Berakah – Reading Dog at TRE February 2020

Berakah at our Reading Dog Session at Tongue River Elementary School
February 24, 2020

6/5/20:  Due to Corvid19 complicating everyone’s lives, it took us four months to put together GloryToo’s first book, written for children to read during our Reading Dog sessions at an elementary school.  But we did it, and we’re proud of it.  So many people have been excited about the project and, when they saw the first draft said they wanted one for their child or grandchild or students, that we worked very hard to produce a high quality book.  See details.  I am SO excited to make this announcement!

Our therapy dog teams are having a ball doing Reading Dog at Tongue River Elementary (Ranchester, WY) and Tongue River High School (Dayton, WY), where the kids read to our therapy dogs. I take my German Shepherds (Berakah & GloryToo, with Lovely subbing if needed), and we also have a Standard Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel going regularly. Our latest brainstorm is to have the elementary school kids write to the dogs and the dogs write back.  We worked with Epiphany Printing to create stationery for each dog and love what we created.  And we’re having a ball with the letters, some of which are hilarious.

The elementary school kids sometimes choose just to cuddle with my dogs rather than read because they don’t like the selection of available books, so I decided to make a book for each of my dogs who go there. Epiphany Printing said they could take my text, insert the photos I want where I want them, and print out the pages. We’re do a chapter at a time. I’m starting with GloryToo’s book because I have the diary from her litter. I took the diary entries and simplified them for the young kids – and of course I have lots of photos from birth until they left at 7 weeks.  Then I’ll have to make up text to go with all the later photos I have of GloryToo.  Once her book is finished, I’ll do Berakah’s and Lovely’s books.  Unfortunately, the litter diary for Berakah was ruined when I backed it up so I will have to create text from the photos of her litter.  Otherwise, I would have started with her book, but I wanted to see if this would be a good idea and GloryToo’s was much faster to put together..

I took photos of the kids at Tongue River Elementary reading the preliminary copy of the first book of GloryToo’s story (her birth).  We’re going to put one photo on the back cover of each book.  They had a ball with it.  Enjoy!!

The first two photos are of the bulletin board inviting the students to write letters to the Therapy Dogs, with Berakah lying by the mailbox where they leave the letters for us.  The third book shows us all set up in the teacher workroom with our special Reading Dog blanket and the beanbags, waiting for our first kid to arrive.  The kids can choose to sit on a beanbag or on the dog’s blanket.

I also took photos of them reading to Lovely.