Hooray for Hygiene!

Once a week, I clean Maizie’s ears and teeth. It’s not fun, but I’ve devised a system that works pretty well. She’s great at doing whatever I say for a treat, so I make her lie down, roll over, and then she gets a treat. While she’s all relaxed and enjoying it, it’s ear- and teeth-cleaning time. And then she gets more treats. It makes the process go very smoothly; however, I wonder if I’m negating “brushing” her teeth by giving her fun food right afterward. I think the same thing at my dentist’s office. They have a tray full of cookies for patients. It’s a heck of a lot better than getting a toothbrush and toothpaste as a reward for sitting through a cleaning, but I always feel way too guilty to take one. In Maizie’s case, stuffing her full of treats (to get her to actually let me work on her) is well worth possibly “ruining” her teeth cleaning.

Huh. I guess those cookies at the dentist aren’t really for rewards. They’re for bribery…


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