Beth, would you and Canoe be interested in helping out at an after school extended learning program at John Tuck Elementary? I know the kids would just fall in love with Canoe…” As she spoke, the excuses I was formulating in my mind quickly evaporated and I found myself agreeing to visit the program before making a decision. And I am so glad I did.
Canoe, Jennifer Horsman, and I met with Dodie Carmichael at John Tuck Elementary to discuss the goals of the program, Canoe’s and my role, to meet the kids, and tour the site in order to see if our involvement would be a good fit. As a retired Children’s librarian I was pleased to learn that Canoe would be helping 25 1st and 2nd graders gain confidence in their reading skills by listening to them read aloud. And, as part of a therapy dog team, I was pleased to see that Canoe’s safety and comfort was a priority to all. Best of all, this was a short, seven week commitment and Dodie was graciously willing to work within our busy schedule. The final obstacle fell when Canoe met the kids. They were well behaved and enthusiastic when meeting Canoe, and Canoe strutted about like a king, his ears up and tail wagging, as he greeted each child.
The program is over now, and Jennifer was right, the kids did fall in love with Canoe. And Canoe fell in love with each of them in return.