My Mom is always looking for out for me and doing things that are “for my own good.” This includes clipping my nails and brushing my teeth. I don’t enjoy the torture, but afterwards she calls me an angel boy and feeds me a chicken snack. That’s worth a little discomfort. I think patients would like their medication better if someone called them sweet names and gave out rewards too. One of my Mom’s patients has glaucoma and needs eye drops several times a day. The nice lady always refuses because she doesn’t like the eye drops (cold and goopy, yuck). But she likes having me visit her. I jump on to her bed and snuggle into her blankets, while she and my Mom chat, mostly about things outside of the skilled nursing facility. The nice lady really likes dogs. When my Mom mentions the eye drops, the nice lady becomes upset and says she doesn’t want them. My Mom points out to the nice lady that her eye sight will get worse without the drops. This makes no difference. Then my Mom asks, “Don’t you want to be able to see Shamzi?” As if on cue, I flop on to my back and expose my tummy, ramping up the cuteness factor. Suddenly the importance of eye drops becomes ridiculously clear. The nice lady agrees. Blink, blink. All done! Then we play again. Sometimes patients just want to be treated like people first. Then they can be reminded about all the good things that medicine can do, and all of the beautiful sights in the world (like me!). Offering a chicken snack doesn’t hurt either.