Therapy dog to visit Philippi Public Library

The Mountaineer Therapy Dogs will return to the Philippi Public Library from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Children are welcome to spend time reading to the dogs.

This unique literacy program pairs the children with the specially trained therapy dogs to act as nonjudgmental listeners for young readers.

Reading to a therapy dog can improve a child’s reading skills, boost their self-confidence and build their social skills.

“Reading to the therapy dogs help calm the children and relieves the pressure of embarrassment if they make a mistake,” said Library Director Judy Buckner Larry. “The children are excited to see the dogs and to read to them each month. If the children are too young to read, they can still participate by showing the dogs the pictures or telling the dog a story. The dogs love a good story!”

The Mountaineer Therapy Dogs include Emmett, the Bernese Mountain Dog, owned by Nicole Klee of Morgantown; toy poodle Brenda Lee, owned by Barbara Higgins; and miniature Italian greyhounds, Strawberry and Molly, both owned by Becky Conrad.

The Philippi Public Library is fortunate to be one of six West Virginia libraries the dogs and their owners visit for reading to dog programs.

“The owners of these dogs visit these libraries at their own expense so the children can read to them,” Larry said. “We hope families will take advantage of this program.”

The library will host “Dog Tales” with the Mountaineer Therapy Dogs on the second Saturday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Space is limited and registration and parental permission are required.

For more information about “Dog Tales” or other children’s literacy programs, call 304-457-3495 or stop by the library.