By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
The first ever "Doggie Day" at Drake Public Library in Centerville Saturday from 12:30-2 p.m. was a tremendous success.
"I'm just so excited because it just turned out to be such a good group of kids," Drake Public Library Children's Librarian JeNel Barth said. She called the turnout "wonderful."
More than 25 children and adults, not to mention five dogs, packed the downstairs children's library area. First, the owners introduced themselves, their pet, had them do some tricks like high five, sit and crawl, then split up into smaller groups where some of the children read to the dog a book.
Two of the books on hand were "Give a Dog a Donut" and "Walter the Farting Dog."
The idea to get children to read to a dog is a collaboration between Barth and Jamie Livingston, library director. Barth said children less enthusiastic about reading might change their minds if they can read to a non-judgmental pet.
"They're not correcting their words," Barth said. "They're just sitting there listening to them read and enjoying."
Taylor Brauman, of Centerville, brought her black Standard Poodle named "Cash," Sharon West, of Unionville, co-owner with Jan Christopher, of Centerville brought "Faith4Trent," a Newfoundland Landseer and a certified therapy dog at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Drake Public Library Director Jamie Livingston, of Unionville, Mo. brought "Sara," a Beagle owned by her husband Jeff and the Livingston's daughter, Jill, had a pug owned by the family named "Camie." A fifth dog was present, an English Bulldog named "Angus" owned by Tina Hollon, of Milan, Mo.
Barth said the want to make read to a dog something they do at the library on a regular basis.
As the day progressed, Barth handed out Scooby Snacks for the children and doggie treats for the dogs.