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Ortho Paws

Unleashing Smiles and Wagging Tails at Lakeside Orthodontics

Article by Ann Schreiber

Photography by Lakeside Orthodontics

Originally published in Eagan City Lifestyle

Step into the welcoming atmosphere of Lakeside Orthodontics, and you'll notice something a bit out of the ordinary. Among the bright smiling faces at the front desk, there's a dog bed tucked against the back wall. Wait a minute, dogs at the orthodontist's office? That's right! At Lakeside Orthodontics, two adorable dogs, Maslow and Woody, take turns visiting the office on alternating days. And occasionally, Dr. Jennifer's daughter's mini golden doodle, Teddy, adds to the furry fun.

The story behind this unique addition to the office began when Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth found herself in a predicament. Her husband and youngest child embarked on a spring break adventure without her, leaving her at a loss for what to do with Maslow, her now 10-year-old Goldendoodle. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, she decided to bring him to work. Initially planning to keep him confined to her office, fate had a different plan for them.

On that eventful day, a young patient arrived at Lakeside Orthodontics, displaying signs of anxiety and tearful apprehension about getting a new wire put in. Dr. Jennifer, ever the problem solver, came up with a creative solution. She struck a deal with her young patient: if they could endure the wire procedure, Jennifer would introduce them to Maslow (coincidentally named after Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). 

Surprisingly, it worked wonders! Maslow entered the clinical setting, sensing the patient's distress, and instinctively offered comfort by resting his head on their lap. From that moment, a beautiful bond was formed, forever changing the dynamic at Lakeside Orthodontics.

Paws-itively Fulfilling Needs: Meet Maslow and Woody

It would be remiss now to mention that Maslow, the 10-year-old Golden Doodle, carries a name that holds a deeper meaning. Inspired by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow the dog plays a significant role in fulfilling the needs of patients at Lakeside Orthodontics. 

Like the psychological theory, Maslow the canine companion helps address the fundamental needs of patients, providing comfort, emotional support, and a sense of security during their orthodontic journeys. With his gentle nature and intuitive understanding, Maslow effortlessly fosters a nurturing environment beyond straightening teeth.

On the other hand, Woody, the two-year-old Bernadoodle, takes his name from the beloved Peanuts character, Woodstock. Like his namesake, Woody boasts a unique personality that brings joy and excitement to Lakeside Orthodontics. With a playful and adventurous spirit, Woody is always up for new experiences, radiating infectious enthusiasm that spreads throughout the office. Whether exploring the great outdoors or simply lounging at home, Woody's happy-go-lucky attitude is a reminder to embrace life's adventures, big or small. Together, Maslow and Woody form an inseparable duo, each contributing their own special qualities to create a truly unforgettable experience for patients at Lakeside Orthodontics.

The Perfect Fit: Why Goldendoodles are the Paw-fect Choice

Curious about why Goldendoodles became the chosen furry companions, we asked Dr. Jennifer herself. She explained that Goldendoodles are considered hypoallergenic due to their minimal shedding. This quality made them an ideal choice, considering Dr. Jennifer is allergic to dogs. The choice seemed clear.

And so thrilled by the positive outcome of Maslow's initial presence in the clinic, Dr. Jennifer decided to take it further. Maslow and his younger brother Woody received specialized training to behave appropriately in an office environment. These well-behaved pups now roam freely around the office, seemingly aware when patients feel uneasy. As Dr. Jennifer puts it, they tend to "hover around" and offer a soothing presence. Their comforting aura creates a remarkable effect on the young patients, who, out of love for the dogs, find the strength to set aside their fears. It's truly amazing to witness how these dogs benefit the children, but it's an open question of who is benefiting whom.

When asked about her motivation for incorporating dogs into the office, Dr. Jennifer expressed her desire for Lakeside Orthodontics to exude an atmosphere of sweetness, kindness, and warmth. She aims to eliminate patients' nervousness or fear and strives to create a fun and lighthearted environment. The dogs play a vital role in achieving this goal, fostering a sense of comfort and reassurance.

From Fears to Furry Friends: Comforting Canines Easing Dental Anxiety

It's worth noting that the presence of Maslow and Woody significantly impacts patients with dental anxiety, and in a good way. In the U.S., around 36% of people experience fear related to dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. The presence of these loving canines goes a long way in lessening those concerns and making orthodontic visits a more positive experience.

So, each morning as Dr. Jennifer prepares for another day at Lakeside Orthodontics, the biggest question is, "Who will be joining me at work today?" With Maslow and Woody ready to bring joy and comfort to the patients, one thing is for sure—the moment you walk through those doors, you'll be greeted by friendly smiles and the wagging tails and warm presence of Lakeside Orthodontics.


She aims to eliminate patients' nervousness or fear and strives to create a fun and lighthearted environment. The dogs play a vital role in achieving this goal, fostering a sense of comfort and reassurance.

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