Kiss Paw-Dentist Fears Away
Have you been to the dentist lately? It’s definitely not a trip to the park. And yet, a big part of my story and transformational journey started due to a dental emergency. In fact, in less than two years I survived three lengthy dental surgeries.
It all started four years ago when I developed separation anxiety.
Back then mom was going through tough emotional and financial times, which led to a lot of stress and depression for her. Her mind and energy were mostly focused on finding a new home for us, since we had to move from the home we shared with her ex-partner. Hooman relationships can sometimes be so dramatic and complicated. Can anyone relate?
In the midst of all this, I started to also experience stress and anxiety. Moving and constant unexpected changes make me feel uncomfortable. For years I was fine staying home alone while mommy went to work but I think the constant changes in my environment combined with the tense energy of the situation caused my nervous system to act out. I tried my best to be a good dog but to my misfortune I wasn’t able to control the panic attacks I got every time mom left me at home. Suddenly, without realizing it, I would start panting, trembling and chewing everything I found around the house. I don’t know why but I developed a taste for metal, and I’m not talking about music. I chewed on everything metallic, from mommy’s bike, to the door stops, even my crate! Anything I could find in the house that tasted like metal was chewed by me unconsciously.
Of course, as you can imagine, this added to the stress my mom experienced every time she came home to find the house destroyed. It became worse when she realized that I broke some of my teeth in my desperate attempt to find a release to my anxiety. I didn’t know how to explain to my mom that I truly didn’t want for this to continue and that I also didn’t know how to control it.
As a result my rushed visits to the dentist became quite frequent and every time I left the clinic I had experienced new extractions to remove my broken teeth. These were no fun moments at all! Mom and I were living in a circle of constant stress and anxiety that only made things worse for us. Luckily, if there is something I’ve learned from watching my mom, it's that once you hit rock bottom, the next step is to pick yourself up and find a solution to make things better.
After my third surgery mom made the decision to hire a dog trainer and educate herself on everything related to anxiety in dogs. She also posted flyers around our neighborhood looking for affordable and caring pet sitters to watch me while she went to work. She suddenly discovered a new strength and confidence within her. I think that to this day she believes that she did all of this for me but the truth is that life tends to give our hoomans experiences in an attempt to teach them how to become stronger and resilient through all circumstances that come their way.
I might not have my whole set of teeth but I still look beautiful. I can eat all my treats and I love the fact that I now have more room in my little mouth to lay my tongue out.
Two years had passed since I visited the dentist. Two incredibly transformational years. As we arrive at the clinic, mom and I are actually excited to see our favorite dentist in town. I might not be a fan of the dentist’s office, but my dentist always makes sure that despite the uncomfortable circumstances, I'm always in the best possible care.
This time I was feeling calmer and more confident knowing that everything was going to be better. That morning mom took me for a relaxing walk, and I was benefitting from that as we headed to the dentist’s office. Before I was taken by the vet, she told me that everything would be fine and that she loved me.
Three hours later, I happily reunited with mom as she is extremely overjoyed having found out that for the first time in my life, I just had a simple and easygoing dental cleaning. Not only did my daily tooth brushing help against gingivitis but the fact that she took control of our anxiety turned our lives around and our bond has been stronger ever since.
A new journey is awaiting mom and me. And I'm so excited to start it with a freshly cleaned good smelling mouth, ready to kiss the world!
Love & Paws,