Nesmith Library’s Therapy Dog Takes Reading to the ‘Max’

May 20, 2016

 

by Kaylee Murphy

Macs is the Nesmith Library’s new reading therapy dog.  He is a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mix, also known as a Cockapoo.  He is hypoallergenic.  Macs is a happy dog who loves listening to kids read and giving them high fives.

Blaire McCarthy is Macs’ owner.  They’ve been doing this for three months at St. Joseph Regional Catholic School in Salem.  They both love it.  McCarthy has had Macs for seven years.  Both she and Macs had to pass a test in order to do this.  They are registered through R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dog); she took an online course and prepared her and Macs to get ready for his big test.  She trained him for several months.  There were six judges who observed how Macs responded to different things such as yelling, wheelchairs, and other various distractions and disturbances.  McCarthy had to pass tests as well.  Now Macs is a certified reading dog.

There were several children who were ecstatic to meet Macs, and Macs was equally as excited to meet them.  Macs listened intently as Isaac read two books to him.  Some of the children pet Macs, high-fived him, and gave him doggy treats.  Macs sneakily stole a child’s Scooby Snack while he wasn’t looking.

There were arts and crafts set up for the children along with Scooby Snacks for them to enjoy.  Each child could make either a doggy bag or a doggy sock puppet.

Macs will be here in the summer for the Nesmith Library for their “Paws to Read” program.  Parents will be able to sign their children up for 15-minute sessions with Macs.  For more information visit www.nesmithlibrary.org