Friday, November 30, 2012

Apricot Poodles As Therapy Dogs

Apricot poodles make great therapy dogs

Sometimes, a person needs that extra bit of doggy affection to get through the tough times.  If you know someone in hospice, a therapy dog would bring comfort.  Is your child having trouble learning?  A therapy dog would help.   Do you know someone affected by Superstorm Sandy or another storm?  A therapy dog would bring barks of affection.  Dog is man’s best friend.  A therapy dog is man’s super best friend.  You can never have too many therapy dogs! 

Therapy dogs, to put it simply, are dogs trained to provide love and comfort to people in times of need.   They’re an affectionate army of fur, hugs, and barks.  You send them to disaster areas, hospitals, nursing homes, among other places.  You can even send them to libraries to help children read.  That’s what Angel, a three-year-old apricot standard poodle, does at Forest Grove Library!  Go apricot poodles!

In the article “Forest Grove Library lets youngsters read with an Angel at their side” Kelly House reports on Angel, a therapy poodle that helps children become more comfortable with reading.  House writes, “He [Angel] visits weekly, on Monday nights from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to read one-on-one with struggling readers who schedule special appointments.” Eight-year-old Matthew Waters is one such child.  Angel has patiently listened to him read the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  What an apricot poodle!

House continues, “Forest Grove’s is one of countless Read to the Dogs programs to crop up in libraries across the nation in recent years in response to increasing evidence that pets can positively impact early learners.” The programs have been a great success.  Not only do the children love the dogs, studies show that there is improvement.” A 2010 study from the University of California, Davis measured third-grade students’ reading fluency growth over the course of 10 weekly 15-minute sessions with a therapy dog.  On average, their fluency improved by 12 percent over the course of the sessions.” The improvements in reading is remarkable.  More libraries and schools across the country are beginning to take notice.  Perhaps my apricot poodles are therapy dogs in the making!

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