On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Demi, the library dog

Last fall, when school started, I asked the local children's librarian if Demi could come to the library regularly so kids could practice reading to her. Then I went ahead and had her recertified as a Social/Therapy dog so she'd be official.

I don't know why it took so long - I pestered the librarian regularly. But finally, we're on the schedule. Every Monday afternoon now Demi and I are there and kids take turns reading to her.

It didn't go exactly as I had envisioned but it was totally successful all the same. The first customer was too young to read and didn't speak English -- so I did the reading to her and Demi, in Spanish! (Thank heavens for all those classes, right?)

The second and third kids really needed to practice. Their reading skills were quite poor and they were exactly the kids I had in mind. I helped them when they stumbled and Demi patiently watched.

I gave each of the kids a MOO card with a Thank You message on the back.

Child #4 was also too young to read. She brought me another Spanish book. It was a cute book, a toddler's book on how to use the potty! There was a button on the book that made a big flushing sound!

The last two kids were preschool age but at least I could practice English with them. The idea that books are wonderful was being reinforced so I was okay with adapting the program to their needs.

After I got home I screwed two more 4x4 garden frames together. So now I have 64 square feet, 32 of which are actually planted. I can now assemble one 4x4 in about 12 minutes (I was timing myself).

And, to finish off my new spring things, I checked out three library books on how to raise chickens. I think I have someone who will build a little coop for me. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.

My drawing is slowing down. Last night I did manage to sketch this new acquisition, a one gallon size flowering quince that will live on our back deck.

I also started my new art job at Juvenile Hall. It looks like helping the teacher will mostly be mingling with the kids -- sitting down with them and starting a doodle to get them going too! Imagine, being paid to doodle!!!!!!


  1. Sounds like you and Demi were a great success! Love the Moo cards :-)

  2. Sounds like you are busy doing all kinds of wonderful things. I think the whole reading to a dog thing is a great idea! They don't have to be so worried about messing up :) Demi doesn't care just wants them to practice and get better!

  3. You've adopted the same mindset I have on volunteer work - if it's for the good of the group, it's good. One group I volunteer for is a 4-H teenager group. We backpack, canoe, etc. During training weekends I help teach skills. To prepare I develop activities that I envision to be successful. When it's show time, though, things always change. Time constraints, kids interest and skills, etc. I change on the fly and do what it takes to help the program, regardless of what I envisioned. It's both frustrating and rewarding.


Related Posts with Thumbnails