By Leslie Lindsay
Books. Dogs. Libraries. These are a few of my favorite things! So, no surprise when I hauled my kiddos to the local library for “Reading with Rover” last week. Two trained therapy dogs were on site to be read to by little people. Perfect.
We had seen a similar experience on PBSKids in which a little girl was reading to a dog in a sort of infomercial style blurb. My daughter’s were familiar with the idea and with budding readers on my hands, it all made sense to get them there. We were first in line.
Sparky the Sheltie and the long-haired German Shepard (whose name was too German for me to remember, let alone spell), were the best audience, though they had to have several cold hotdog snacks to get into reading mode.
Why is this good for kids?
- Dogs don’t care if kids read badly
- Dogs just want to be cared for and they love the attention (so do kids)
- Kids can practice their animal care skills–along with reading
- Kids can have exposure to other breeds they may not be familiar with
- (Mom gets a bit of a break)
- Something about well-trained (behaved) animals that put everyone at ease
If you would like more information on pet therapy programs look to:
- The Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club http://www.fvtherapydogs.org/
- The Delta Society http://www.deltasociety.org/
- Volunteer Guide http://volunteerguide.org/volunteer/fewhours/pet-therapy.htm