By Kym Gable

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – We all want a healthy vibrant smile, but the fear of going to the dentist is so crippling for some people, that they never even go to get their teeth professional cleaned.

“To be able to walk into the office, I’m going to have to be medicated or someone’s going to have to put me out on a stretcher. It’s bad,” Amanda Mallory told KDKA’s Kym Gable.

Mallory is a patient at Steliotes Dental Spa in McMurray.

Dr. Ted Steliotes just received a very special present from Ukraine, a French Bulldog puppy that will be trained to be a dental therapy animal. His name is Smudge.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“A therapy dog is just another extension to make people feel comfortable,” explained Steliotes. “I know we’re not the first place in the United States to do it, but we definitely want to bring it to Pittsburgh.”

“I thought Oh my God, what a wonderful idea!” said Mallory. “An animal is like a gateway to our hearts, so why not have an animal come to us and help us relax in a most fearful setting.”

“Dogs have the ability to help people so much, as we all know. So why not in the dental practice cause it’s really fearful. People would rather not be here,” said Steliotis.

Smudge’s official training will take about a year until he’s officially certified.