Garden Diary - November 2010

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Saturday, 20 November 2010
Paws to Read

Our house is cluttered with books. Books in the living room, in the kitchen, in my study, in Paul's office, the lower landing, at the bottom of the stairs, in the guest bedroom . . . . probably the are some more here and there. That's part of the reason I adore libraries. As their books can be returned I needn't find them shelf space. It's a familial trait, and our children's homes are also well stocked with books. I'm always puzzled when we visit someone and I don't see any books. Anything that encourages children to become book readers is a great thing. So naturally I'm all in favor of Paws to Read.

Paws to Read brings therapy dogs to the library on Saturdays, where children can read to them.

This is Gracie. She was originally going to be a Seeing Eye dog. It was
decided to use her to breed more puppies for the program. She had
four litters and a total of 20 puppies. She must have been a super mom
because she's so good with the children today as they scramble around.
It seems like every few minutes there's a different child cuddle up with her.


Even though he's a purebred boxer, Sam was a rescue. Only 3 or 4 years old, he's very bouncy.
So much so that it is difficult to take his picture as he wiggles all over. Very muscular dog. But when
someone comes over to read to him Sam settles right down. "You listening too?" he seems to say.


Very sedate, Skyler is a 7 year old golden retriever. Fascinated by the baby, who was fascinated right back.


And then there was Poppy. The most relaxed little dog I've ever met, Poppy is a floppy little Pekinese,
a real cuddle pup happy to lay back in her owner's arms, fine when a throng of children gathered around

equally comfortable to be handed over to a little boy who clearly

was happy to cuddle her too. I'm not sure how much reading was actually accomplished here
but there was lots of bonding and a happy connection made between children, dogs, and books.
There's a break for the holiday season. Paws to Read will start up again in January 2011at both
the north county branch library in Clinton and the main library in Flemington, New Jersey. Do come.

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