Sheri's Solutions: An interesting state of affairs

2015 03 31 16 23 41 686 Doniger Sheri 2015 200

I remember someone asking me as I left Boston if I had seen the bomb-sniffing dogs at the Boston Convention Center.

Sheri B. Doniger, DDS.Sheri B. Doniger, DDS.

After reading a late January article in the Chicago Tribune, I recalled walking through the exhibit halls at the recent Yankee Dental Congress in Boston and Chicago Dental Society's Midwinter Meeting noticing security officers casually strolling through the exhibits with a dog.

My affiliation with law enforcement for the past several years has given me a snippet of knowledge of the various types of situations dogs train to "sniff out." These highly trained canines are involved in disaster search and rescue, drugs, as well as bombs.

When I saw the officer walking with the dog, I did not think twice. After all, it should be moderately unusual to see a dog walking through the convention center. After all, the dog did not have a coat on, indicating it was not a service dog. Nor did this dog look lost.

A dog patrols McCormick Place in Chicago. Image courtesy of Dr. Sheri Doniger.A dog patrols McCormick Place in Chicago. Image courtesy of Dr. Sheri Doniger.

As in many airports now, seeing security dogs has become more of a norm than not. I give kudos to Yankee Dental Congress and Chicago's McCormick Place for having the added layer of security present, beyond the checking of badges by the ushers at the access points to the exhibit hall. After all, there are many people coming and going through these convention halls, and the safety of the participants is paramount.

Yes, it is a new world. We are becoming immune to seeing officers with weapons in airports, around sports venues, and in other locales. It is not unusual to go through a metal detector to enter an amusement park or school, for instance.

It is now a part of the fabric of our lives, the new normal. And I am not complaining. Anything that is done, overtly or covertly, to keep us safe is a good thing.

With all these changes in security, I would not be surprised to see similar dogs strolling through the major meetings (and car shows) this year. I see this as a proactive agenda in a world that is rapidly changing.

Sheri B. Doniger, DDS, practices clinical dentistry in Lincolnwood, IL. She is the immediate past president of the American Association of Women Dentists and editor of the American Association of Women Dentists "Chronicle" newsletter. She has served as an educator in several dental and dental hygiene programs, has been a consultant for a major dental benefits company, and has written for several dental publications. You can reach her at [email protected].

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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