What’s a dog’s favorite book? Mud, of course — or at least that’s what six-year-old Carol Dimitrijevich found in reading regularly to Hannah, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever.
“Dogs love being dirty,” she told the Wisconsin State Journal, which recently reported on a program in local elementary schools that pairs therapy dogs with kids struggling to read.
The idea is that kids will feel more comfortable reading difficult words to a loving, non-judgmental audience. And what could less judgmental than a therapy dog? We’ll tell you — nothing. These creatures are on earth to make humans feel better about anything, even cancer!
Adrienne Pressman, a fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Madison, told the WSJ that it’s the most troubled students who respond best to the program. For example, children with special needs, foster children, and children who arrive mid-year. It gives them something to look forward to. While they read, kids are encouraged to reach out and pet their canine audience for additional comfort.
“They really work for that time to be able to read to the dog,” Pressman said. “It really turns around some sad kids.”
I mean…is your heart not breaking? We say therapy dogs in every school. Maybe that’s the key to a happy childhood.
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