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Meet Spencer!

FPD-Spencer-vert-port.jpgDr. Fales has always been a dog lover, and when he started practicing pediatric dentistry, he began thinking of the possibilities that a dog could bring to a pediatric dental office. After doing some research into animal therapy, he discovered a wonderful organization that supports animal therapy activities. The Delta Society®, located in the state of Washington, is an international organization providing support, training and certification of all types of therapy animals. So, the search was on for just the right dog to bring into the Fales Pediatric Dentistry family!

Spencer, a Golden Retriever, was born on March 29, 2006. At 6 weeks of age, Spencer started spending work days in the office acclimating to lots of children and people coming and going. At 6 months of age, Spencer began basic obedience training with Gloria Logan at Perfect Puppy, LLC, and his first achievement was earning his AKC Good Citizen Award! Shortly after this, we learned that Spencer has hip dysplasia, an all-too-common ailment in Golden Retrievers. There was no history of this genetic defect in any of Spencer’s ancestors, so we were all very surprised. For many dogs, this is a debilitating problem, but we were referred by Spencer’s veterinarian at the Olathe Animal Hospital to the wonderful people at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Overland Park. There we met Dr. Steve Riley who performed two separate surgeries on Spencer’s hips to repair his hip deformities. The surgeries were very successful, and Spencer has shown no symptoms since then! At age 1, Spencer began training to become a Pet Partner®, and he was certified by the Delta Society® and the Mo-Kan Pet Partners® in August 2008 to begin actively working in his role as a therapy pet.

In the office, Spencer greets everyone that walks by his usual resting place with excited wags of his tail and one of his favorite toys. Sometimes patients will even bring a new toy for Spencer or even a treat which he always loves to get! Spencer is very affectionate and absolutely loves to have his ears scratched or his tummy rubbed. Sometimes he seems to watch over the activities in the office to make sure everyone is doing their job. He is truly a big ‘teddy bear’ and loves to be around people!

Whenever a patient requests, Spencer can come to sit by the dental chair and provide support for those anxious moments we all have sometimes, and he really does like working to make everyone’s day a little brighter. When Spencer is sitting chairside with a child during a dental procedure, he provides a calming, reassuring presence.

Spencer has become the office mascot, and everyone at Fales Pediatric Dentistry is very attached to him. They do their best to spoil him. But, he does work very hard every day if doing nothing but putting smiles on faces. Spencer also volunteers outside of the office with one of his two Pet Partners, Dr. Fales and our Practice Administrator, Konnie Lutz.

If and when we have a patient who is allergic to dogs or uncomfortable around dogs, Spencer waits quietly in Konnie’s office for the duration of that patient’s visit. As a Pet Partner® Team, Spencer is certified to be in a clinical setting, and procedures to prevent zoonotic infections are followed in our office.


To learn more about the Delta Society, click here!