A talented pooch has been nominated for an award after helping kids – to READ.
Loveable Droopy the dog has sniffed out a unique way to further schoolchildren’s skills as they find it easier to read to him than they do teachers and parents.
He’s since become a sensation and is now in the running for a Pets As Therapy (PAT) Dog of the Year after being nominated by pupils at Trumacar Primary School in Morecambe, Lancs.
His owner Julie Norris said: “The children read to Droopy and they think because they are reading so well they are putting him to sleep.
“It is nice to see children developing and growing in confidence. One of the pupils said they only ever read to Droopy.”
Headteacher Paul Slater said the clever canine has made an “incredible difference” to the children.
He said: “I was entranced by the idea of having a ‘reading dog’ in school to work with some of our more needy children.
“These children, who can find it so hard to share their thoughts and emotions with people, have been able to open up so much more with Droopy and they see him as their friend.”
A Year three pupil at Trumacar Primary School, said: “I love reading to Droopy. I remember the first book I ever read to him.
“I like it when he falls asleep half way through the story.”
Dog-lover Julie first came across the Pets as Therapy Read2Scheme whilst at a dog show Crufts last year.
Ever since she has been taking four-year-old Basset Hound Droopy into the school two days a week.
She said her beloved pet has also been a saviour to her own life.
“I suffered a spinal injury and was in hospital for quite a while,” Julie said. “Because of my injuries I couldn’t work as a teacher anymore so this scheme has allowed me to get out and about.
“I wouldn’t get out of bed some days and Droopy has helped me so much and seeing the children so happy makes it worthwhile. I wanted to start giving something back.”
Pets As Therapy is a national charity which provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own dogs and cats.
The six finalists of PAT Dog of the Year will be invited to Crufts 2016 where the winner will be announced.
The winner will receive £500 plus a crystal trophy, special rosette and certificate.