MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Friday, May 20, 2011

"Pawty" Time: Reading Therapy Dogs Celebrated by Columbine Elementary

Columbine Elementary Canine Reading Program had their end of year "pawty" for the dogs and handlers yesterday. The kids made chocolate chip cookies for we humans and dog cookies to thank the working dogs, too. And whoops! The first thing Maddie did when she walked in the room was grab a HUGE chocolate chip cookie from the platter! I had my hand in her mouth digging it out in no time! Luckily, I retrieved most of it.

I know I don't act like a therapy dog ... but I make them smile and play!
She was all over the place with excitement -- not at all the behavior you might expect from a therapy dog -- a reading program therapy dog no less! The kids took turns taking her leash and walking her in circles around the room, and Maddie complied so readily. It was such a joy watching the children's joy with the dogs, and vice versa. I realized that much more was happening here than helping kids to read. This program is also a form of humane education. The young children watch the handlers with our dogs and without words realize the dogs are so valuable and precious to us. They take in our bonds and form their own with the dogs. They play, love, learn compassion and the joy of dog. And they will grow up and hopefully always hold these memories in their hearts, of love and compassion for animals.  May they transfer it to people, too.

We hugged good-bye until next year. Some we won't see as they move away or go on to Middle School...

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