"Love is a four legged word" ~Author unknown
There are so very many dogs in shelter. Another sad truth a lot of dogs get returned to shelters because of social issues. These issues are not the dog's fault, but the the result of countless situations such as being abandoned, a tragic event that caused behavior issues, being re-homed into a not ideal situation, or lack of time spent to train the dog in the first place. One of the best things that can be done to help dogs in shelters is to have someone spend time with them in a loving, innocent non judging manner. This helps a very scared dog or anti-social dog become more adoptable and less likely to be returned.
For children, especially those struggling with reading, one of the biggest challenges of learning to read is the embarrassment and fear of making mistakes. That being said, I believe one of the most accepting , non-judgmental creatures in the world are dogs. There are numerous programs that allow dogs to go to libraries so the children can read to them. World News with Diane Sawyer reported, "A study this year by researchers at the University of California, confirmed that children who read to Fido really do perform better. Young students who read out loud to dogs improved their reading skills by 12 percent over the course of a 10-week program, while children in the same program who didn't read to dogs showed no improvement."
So partner these two programs together and you get a harmonious WIN WIN. Let the children go to the dogs in the shelters , drop a pillow on the floor and read to the dog in the kennel. While I cannot take credit for this genius program, I sure would like to make it happen in the Muskegon area! The Humane Society of Missouri and others have a very successful program. I have been in contact with some of our local shelters and am working on getting this program going in our area.
I wish they had this program when my dog, Odin was in a shelter maybe children wouldn't scare him so much. To help other dogs like Odin, he and I would like to request the assistance of our readers in helping this program get going. I have worked with kids in our area in the past, promoting bite prevention and local charities, kids partnering with animals to make a difference , "Future Voices Kids Club." (see us on Facebook for more info and info on me visiting your school locally for bite prevention too)We would like to name this program "Future voices shelter reading program." I believe our the children, our 'future leaders', can of course benefit from reading, but also benefit from learning kindness to the voiceless. I would like to see the future leaders of our country continue that kindness into their adulthood.
What we would like to request from our readers:
Volunteers that would be willing to donate an hour a month, week , year.. whatever time you have to give.
Networking of the program to recruit children ages 6-16 in our area, that could benefit from this program.