"If over others you would leap, then in a book you must seek."
~ Unknown author
All-Around READing Dogs
Maine ~ "Cirra"  

In the beginning of 2010, the Downeast Dog Scouts Troop presented the Island Dog Creative Writing Project to the Mount Desert Island Regional Schools and educators with help from publisher Two Dog Press, author Rebecca Goodale, and a grant from the Lynam Foundation Trust. 

Great Pyrenees, therapy dog, reading, books
Cirra and her basket of books.

In all, 124 children contributed their written tales about the artful Island Dog picture book.  The children read their stories to Cirra and the other Troop dogs at the community Island Dog Celebration and received certificates of accomplishment for their writings.

Reading certificate, Mount Desert Elementary School
Certificate of Participation

Bookmark, Great Pyrenees

Chidren love to receive bookmarks with Cirra's photo.

Great Pyrenees puppy pails, stuffed toy Pyrs

These bags with Cirra lookalike toy pups are fun for students to check out and read to at home.

Valentine's Day card Great Pyrenees
Special cards
for special kids
on special days!

Cirra thanks the children for reading with bookmarks for the children to adorn with their earned stickers, paw print pencils, and reward books upon completing their goals. 

Northeast Harbor Library, Great Pyrenees library dog>
At the library, Cirra is ready and waiting...

During the summer of 2010, Cirra began a reading program with her handler Robyn Douglas at the Northeast Harbor Library. 

Girl reading to Great Pyrenees library dog at Northeast Harbor Library, Maine
Ahhh, life is good!

They plan to continue with an afternoon library reading program each Thursday and the Mount Desert Elementary School reading program on Tuesday mornings during the school year.

Great Pyrenees, Swans's Island, Maine
Cirra is an excellent tribute to her breed
and an outstanding therapy dog.

Cirra is always ready for a new adventure and is a wonderful ambassador for the Great Pyrenees breed. Children learn about Great Pyrenees with Cirra's Breed Cards, word puzzles, and a very speical book--C is for Cirra

C is for Cirra, an alphabet book
Cirra is serious about her work
so yungsters learn that reading is important.

Cirra has a socialite personality and playful nature with a great joy and exuberance for life. She always manages to bring a smile to people's faces, which makes her an excellent therapy dog. The children love their big white fluffy Library Dog!

Stories about Great Pyrenees include:

Aloha Adventure, by Amadeus the traveling dog
Anna Finds a Home,
by Barbara C. Koldon
Barnaby & Thor,
by Sue Hegarty
Barnaby & Thor (DVD)
, acted by Barnaby & Thor, story by Sue Hegarty,
Friendship Rules, by Amadeus the traveling dog
Puppies, Puppies Everywhere!
by Cat Urbigkit
The Mystery of the Golden Pearls,
by Amadeus the traveling dog
Six Tiny Claws On Each Back Paw
, by Keith Weber

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

Cirra is a Great Pyrenees. Known as a giant breed, these handsome dogs can weigh 100 pounds or more. For hundreds of years, their keen intelligence, devotion, and excellent eyesight and scenting ability have made them invaluable to the working shepherds high on the Pyrenees mountain slopes.

Great Pyrenees
Cirra looks right at home
in the mountains of Maine

Although primarily a shepherd’s working companion, they are exceptional guardians and were adopted as the Royal Dog of France in the court of King Louis XIV.

Great Pyrenees reading therapy dog visiting library
Cirra is ready to hold court as the
Royal Dog of Blue Hill Library.

A breed with many names, sometimes shortened to Pyr, they are typically confident, gentle, and affectionate with their family, patient and tolerant in general; however, it has also been said that because of their independent nature, the Great Pyrenees may not be as easy to train as some breeds.

Great Pyrenees puppy in the snow Great Pyrenees in the snow
Meet Cirra.

Cirra was born in December 2004, and when she was only one year old she passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and then earned her AKC Rally Novice title—with a blue ribbon!

Two Great Pyrenees, Rally Novice, Blue Ribbons
Cirra and her dad with their blue ribbons.

When she was two, she completed her Therapy Dogs International training and also earned three titles with the Dog Scouts of America. Cirra is a founding member of the first Dog Scouts of America Troop in Maine. She has earned her community service, cleanup, therapy dog, and backpacking badges.

Great Pyrenees, therapy dog at library
Cirra and buddies visit
Swan Island Library.

Whether working dog or dog of French nobility, it has been said that the Great Pyrenees were considered so useful, each one was counted as equal to two men.

Great Pyrenees, demonstration with oxygen mask
Cirra helps out in an
oxygen mask demonstration

When Cirra was three, she completed the requirements for the three Versatility Titles of the Great Pyrenees Club of America:  Versatility Ambassador, Versatility Emissary, and Versatility Excellent!  Her Versatility activities included: public education, walk-a-thons, therapy dog visits, boating, hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, agility, and rally obedience.

Therapy dogs wait for children to read to them at the  Somesville Library in Mount Desert, Maine.
Cirra with two of her Dog Scout buddies.

Cirra's Dog Scout Troop friends, Bri, Rissa, and Timber helped her to learn about being a Library Dog.  Cirra also became a Reading Education Assistance Dog with her team partner, Robyn Douglas.  Since that time, children have read to Timber and Cirra each month at the Somesville Library in Mount Desert, Maine. In 2008 Cirra also began helping the readers in the kindergarten through third grades at Mount Desert Elementary School. 

Beautiful Glimmer's Spirit of Acadia, "Cirra," crossed over the Rainbow Bridge October 16, 2014, shortly before her 10th birthday. A very special girl, she made more than 1,000 therapy visits and earned dozens of awards and titles.