And now she's going to be going into a school as a reading dog which I'm very excited about and hope she will enjoy, which I think she will as she loves children. There's quite a few charities that provide dogs to help children read in schools and I think it's a very good idea. When I told friends about it one of them said they hated reading aloud at school and would have done anything to avoid it.
'But I'd have loved to have read to a dog...'
I would have done too. In preparation for next week's first visit I now have a special mat for her to sit on with letters on it - so she'll get used to knowing why we're at the school and I have been practising reading to my dogs on it. (It's only Traffy who's going but my other goldie, Bella, likes sitting on the mat too.) They react to being read to differently but both are happy to sit on the mat and have a cuddle. Traffy watches my face all the time I'm reading but Bella looks at each of the pictures as I point at them. Tray's also now got a special book with lots of photos and text about the things she likes to do to take with her.
We're going in with our area reading advisor and I think there's going to be some group activity as well as individual reading. I'm a tiny bit worried that they'll want long sessions and over-tire her - although so far when we've visited places if she's had enough she goes to the door and gives me a pointed look to tell me it's time to go. I'm only planning to visit once a month at first.
I think lots of schools would like visits. This morning a teacher friend told me how they'd really like a therapy dog in their school for a boy who's having huge problems making friends and very poor social skills.
'A therapy dog could help...' she said wistfully.
Maybe. I think probably. In my opinion dogs usually do help.
Anyway, will let you know how it goes. I'd love to hear if you've had any experience with therapy or reading dogs.
Ruth writes both as Ruth Symes and Megan Rix.
Megan Rix's is www.meganrix.com
and her dog Bella tweets at puppy girl_bella.
Megan's latest book 'The Victory Dogs' is published by
Puffin on 4 April. It's set during the Blitz and is about two
puppies born on the London Underground.