Few things in life are more unbearable than a sad dog. One look into the eyes of a melancholy canine will have you clutching your woe-struck heart and swearing vengeance against those who have wronged it. You instantly want that dog to smile more than Nat King Cole wants everyone to smile, the Joker wants his victims to smile, and condescending men want all women to smile all the time combined.
Last week, the Internet united in its desire to turn a dog frown upside down when a post from the owner of Sting, an adorable therapy dog nobody signed up to read to at the White Bear Lake Public Library in Minnesota, went viral and had people offering to drive in from other states or call in via phone to read to the lonely pooch. According to Sting’s host library, he is now booked through April, meaning he’s got plenty of reason to smile and, just as importantly, a lot of children have a furry friend to help them with their reading skills.
If you’d like your young reader (age 7 – 11) to spend some time with a therapy dog and/or you’re generally supportive of dog happiness, you don’t have to drive all the way to Minnesota to see Sting; we have our own crew of comforting, precious pups right here at BPL. The third Saturday of each month (hey, that’s today!) from 1 to 3 PM, our human friends at Therapy Dogs International (TDI) bring our four-legged friends Phizz, Honey, Ava, and Gabby to the library to be read to as part of the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program. According to TDI, reading out loud to a dog is beneficial to a child’s reading skills because it gives them practice, builds self-esteem in a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment, and associates reading with something pleasant.
Call the library at 817-249-6632 to set up a reading appointment for your child. Kids love it, and our sweet doggy listeners appreciate the company. You wouldn’t want to make a dog sad, would you? Don’t make us cue that Sarah McLachlin song.