Hershey The Therapy Dog brings joy and comfort to the young, old, and all people in between. In her adventures as a certified therapy dog, she has visited nursing homes and libraries. This Italian Greyhound weighs in at just 11 pounds. Hershey was rescued by Ana's Angels Animal Rescue and then was ultimately adopted by the Wolf family in St. Johns County, Florida. As such, this dog was literally raised by Wolves but turned out to be a loving dog with such a calm disposition that is really beyond compare. Hershey the Therapy Dog recently made headlines when she was featured in Durbin Crossing Living, a monthly publication printed and distributed by the Florida Times-Union Newspaper. Here is the article that appeared in the February 2015 Issue of Durbin Crossing Living titled Dogs Help Children Learn to Read:
Dogs are great companions. On any given day in Durbin Crossing, you will see your neighbors and friends walking and playing with their dogs. It is the beginning of the New Year and many dog owners are out and about exercising with their dogs. Our dogs are also great substitutes for electric blankets on the cold winter nights. Many doctors believe that the presence and companionship of a dog can even lower blood pressure. The benefits of dog ownership and companionship are apparent and many. There is yet another power of dogs that may not be so apparent. Dogs can help teach kids to read.
At the Southeast Branch of the St. Johns County Library located at 6670 U.S. 1 South, St. Augustine, Florida, you will find some of the best reading companions in North Florida. Read to Rover is community based reading program open to beginning readers. The magic fills the room with children eager to read and therapy dogs eager to listen. As you know, reading takes practice. The therapy dogs are quite patient, friendly, and ready for the next story with a smile and wagging tail. If a child struggles with a reading passage, it is just fine with the trained therapy dog that loves each and every story whether it is read with perfection or with some mistakes along the way.
The dogs in the Read to Rover Program are all registered therapy dogs. The dog breeds / sizes range in size from an Italian Greyhound to a Great Pyrenees. Hershey, an Italian Greyhound, looks forward to her Saturday "Rover" days when she gets a nice ride in the car, a quick walk around the grounds of the library, and then a great hour of reading. It is quite a treat for Hershey as well as the children attending the Read to Rover Program. As so aptly said by photographer and writer Roger Caras, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." The staff at the St. Johns County Library - Southeast Branch - and all the volunteers and dog handlers deserve a great big thank you for providing this wonderful program for the children in the community.
The Read to Rover Program truly makes reading a positive experience for the children. For more information about Read to Rover, contact the Southeast Branch at (904) 827-6900 or visit the website at http://www.sjcpls.org