the drill with water splashing everywhere. Ironically, the reward for not having cavities was probably either a lollipop or hard candy (perhaps butterscotch or peppermint flavored). That was so ironic if you think about it.  Also, part of the annual or semi-annual pilgrimage to the dentist (depending on your insurance) was some conversation about your overall oral health, sensitivity in your teeth to hot and cold, bleeding of the gums and if there was any pain in your jaw. Of course, I answered all those questions to the best of my ability. As a kid, I just wanted to get out of that examining room and hated having to rinse and spit into that crazy sink attached to the arm of the chair. Now, imagine being a dog and going to the dentist. That is what recently happened to our little 8 year old Buddy.

Buddy had never been to the dentist to have his teeth professionally cleaned. We gave him all those chewy things that were supposed to be great for his teeth and gums. We did attempt to brush his teeth occasionally but he was not all that fond of one of us shoving something into his mouth and expecting him to then rinse and spit. On a recent trip to the vet, we were informed that he should have his teeth cleaned. For a person this is part of a normal routine and is no big deal but for a dog it is an entirely different story. Cathy dropped him off at the vet at 8:00 in the morning and together we picked him up at 3:00 PM. During that 7 hour span, he was put under anesthesia, had his teeth cleaned and also had to have 8 teeth extracted. When we picked him up he was not a happy camper. He was wiped out from the procedure and obviously in pain. He was not that happy to see us either. He was probably thinking, “why did you bring me here and what did they do to my mouth?”

For two weeks Buddy could only eat soft foods and had to be on an antibiotic. We had to hide all of his little toys so he would not chew and aggravate his jaw and gums. He gradually warmed back up to us and hopefully all the pain he went through was forgotten. We felt so sorry for him but knew we were doing the right thing and it was for his own good health. There is one comical highlight to this story at Buddy’s expense (if that is at all possible). One of the teeth that Buddy had extracted was one of his lower front teeth. Now, when he shows his teeth, he has a little space for the world to see. We now have a little hillbilly Buddy.

Until the Next Tom’s Take…