Library Therapy Dogs March, 2010

Dean's Welcome Notes

Kids and dogs just naturally go together! And, March is designated as the "Reading Month". So we thought we'd share with you a great combination of these two things ~ Reading Dog Programs and the Library Therapy Dogs that make them happen.

As always, here at and we value your opinions and enjoy hearing from you.

Until next time,
Dean Hamill

Big Yellow Dog Protect your pet ownership rights.
Urgent Legislative Alert.

Animal Trivia:

What is the name of this big yellow dog,
from a 1956 novel ~ and then adapted into a
Walt Disney movie in 1957?

Go to the end of the
newsletter for the answer.

Library Therapy Dogs & Reading Dog Programs

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R.E.A.D. programWhen should children read to dogs? Whenever they can! And especially when they're part of a "reading dog program"!

Library therapy dogs are used to help with children's literacy. These specially trained dogs come into a library and children then read stories out loud to the dogs. The kids share the pictures with the dogs as well, so the dogs won't get bored (of course!).

What a great concept!

R.E.A.D. programIf a child's reading skills are below their peers, a reading dog program might be just the ticket for them. R.E.A.D. program Reading aloud helps with language skills, which then generally leads to an increase in reading levels. The dogs are used as pure motivation to get the kids to read out loud.

The dogs provide a sense of comfort and security. The kids feel at ease reading to the dogs because there's no judgment attached to reading, and, the dogs don't interrupt them!

There are other nice benefits with reading dog programs:

  • not everyone can have a pet of their own ~ so kids get to interact with a great dog!
  • motivation to read increases
  • some of the self-consciousness about reading out loud is eliminated
  • kids might actually look forward to reading
  • children who aren't familiar with dogs can develop a better understanding of them

  • There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reading dog programs throughout the United States and Canada. These programs are active in schools, libraries, and bookstores.

    R.E.A.D. program Here are some of the non-profit (free) programs throughout the country.

    R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) from Intermountain Therapy Animals ~ one of, if not THE oldest program ~ Find a program in your state
    ~ all photos are from the R.E.A.D. website ~

    Tail Waggin Tutors ~ through Therapy Dogs International

    Reading with Rover ~ in the Northwest U.S.

    Sit Stay Read ~ in inner-city Chicago

    S.T.A.R.S. K-9 program ~ (Special Troopers Adaptive Riding School, Inc.) - in Sioux City, Iowa

    Bideawee Reading to Dogs ~ Long Island, Bronx, and Manhattan (New York)

    Reading Fur Fun ~ Newport County, Rhode Island ~ goes to group homes

    PAWS for Reading ~ Support Dogs, Inc.

    Puppy Dog Tales ~ San Francisco, CA.

    CARE (Canine Assited Reading Eduction) ~ North Carolina

    Reading dog program explanation from youtube Paws and Pals ~ U.S. Army Europe Libraries ~ more information on these programs

    Nice video on YouTube that shows the Reading with Rover program >>


    Cornish Rex cats

    Cornish Rex Cats : watch out for your food!

    They love to steal your food, and play, and climb, and retrieve. So if you want an amusing active family member, a Cornish Rex cat is the perfect choice!

    The name of this breed comes from a combination of the "rex" gene and Cornwall, England. The rex gene (often found in rabbits) makes hair curly and thin. In cats, the result is a lack of "guard hairs", allowing Rex cats for have coats that are luxurious and velvety. Because of this lack of guard hairs, they also shed very little. The breed was discovered in Cornwall, England - which makes it "Cornish". And now you know the rest of the story...

    Bill Dana:

    "I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult.  It's not.  Mine had me trained in two days"

    Animal Trivia Answer:  Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

    Old Yeller

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