EUGENE, Ore. — A captive audience of therapy dogs were on hand at the Eugene Library Saturday, patiently listening as children read aloud to them. K-6th graders can now take part in “Dog Tale Time” each Saturday until mid-December. Children with disabilities often frequent the program. Longtime volunteers say the 15-minute sessions are often magical.
“There was a little boy whose mother stood here in tears, she said we’ve done everything to get him to read out loud, but he wouldn’t do it. And there that little boy was sitting, right here in the front, with all of these people walking back and forth and he was reading to the dogs. I mean imagine that,” said Dorothy Anker, veteran volunteer for the program.
In its 8-years, organizers say hundreds of kids swiftly improve and hone their reading skills, while getting unconditional love from a furry friend, who doesn’t judge.