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Reading is good for dogs

Christmas is coming and maybe underneath a few Christmas trees will be a small puppy much like myself 4 years ago (how doggy time flies!) but excitable children and dogs small or large do not mix well. Children love to kiss and hug us dogs but I am afraid that these actions do not translate well in dog world where a hug is perceived as being aggressive. The fast movements and high pitched voices of little humans reminds us dogs of chasing prey and pulling of our ears or tail is not something we enjoy.

It is important that the little humans are aware of the impact of their actions and that they are taught to be cautious when playing with a dog.

This is why I love what is being done at the Humane Society in Missouri (that's in the USA which is a very long walk from Stockwell I am told). They have introduced a program called "Shelter Buddies" where children from the local school are invited in to sit and read in front of a dog's kennel. The children benefit because they get to practise their out loud reading but also get used to being in the company of a dog. My American dog friends equally get used to being with a little human which results in them more confidently approaching the front of their kennel. Dogs that are at the front of their kennel and engage with passers-by are more likely to be adopted so it's a win-win situation!

Sometimes it just takes the simplest of ideas. Well done @hsmo and something to think about for those contemplating a puppy as a Christmas gift.

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