"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child."
~ Mary Ellen Chase
All-Around READing Dogs
Maine ~ "Timber," "Rissa," & "Jill"  

This Yellow Labrador raids a ferry to Swan's Island, Maine.

Jill rides a ferry on her way to
Swan's Island for special R.E.A.D. programs.

Jill is a Yelow Lab and, like Timber and Rissa, is a real sweetheart. Placed in two other homes that didn't work out, she came to join Pam's girls at age 5. She quickly earned her Canine Good Citizen award and became registered as a therapy dog, R.E.A.D. team member, and Dog Scout. She often accompanied Pam to her volunteer activities, including visiting the retirement home Rissa used to go to, walking in the Bark for Life, and going to the Bangor Children's Museum to speak on READer dogs with a book author.

Yellow Lab volunteering with Raising Readers.

Jill has also been a special guest at a Boy Scout meeting to help them learn safety around dogs and attended a college class at College of the Atlantic to lecture with Pam on READer dogs and Raising Readers.

Yellow Lab therapy dog with her youngest reader.

Jill with a very young reader.

Early in her career, Jill proved gentle enough for the youngest reader. This book, If I Built a Car, is by their favorite Maine author, Chris Van Dusen.

As if that wasn't enough to keep these girls out of trouble, they are also active in their local Dog Scout troup. They've been involved in various community activities promoting good dogs with community service such as visiting special education and special needs classes, educating children on avoiding dog bites, teaching people how to introduce a dog and a new baby, and participating in local clean-up days. Keep up with Timber and Rissa's actifvities by reading DawgDayz, Pam's blog.

Chocolate, Black, and Yellow Labrador Retrievers.

All three girls
Rissa~Timber~Jill !

Pam says it's interesting to see how people react when they see all three Labs together. In this photo, they are all sporting the ribbons they earned for passing the Canine Good Citizen test.

Timber, May 18, 2000 - December 12, 2012, joined several other READ pals across the Rainbow Bridge. She was a wonderful therapy dog for many years to old and young alike.
On March 14, 2014, at age 15-1/2, sweet Rissa also crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She had a full, fun life, and was an amazing therapy dog. Perhaps she's with her pal, Timber, and watching over Pam's newest Labs: Jill, Lily, and Emmette.
On November 16, 2016, 20 days after her 14th birthday, Jill joined her READ family across the Rainbow Bridge. She was a great READer dog for 9 years.


Books about Labrador Retrievers include:
The Adventures of Fudgie the Chocolate Labrador, by Roseanne Fleischman.
Panther: And Other Stories of Great Hunting Retrievers, by Art DeLaurier (editor).
Raising Riley: A Kid's First Lab Puppy, by Doug Truax.

Below are a few of the many books by Maine author Chris Van Dusen:

If I Built a Car
If I Built a House
The Circus Ship

Timber and Rissa are Labrador Retrievers. Based on registered ownership, the “Lab” or "Labby" is the most popular breed in the world. They are also the most popular breed for assistance work in many countries, including the United States, and are widely used for police work. Certainly a handful if untrained, Labs are typically very food- and fun-oriented. They also respond well to praise and positive attention, which makes them very trainable.

Both Timber and Rissa are fine examples of their breed, having excelled in the breed ring, obedience competition, and hunting trials. Both also had 3 litters of handsome puppies before retiring from their professional careers and being adopted by Pam.

Black Labrador, Reader Dog, with a favorite student.

Timber is a Black Labrador. Here she shares
time with one of her favorite readers.

In her second career of pet therapy, registered with Therapy Dogs Inc., (now Alliance of Therapy Dogs) and as a R.E.A.D.® team member, Timber is Pam's one-to-one reader dog. She went to Tremont Consolidated School every week from 2007 to 2012 and was very mellow with the youngsters, often lying there with her paws crossed, "listening."

Black Lab works as part of the Idita Read-a-Route program.

Timber wore a red scarf as part of
the Idita Read-a-Route Red Team.

Now semi-retired, Timber still makes special appearances and occasional reading dates with the kids. One semester, the school created an Idita Read-a-Route program. The students competed individually but also in teams. There were 4 teams, each one had 2 dogs as mascots and Timber was on the Red Team. The readers earned one mile for each minute read.

Chocolate Lab, AAA/T, Reader Dog

Rissa is a Chocolate Labrador.
Green is the buzz word for St. Patrick's Day
and for the Green Team.
Green is good, and so is Rissa.

Like Timber, Rissa is registered with TDInc and is a R.E.A.D. team member. Also now semi-retired, she had been a group reading dog at the Tremont school. She not only tolerated but was happiest when surrounded by youngsters. Seeing her interact with the kids makes one think she was raised with children, but she wasn't. Unlike Timber, if the kids want kisses, Rissa is eager to oblige.

Chocolate Lab, 14 years old, still a therapy dog.

At 14, Rissa still has a big smile
for everyone.

Rissa continues to make special appearances and pet therapy visits. She participated in the Idita Read-a-Route 2012 and plans on being with Santa to hand out books and encourage reading in December.

In addition to the school and library visits, they provide pet therapy at a local hospital and a retirement village two or three times a month. At the retirement village, they go to the assisted living floor and the Alzheimer's unit, as well as frequently visiting the exercise group that's in session at the same time as their visits.

Pam, along with Timber and Rissa, received the Therapy Dogs Incorporated 2009 Volunteer of the Year award. Click here to have a look at the photo and article.This article was printed in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue (Volume 5, Issue 1) of Therapy Dogs Incorporated Newsmagazine.

At 13, Jill happily went to
one more READ visit.