By A. Campbell
Hello! My name is Scarlett and I’m a two-and-a-half-year-old mix of standard poodle, doberman, and bloodhound. My auburn coat comes from my bloodhound genes, my amber eyes are a gift from my doberman ancestry, and my beard (which gives me a lot of character, don’t you agree?) was inherited from my poodle parent.
But if you’re interested in my pearly white teeth – well, those come from good dental hygiene and daily maintenance. My Mom is a dentist and so the health of our teeth and gums is a high priority in our family. She takes care of both me and my Dad as well as countless others through her work in an office in the neighborhood. Every night she helps me brush my teeth — I even use an electric toothbrush, heh! — to prevent me from getting bad doggy breath and to ensure my overall health and longevity.
A bright, clean smile helps me make a good first impression when it comes to my volunteer work as a therapy dog with New York Therapy Animals. I became a certified volunteer therapy dog a few months back and I love the work. New York Therapy Animals offers comfort and companionship in all sorts of places including hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, schools, libraries, colleges, and special community events, among others. Recently, Mom and I attended a student wellness day at Barnard in which students signed up for 10-minute sessions to meet with me and some other dog volunteers. Often, students will confide that they’re homesick for the family dogs they’ve left behind, so getting to interact with a volunteer pup helps take away some of their stress and provides warmth and reassurance while they’re away at school. And there’s strong evidence that engaging with dogs has an immediate positive impact on overall well-being. In fact, studies show that petting a dog lowers blood pressure and increases dopamine, both of which increase general well-being in humans.
When I’m not volunteering, I love to romp around and explore my enormous backyard — Riverside Park. Fall is my favorite season because I am obsessed with chasing wind-blown leaves and quick-as-a-flash squirrels. Those clever little critters….Dad works from home, so he and I spend a lot of time together while Mom is at her office taking care of teeth. We love the outdoors, and sometimes the three of us will take a day trip to Storm King Mountain or another upstate park.
I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving because we’ll be hosting dinner at our home this year. My grandparents, uncle and his girlfriend will all be traveling to New York to celebrate with us. I’ve spent the past few weeks studying and comparing various turkey recipes in order to ensure that ours comes out of the oven perfectly cooked and piping hot! This is my cue to issue a friendly reminder to all – don’t forget to floss and brush after Thanksgiving dinner, especially after tucking into some delicious gooey treats like pecan pie and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Nothing says “happy holidays” like a good, thorough tooth-brushing! Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!
If you think your pup deserves a shot at neighborhood fame, we encourage you to reach out to Audrey at email@example.com to be considered for a future profile on West Side Rag and follow your fellow Pupper West Sider’s adventures on Instagram at @pupper_west_side_uws
If readers are interested in becoming pet owners, we encourage you to consider adopting or volunteering to be a foster parent with one of the many shelters and nonprofits based in and around New York City. These include but aren’t limited to: Muddy Paws Rescue; Animal Lighthouse Rescue; Animal Care Centers of NYC; NYC ASPCA; Humane Society of New York; Bideawee; Social Tees; Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and Animal Haven.