Books give not wisdom where none was before.
But where some is, there reading makes it more.
~ John Harington

 
All-Around READing Dogs
Canada ~ "Vicky"  

An Irish Wolfhound lying on the floor looking at a book.

Waiting for the next reader,
Vicky enjoys a good book.

Vicky and Marian started the Read to Me program at the Oshawa Public Library. They schedule four one-on-one 15-minute sessions. Each child receives a library book bag with a stuffed dog and a dog notebook and pen so that when they return to read to Vicky again, they can tell her what books they’ve read during the week. They also spend a second hour later in the evening where they sit out in the open in the children’s area and are available to anyone who wishes to read a story to Vicky.

This Irish Wolfhound looks like she's smiling while a child reads to her.

This young girl is right at home with
Vicky, the gentle giant.

After just two reading classes, the mothers of the four children who read to Vicky told Marian what a difference they had seen in their children. Vicky lies near the children, occasionally nudging the pages in the book, resting her head on their laps, or sniffing their faces. The children grin, and Marian is constantly amazed by how intuitive Vicky can be.

An Irish Wolfhound therapy dog and her handler meet children at a library.

Marian and Vicky enjoy meeting children
and helping them explore the joys of reading.

Books about Irish Wolfhounds include:

Boru: The Story of an Irish Wolfhound, by J. Allan Dunn
Dragon: Hound of Honor, by Julie Andrews Edwards
Finn the Wolfhound, by A. J. Dawson

Click on the titles above for a brief description and convenient ordering information.

 



Born in 2004, Vicky is an Irish Wolfhound and lives in Gores Landing, Ontario, Canada. Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest breed of dog, 30 to 32 inches at the shoulder. Although very large, they are not the heaviest breed; however, a Wolfhound "puppy" can weigh about 100 pounds. One of the earliest recorded references to Irish Wolfhounds is in Roman records dating to 391 A.D. Often used as royal gifts, they hunted with their masters, fought beside them in battle, guarded their castles, played with their children, and lay quietly by the fire as family friends. Today they are primarily family pets. In spite of their size, enough to frighten some people, these gentle giants typically have a soft nature and an easygoing temperament.

An Irish Wolfhound therapy dog greeting a librarian.

Vicky takes a moment to offer help to a librarian.

Vicky and her human companion, Marian, bring comfort, encouragement, and friendship to children and adults in many settings. In Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, Vicky is a Saint John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog. She had to complete 40 visits with adults before being allowed to take the child test. An additional part of the test, which she passed, allowed her to be tested for reading with children.

This Irish Wolfhound is strolling through the library looking at books.

Vicky looks like she's hunting all right,
but for books and children, not wolves!

Vicky and Marian visit a nursing home in Cobourg once a week as well as the library in Oshawa. They have also participated in special events such as parades and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

On January 29, 2012, Vicky crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. This gentle giant was a comfort to old and young alike for many years and will be missed by all who knew her.

 

 

 

     
 
 
 
 

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