Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scout's first reading session

Scout had his first reading session at the elementary school today with a little boy we'll call Timmy. (Timmy is a good name for a boy with a dog and it preserves his privacy.)

It had been pouring rain so I wanted to get there early to make sure Scout had time to potty and then get dried off. I also had to sign in and have my form signed. I overestimated how long all of that would take and we ended up 20 minutes early.

The waiting time in the office made Scout antsy, so by the time we met the school social worker and went to pick Timmy up he was over anxious. Scout got to go into the 2nd grade classroom to get Timmy - yeah! more kids! fun! - but Timmy was at speech, so we had to go back to the office and get him there. Then we went to the library, where there were about a gazillion kids in line waiting to go back to their classroom.

The therapy dog reading corner is right as you come into the library, and Scout was not only anxious but distracted. Timmy wanted to sit and Scout wanted to wander.

I explained to Timmy about how sometimes you can be very excited about something but also a little scared and how sometimes it takes a while to get used to a new situation. Timmy in turn told me how the other therapy dogs sit quietly and listen to stories.

I was pretty sure he was disappointed with us.

He did get to read through some books, and we had Scout pick which book to read next by putting a dog biscuit under them and reading the first book he sniffed. As we were leaving, I gave Timmy a bookmark that I'd made with Scout's head shot and the words, "Thank you for reading with me today! Love Scout".

Timmy asked if next time he could have a picture with Scout's whole body, so I think that means he's looking forward to seeing us again. Scout's trainer Kathleen said that it'll take a couple of times before Scout understands that Timmy is HIS boy and settles down to read.

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