Reilly is an Irish Setter. Bred in Ireland for hunters who needed a fast-working, keen-nosed dog large enough to be seen from a distance, these beautiful dogs were originally mostly white with some red. Before the advent of firearms, these setters were used to “set” game, crouching low near the birds so hunters could walk up and cast a net over bird and dog. Later, they adapted into a gun dog that pointed, flushed, and hunted in an upright position. Over the years, the solid red or rich mahogany color became popular, especially in America where the Irish Setter was principally a show dog and pet rather than a hunting dog.
Bred to be hunting dogs, Irish Setters have a high level of energy. They approach everything in life with a good-natured attitude, ever-wagging tail, and rollicking friendliness. This is a sociable dog, eager to please and happiest living with its family. Like most family members, they can be very charismatic and then just as mischievous.
Artists have called the Irish Setter
the most beautiful of all dogs.
Reilly has earned his Canine Good Citizen award and is a Delta Society Pet Partner. He visits the library every Monday evening, settling down in his own special corner of the library on his own special blanket. Children from pre-kindergarten to grade 3 read to him, choosing from a basket of books nearby or bringing one from home. Reilly has listened to children who could read just one or two words in the beginning but in a short time could read the whole book to him and soon even chapter books. After a child has read five books to Reilly, he or she can choose a book from the treasure chest. The librarian writes a little saying in the book and Reilly pawtographs it, making it a very special keepsake.
One of his favorite friends was having difficulty in math and decided maybe Reilly could help him just like he did with reading. The boy brought some simple math problems and asked Reilly to point to the correct answer.
Reilly loves special attention and
posing for pictures with children.
Reilly has a mailbox in the library where he receives letters, cards, and drawings. And yes, he answers them all. Children react to him on a personal level as if he were one of them because he so nonjudgmental. He and his owner, Ann, make a point of showing that sometimes Reilly makes mistakes, and that is okay. During his reading sessions, he sometimes shows off a few of his tricks. The one children like best is where he reads several words; being an Irish Setter, he can be very silly at times and occasionally will miss a word.