TAIL WAGGIN TUTORS

Tail Waggin Tutors is a children’s reading program through TDI (Therapy Dog International). It is the therapy organization I selected for Harley “specifically” because of this program.

The objective of this reading program is to provide a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere which allows students to practice the skill of reading.

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So many children have difficulty reading aloud. They’re self-conscious and often extremely nervous about being judged from fellow classmates.

But with a friendly face like this around…

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The child relaxes and focuses on reading.

HOW DOES THIS WORK? –

We were trained, tested, evaluated and certified by TDI. – When a request for a tail waggin tutor in our area comes along – we answer the call. #literally 

This particular school offers a summer reading program on Friday’s. So when Eileen made the request, Harley and eight other TDI trained pups came running…

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The dogs know and understand when they wear their bandana’s they’re “working” so there’s no romping and socializing. We each take a corner in the room and anxiously wait for grades 2nd through 6th to come and read to the dogs…

Harley’s convertible bed is only used for the reading program. When he sees his bed, he knows what his job will be – to sit still and listen to the children.

He also knows if he sits still and listens intently, he gets ice cream on the way home…

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He’s such a great listener!

ONE MORE THING –

Jaxson had his first “official” day as a Church Greeter with Doodle Dad and the Youth Ushers…

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He did an outstanding job!

We also met a Groovy Goldendoodles reader who attends our church #whoknew

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This is just a little taste of our weekend, how was yours?

I am joining the Monday Mischief blog hop brought to you by Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies. The Hop that wraps up the weekend.

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42 Comments
  • Raegan
    July 27, 2015

    What an amazing program! We have been looking into the TDI and hope to have Rae do it. The reading program sounds amazing and Harley looks like a great listener! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      He’s really getting the hang of it. The first couple of times I made sure he had an extra long walk before we went to the school. Now he seems to understand what the bandana and the car bed means! That and the ice cream he knows will come afterwards! You should totally look into it – can’t wait to hear about Rae’s experiences.

  • Emma
    July 27, 2015

    Isn’t it fun to meet readers you don’t know about? People will come up to us and say something about something we did and Mom will say how do you know that and they say they are fans of mine. It is so fun!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      It’s the coolest thing EVER! I am always so amazed and humble when it happens. It’s definitely a great experience!

  • DashLilly
    July 27, 2015

    Bravo Harley! Your Doodle cousins from the west are super proud of you! Not so sure either Dash or Lilly could be as good a listener as you are. I am so glad the children remember to show you the pictures in the book too!! And Jax you got to be a greeter at church!! WOW!! Nice work representing Doodles!! hooray

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Hey Deirdre – Since you’ve got the West Coast under control, we’re trying to represent the East Coast. #heynow

  • The Daily Pip
    July 27, 2015

    That program sounds so amazing. I’m big believer in animal assisted therapy – whether it is help with reading, visiting senior centers, hospitals, etc. It’s all good!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Me too! I want to start looking for veteran / warrior programs in this area. I think that would be a wonderful place for Harley to hang out.

  • Dolly the Doxie
    July 27, 2015

    The reading program has to be one of the best ideas I have ever heard of. It must benefit the children in so many ways besides reading skills, like confidence and learning to trust dogs and know how to behave with them. Good job! Love Dolly

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Your correct Dolly – I think everyone (including the pet parents) walk away gaining something wonderful tailor made just for them.

  • slimdoggy
    July 27, 2015

    Love that reading program – such a great idea. Good job Jax…bet you made mom proud.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Thanks Slim.

  • Elaine
    July 27, 2015

    What a fantastic program and from what I’ve read it really has a positive effect on the children’s reading progress, comprehension and confidence. You and Harley must love being involved with this program and helping these kids. Just awesome! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Elaine, it makes me smile all day long. Before the school year ended we were asked to attend a High School for the morning to surprise the students while taking their annual standardized tests. They were so happy – I am proud to be a part of this organization.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    July 27, 2015

    Now that’s a cool program
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Yes it really is!

  • Monika & Sam
    July 27, 2015

    As the other half of a pet therapy team, my hat’s off to you for participating in the reading program. Big kudos and well done! Sam goes bezerk when I pull his bandana down but when we get out of the parking lot at the hospital, he turns into a completely different dog…i.e. well behaved and calm! Who’d have thunk it? 🙂

    I think Jaxson will be a fine greeter. He’s already got the good looks down pat.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      I really enjoy going along with Harley. I feel good while I’m there. I like sharing him with others. Poor Sam, perhaps he’s getting it out of his system before he gets to the parking lot. It is my goal to have Jax certified, but not for at least two years. He’s got oodles of puppy-ness still in him so I’ve got to wait for that to dissipate just a little bit.

