A retired racing greyhound who now works as an emotional therapy dog has been listening to kids read to him as part of the Paws To Read program at a local library in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. This year, the 10-year-old dog showed up again for story time at the Ramsey County library — and nobody showed up to read to him.
Meet the adorable therapy dog, Sting!
Sting’s owner, John Muellner, sent out a Facebook post earlier today inviting kids to come by to keep a rather forlorn-looking Sting company for the evening.
“Unfortunately nobody signed up to read to Sting at the White Bear Lake library tonight. If you know of a 4 to 8yr old who would like to read to a dog. Please contact the White Bear Lake library by phone or their website about the Paws to Read program. Sting will be there Feb 21st 6:30 – 7:30.”
To John’s surprise, his post has been shared more than 100,000 times and within hours of Sting’s lonely visit to the library, his reading schedule was full until April next year.
The boy is now sold-out until 2019!
“Our phone has been ringing off the hook,” said the library’s children’s librarian, Ann Wahlstrom.. “It’s the makings of an adorable children’s book.”
The goal of the program is to improve literacy all throughout the metro area by giving kids a safe, non-threatening place to read aloud to therapy animal partners.
“It’s meant to be a treat for kids to get to come to the library and read to a dog,” Wahlstrom said. “And the dog is going to sit there and give them nothing but positive feedback. The program is meant to be a wonderful time for a child to work on literacy. And so many studies show that it increases reading fluency, it increases vocabulary and it increases kids’ desire to read — so it’s win-win for everybody.”
Despite the sad looking face of the dog in Muellner’s Facebook post, the owner assured everyone that Sting is a happy boy.
“They do tend to look a little dour anyway,” he said. “Why the long face, right?”
“He is the best companion,” Muellner added. “He just wants to be wherever I am.”
Way to go, Sting!
“For the love of dog, will someone please read to Sting?”
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