This Dog Has A Very Important Job At A Chicago Dental Clinic

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Nobody looks forward to a trip to the dentist, but one loving golden retriever at a Chicago dental clinic is helping kids overcome their fears in the dentist’s chair.

JoJo is a 6-year-old comfort dog who helps out human and dental assistant Leanne Ryan.


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JoJo is trained to provide support and affection to people in distress and wears a special vest encouraging people to pet her.

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She’s helped victims of tornadoes in Missouri and Illinois and visited schools in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings.

Last year, Leanne decided to bring JoJo to the dental clinic where she works to help calm nervous kids and JoJo did such a pawsome job that she now visits once a month.


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“She’s a very loving and sweet dog,” says Leanne, “I sometimes call her the ‘Queen of Lean’ because she’ll just come up to someone and if she likes them she’ll just lean on them as if to say, ‘Here I am. You can pet me now.’”

Dental assistant Veronica Renteria adds, “It’s very tender. She’s just there waiting for you. If you sit down, she’ll put her head in your lap.”


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“In the past three months she’s become a big hit. We now have people who call up and specifically request JoJo.”

“It’s quite amazing how she knows you just need that hug.”


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“Her paw is always available to hold,” says Leanne, “One girl was having her teeth extracted and she just stroked JoJo’s ears the whole time.”


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“I’ve just had such a positive reaction to JoJo. The parents are like, ‘Is this really happening?’ They can’t believe that JoJo just sits there and that their child is so still and calm through the procedure.”


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JoJo is one busy dog, as she also works with seven other handlers visiting nursing homes and centers for people with disabilities.


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And she’s listed as an official member of the team at the Chicago dental clinic she visits!


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Why can’t all dentists have a JoJo?

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