Cantor at the Children’s Library, Learning to be a Therapy Dog and Participating in the Reading Dog Program
I go to the Children’s Library on Friday afternoons with one of my Therapy Dogs for the Reading Dog program. That’s a program where kids who are having trouble reading sign up to read to a therapy dog, which helps them learn they can read, and enjoy reading, because the nonjudgmental dog was so interested in them as they read. We have found locally that we also get visits from children who read just fine but who can’t have dogs at home (often due to allergies in other family members) and who love the interaction with the Therapy dogs. See more info on the Reading Dog Program and photos of Berakah the Reading Dog.
Cantor, 20 months old, passed his initial screening for manners and temperament on November 25, 2017. His first supervised visit (three are required) was at one local nursing home, Sheridan Manor, on the 30th. He then did one at the Children’s Library on December 1st and the third one at our other local nursing home, Westview Healthcare Center, on December 5th. Cantor had been stressed as he entered the Children’s Library on the first visit when two little girls wearing wings raced towards him as he was trying to figure out what in the world the brass statue of a sitting pig in the entrance was. He settled down and did well during the actual reading session, but both Laurie (the tester/observer) and I felt he should do another library visit. We did that fourth supervised visit on December 8th and he was much more relaxed greeting children in the library. He did fantastic with both children who had signed up to read to him.
On the first visit Laurie only took one photo.
I was disappointed that we didn’t get more photos, especially of him watching them as they read, giving kisses or lying on his back so they could rub his tummy. On the second visit Laurie took some that illustrate well the interaction between him and the children. Thanks, Laurie!!!!
All his paperwork has now been submitted to Alliance for Therapy dogs. Once they accept him, he will begin assisting my other dogs, Berakah, GloryToo, Lively and Spirit, on therapy dog visits. He will take Chaos’ turns at Reading Dogs since I have now retired Chaos due to his failing health.