Thursday, April 19, 2012

Change of Careers for Olympic Guide Dog

Carole and yellow Lab Olympic with audience of children

Carole Aubrey, now a member of the Rogue Valley (Oregon) Kennel Club, and adopter of “career change” male yellow Labrador retriever, “Olympic”, recently updated GDB about her dog’s new job: “Olympic now has his therapy dog certificate through Therapy Dogs Incorporated, and he proudly wears a little red heart on his collar when he does his very important work in the community: On Mondays Olympic (we call him “Oly” for short) goes to the Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon, and second graders read to him --- each child for twenty minutes --- three children over a one-hour time period. Then every Tuesday Oly goes to the Josephine County library (also in Grant’s Pass) to participate in the K9 Reading Buddy Program --- children of all ages read to him.” (For people who may not be familiar with these reading programs, the idea behind them is that many children can learn to read aloud better when they read to an always attentive, never critical, furry canine listener --- as opposed to reading to teachers, or to classmates who may seem less interested and less tolerant of a reader’s performance than the dog is.)

Per Carol, “Other days Oly goes to schools, rest homes, and assisted living centers around our town to educate the public, produce smiles, and participate in programs that teach people about dogs, their work, and all the goodness that they can share. He is so well suited for this new job! He loves it --- and it is a giant source of enjoyment for me as you might expect! I just love him every day! “

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