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    July 27, 2015

    Harley, you do good work! I love his bed btw. Are you planning to train Jax to do it too?
    Totally random question but I had this problem earlier this year. If Harley got injured while doing therapy work (like a work accident lol), does your organization’s insurance cover it? Or do you pay out of pocket?

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Therapy work seems to be the perfect match for Harley. Whether he’s with the reading program or sitting with Senior Citizens – he seems to understand exactly what’s needed of him. Not sure about other therapy programs, but with TDI – Harley is insured through them whenever he’s at work (providing I’m following the rules).

  • jan
    July 27, 2015

    I am always amazed at how well children read when they are reading to dogs. They know the dogs are not judging them and it seems to clear their minds of distractions.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      I know what you mean Jan – it’s got to be a lot more fun then when I was a little girl and I read to my Barbie dolls.

  • Chelsea Price
    July 27, 2015

    Aww, I LOVE this program! I would love to try something like this at my library. Harley looks like he was made for this job 😉

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Chelsea – you should go for it. The kids really connect to the dogs. Harley took to this program like a doodle to water. He’s very comfy in his car – he loves the attention!

  • De Hufford
    July 27, 2015

    What a great program!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Yes it certainly is – even I get a kick out of hearing the kids read, watching their eyes light up when they’re around Harley. It’s a lot of fun.

  • Jackie Bouchard
    July 27, 2015

    Books AND dogs together?! How pawesome! Two of my favorite thngs! (Now… if you could just work some ice ceam in to that as well….)

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 27, 2015

      Another thing we’ve got in common Jackie!

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    July 28, 2015

    I do therapy work too and it is so darn rewarding. Thanks for this post and for what you do with the children. Jax your pretty handsome!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      I know what you mean Joann – I have such a great time when I go. It’s the best feeling…

  • JeanneP of bichonpawz
    July 28, 2015

    What an amazing program! TDI is a great program and it looks like Harley definitely got the hang of it! If you don’t mind my asking…pls. let me know who did your logo and the drawing on the right where it says “subscribe”…my email is jeanne dot pursell at gmail dot com

    Thanks so much!!
    Jeanne

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      Thanks Jeanne. I just sent you an email with the information you requested.

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    July 28, 2015

    the healing power of dogs… kids know… good work Cathy!

    BTW Cole would not be able to relax enough around kids to do this.
    leeAnna

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      I believe Harley was meant to do this LeeAnna, he’s a natural with others – kids included. We will wait for another two years with Jax. He’s too young right now.

  • Pamela
    July 28, 2015

    How awesome that Harley is helping kids read! Loved the video (and the Stevie Wonder music).

    It’s also so important for young kids to get exposed to dogs at an early age.

    I briefly chatted with a young woman last week who admired Honey but was obviously very frightened of dogs. When Honey made a sudden motion to scratch at a fly, the girl nearly jumped out of her skin.

    I felt so sad to think that she obviously found dogs interesting but never had positive interactions with them to let her know they could be non-threatening.

    Children in the reading program (or kids who meet Harley and Jax at your church), are really lucky to have positive interactions with sweet dogs. It will make their lives much better in the future, even if they never have a dog of their own.

    Oh, and how cool that you got to meet one of your fans at church. Isn’t that fun?

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      You’re so right Pamela – while we were at the school, many of the children were hesitant to approach. They hadn’t had a close encounter with a dog and were apprehensive about touching Harley. By the end of their time with us, they were laying on his car bed with him. I love being able to share them both – Jax was a true hit at church too!

  • Dixie
    July 28, 2015

    Harley, you are a great ambassador and friend. We appreciate the help and confidence our little readers get from your listening.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      Thanks Dixie!

  • nichole
    July 28, 2015

    Such a wonderful program… I want to get Penny into doing something like this…

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 28, 2015

      It is a great program – I’m waiting until after Jaxson’s 2nd birthday before I start training for his certification.

  • Jan K
    July 28, 2015

    I just love this reading programs, and I think it’s so wonderful that you and Harley help out with this. Reading was so important to me when I was a child. I was good at it, and didn’t have any trouble but because I loved it so much, I know just how important it is for every child to have the opportunity to read well. I can imagine how much more wonderful it would have been to be able to read to dogs!

    Church greeters….now that is fun and important too! And what fun to meet a reader! What a great weekend you had (we just had a quiet one at home).

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 29, 2015

      My fondest memories of my childhood are often connected to a book. To this day, I immerse myself in books. I get lost and love how the words come alive in my head. Watching and listening to the children with Harley has the same effect. Can’t wait to get back to that school so this little girl and I can finish reading a story about a lost dog. We ran out of time, and the teacher said she could come back to me first thing. It really was an interesting book, and she reads beautifully. Yes, Jax did a great job at church, he was a hit with the congregation!

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