DEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Practicing pronunciations and reading aloud can be daunting especially in front of a large crowd, but at the Dedham Public Library, one program encourages new readers to sound out words with one cool pup as the audience.
His name is Klaus, and he's a 5-year-old Chocolate Bulldog that serves as a therapy dog alongside the nonprofit Dogs Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support (B.O.N.E.S). On select Monday afternoons at 4 p.m., Klaus and his handler visit the DPL to give children the chance to rehearse reading out loud to a certified therapy dog.
Klaus also happens to know a couple of tricks, like how to wave and give a crisp high-five.
WBZ's Chris Fama tagged along to find many were eager to read to Klaus, curling up next to the dog on the red and white carpet of the Children's Room of the library.
"I read We Want a Dog, just because that's the one my dad picked out," said one reader, "he let me pet him while I was reading to him."
According to Dog B.O.N.E.S, one of their five major components in dog training is in "Reading Partner Certification," where testing is available to teams who are interested in participating in programs similar to the one in Dedham.
Dogs from the non-profit have also provided support visits to nursing facilities, hospitals, rehab centers, schools, and other Massachusetts locations where therapy dogs can make contact with the young, the disabled, or the elderly.
Those interested in seeing Klaus at the DPL can register here.
WBZ's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports.