Hopeful’s Trading Cards
I make trading cards to give to the kids who participate in Reading Dogs. They get one each time they read to one of my therapy dogs. Any kids who write letters to the Reading Dogs receive a trading card in the letter the dogs write back to the kids on their personalized stationery. We do Reading Dog at Tongue River Elementary School in Ranchester on Monday mornings, with kids form Pre-K to 5th grade. We do Reading Dog with the kindergarten class at Holy Name School on Thursday mornings.
I also enclose a trading card in the weekly letters I write to 6 nursing home residents who particularly enjoy my therapy dog visits, one letter to residents of an enclosed Alzheimer’s Unit and one letter to a shut in.
We print them a little larger than normal trading card size so that both the very young and the elderly can enjoy the photos and explanations.
When I need cards for a new therapy dog, I give my artistic friends at Epiphany Printing the photos and accompanying statements to go on the cards, and they design the sets of trading cards for each of my Reading Dogs. Each dog has a special color scheme for their trading cards.
We got Berakah’s trading cards (a set of 12) done in the spring of 2021, just in time to give them to the kids before school got out. During that summer we finished the trading cards for GloryToo and Lovely, each having a set of 18 cards. In February 2022, we got Spirit’s done – and we did 36 because 18 just won’t cover all the Reading dog sessions. The cards are so popular that in the summer of 2022 I arranged a photoshoot with a local photographer so we could make 18 more cards for GloryToo and Lovely, a second set with cards for holidays and other interesting themes.
Hopeful’s litter was born right after covid hit, in April 2020. So many people told me that seeing the litter photos helped them get through the pandemic shutdown, that I took many more photos of that litter than usual. Two of Hopeful’s sisters stayed in Sheridan and we got together for weekly playtimes for several months, and of course I took photos of those. That meant that, when I started choosing photos for Hopeful’s trading cards, I had an awful time picking just a few. After a couple of months, I had gotten the number down to 54 but couldn’t eliminate any more. I sent them to both the Holy Name School kindergarten teacher, Emily, and my friend, Laurie, who also does Reading Dogs (with one of my pups, Jamboree) in another town and had also made a set of trading cards for her. I asked both ladies to let me know which ones they would eliminate. It was a good idea, but the ones Emily loved were the ones Laurie would eliminate, and vice versa. I finally gave up and Hopeful has a set of 54 trading cards.
Because, unfortunately, people steal things off the internet, these photos have “sample” printed on them, though the ones I give out do not.