Our community service dogs
November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
Our female Irish Wolfhound Addie tried search and rescue for awhile, but we found that the local chapter just wasn’t very organized. Training events would be scheduled for 7:30am on a Saturday morning, and then the coordinator wouldn’t show up until closer to 9am. It was frustrating, so we just sort of drifted away from the program, even though Addie really enjoyed wearing her orange vest and acting official. She also enjoyed finding people hidden in the woods. When she was in training, she’d occasionally accompany me to the office and on errands. It was great fun for her.
Addie’s over five years old now, and maybe she’s getting a little too old to volunteer. She much prefers sleeping on the couch these days, although she does get excited when there’s a parade or other community event to enjoy.
Our other Irish Wolfhound though…he’s another story. Otis is almost two years old, and he adores people. He’s very social. He’s not as good as Addie at finding people lost in the woods, but he is exceptionally good at giving hugs and gazing into our eyes. We recently learned of a community service program that would be ideal for him. It’s called the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) program, and I hear that our local library might have a READ program. There’s some training required, but we’re confident that he will breeze through it. READ dogs encourage literacy by sitting calmly and listening to a child read.
It sounds like a terrific program to us, and we’re planning to enroll Otis for his training in the spring. First, I have to find the community branch for our area.