About > Meet our team >

Meet Our House Dogs:

Sonic and Gretchen

Yes! We have two fantastic house dogs. Our furry friends have become the highlight for our happy patients.


We have a long history of utilizing our four-legged friends to add an element of delight, fun, and comfort to the office. The tradition began nearly 20 years ago with Dr. Bergen James bringing her schnauzer puppy, Tchotchka, to her office in Laurel Village. Tchotchka would sit in the children’s laps while they took their “first visit” photo with her. Over the years, Tchotchka sat in countless laps, while children stroked her velvety ears and held her during their dental visits and procedures.


Our present house dogs, Sonic, a spirited terrier mix, and Gretchen, a mild-mannered cockerpoo mix, are here to offer their unconditional love and support.


Why office dogs? Our own experience, in addition to several clinical studies, has confirmed that playing with or petting a dog can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. We find that these hormonal changes help our more nervous children to relax and enjoy their time with us. And, in the end, most of our patients come to think of visiting our office as a visit with Sonic and Gretchen.


Please let us know if your child or family has any concerns about our dogs. If you prefer, we can schedule your child on a day when our dogs are not here at the office. Your child's comfort is our top priority.