It was time to see the dentist . . . but I had never been to the dentist with my guide dog before!

Team Jirby: A Trip to the Dentist

Kirby, Guide Dog
Kirby goes to the dentist!

As you can imagine, a flood of questions bombarded my mind. What will I do with Kirby when I am getting my teeth cleaned or while I am having x-rays? Where will he sit? Will he be worried?

Then I remembered – of course, this will be easy. Kirby was trained and prepared for everyday life situations like this and just having him by my side makes things easier.

I also remembered that everyone at GDA says, “We are always here for you!” So, I emailed GDA’s Manager of Admissions and Graduate Services, Greg Steinmetz, who is a GDA graduate and guide dog user himself, and I asked him for some last minute guide dog pointers for my dental check-up. Greg immediately responded with some really helpful information about how he and his guide dog, Wiki, work together at the dentist. I was so thankful for his experienced advice, and Kirby and I headed to the dentist with confidence.

When we arrived, Kirby was an absolute pro! Because of his expert training and puppy-raising, Kirby knew exactly what to do and how to place himself in the dental office waiting area. Of course, the patients and staff thought he was so handsome and Kirby definitely charmed them all. When the dental hygienist called my name, Kirby guided safely to the dental chair and placed himself close to me, allowing space for the hygienist to work. When it was time for x-rays, Kirby guided to the hallway and went into a down/stay outside of the room so that he would be protected from the radiation. He confidently and patiently waited for me and when the x-rays were finished, Kirby returned to his position next to my chair for the remainder of my teeth cleaning and exam by the dentist.

The visit ended up being super easy and I was once again grateful to GDA and their expert trainers and puppy raisers! This was yet another example of how my amazing guide dog has helped restore my confidence and independence. Thank you GDA!