Therapy dogs take the pressure off new readers

May 27, 2022
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Five-year-old Rose Trott of Mansfield shares a book with Lindy the therapy dog at the Mansfield Public Library.

By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

Lindy the golden retriever stretched out on her back, tongue lolling out the side of her mouth and her eyes rolled back. Sitting next to her, 8-year-old Luke Trott of Mansfield multitasked, reading aloud from Dr Seuss while rubbing Lindy’s tummy.

It was hard to tell who enjoyed the new program at the Mansfield Public Library more, the kids reading aloud or the therapy dogs getting so much attention.

On Saturday morning, Lindy and her owner Lisa Richards and Rainbow and her owner Melissa Delarosa set up shop in the community room at the library while eight youngsters lined up to read, pet and hug on the 2-year-old therapy dogs.

“Melissa reached out to me and asked if it was something that we did,” said Lori Eddy, community engagement librarian. “We had planned to, but then COVID happened.”

The library plans to continue the free program when it reopens after being renovated, Eddy said.

“Reading to a pet that is going to love you no matter what takes the pressure off kids that might stumble or have trouble pronouncing words,” Eddy said.

Luke’s little sister, 5-year-old Rose Trott, was a little more cautious around the two affectionate dogs. She found her book and showed them the pictures and worked up to belly rubs.

“I like to take my time to get to know them,” Rose said. “I make friends easily. I have two new friends.”

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Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.

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