In June 2011, Lyn and her three R.E.A.D.® partners completed their first day of “Pawed Pages,” a 6-week program she organized for Mitchellville Public Library and, the following week, at Colfax Library. Although active with animals her whole life and in pet therapy visits for some time, the concept of R.E.A.D. was new to her. Once Pet Partner training was available, they completed the evaluations and became registered Delta Society Pet Partners.® and then an official R.E.A.D. team. They are the first animal therapy team in her area and Lyn is very excited to talk to people, answer questions, and spread the word about Reading Education Assistance Dogs … and cats!
Ready for the next reader,
Toby is eager to get started.
Toby, her Shetland Sheepdog, had been working in the same elementary school with one student for a year, even before his official therapy registration. He is quite well known in the hallways there, by teachers and children alike. As Lyn says, “It always seems to go when you have a working dog, everyone knows Toby, and I'm just the gal at the other end of the leash. That's fine with me--he's the one doing all the work!”
Toby is patient and attentive
to young and old alike.
Toby has a lovely, calm spirit, which is perfect whether he listens to students with learning disabilities read or joins preschool children during story hour at the library. Typical of a companionable Sheltie’s nature to obey willingly and with few lessons needed, Toby is well behaved on and off lead. Shelties have lots of energy, and Toby is no exception. A tireless worker, he also visits a nursing and rehabilitation center monthly, bringing an afternoon’s happiness to the residents; helps patients with physical and recreational therapy in the Des Moines Veterans Administration Hospital; and visits the hospice wing of Skiff Hospital. In his spare time, Toby walked in several parades and even performed in Newton Theatre’s production of Annie.
|In January 2016, at the age of 10 and after several years of therapy service, Toby has retired. His buddies Tinker and Teddy have also resigned from their library duties; however, young Trooper is now learning more about proper library behavior and Lyn plans to let him follow in his family's pawprints as a R.E.A.D. volunteer.