Reading to dogs programs, more formally known as animal-assisted reading programs, are on the rise.
In this Boston Globe article, it is reported that one volunteer organisation – Dog B.O.N.E.S. (Dog Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Support) – has certified more than 200 Reading Partner teams. And that’s working in the state of Massachusetts alone.
In Christchurch, we have a Reading to Dogs program which I wrote about in my column in NZ Dog World magazine (see below).
The big difference is that the Council was so worried about risk that it only accepted temperament testing by the Council’s shelter manager on the pet dogs of the animal control officers before allowing the program to proceed. Since we have testing such as the Canine Good Citizen test, sponsored by the NZ Kennel Club, I think it’s a shame that volunteers are not resourcing this program.
This would allow the animal control officers to work in enforcement areas that are so badly needed and always under-resourced.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand