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Kids Read to Mooki the Dog

Children can read to dogs the first Saturday of the month at the Corte Madera Library

The program at the Corte Madera Library could also be called, Hug a DogWhile Mooki, the 6 year old Goldendoodle, was waiting for the children to show up to read to him, he was hugged, petted, given treats and talked to by many children already at the library.

Children were heard saying, “He has fluffy ears. I put a tutu on my dog.  He’s lifting his leg! His foot looks like a real foot!” And one child was braiding his ear.  Mooki receives lots of love from kids during his visits to the Read to a Dog program. 

Mooki and his human, Joan, have been through the Special Human-Animal Relationships Program at the Marin Humane Society.  Through SHARE, Mooki has been to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, libraries, special day classes and children’s centers. 

On this particular Saturday, siblings, Pierre, 8 and Alexandra, 5, signed up to read to Mooki at the library.  Pierre read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  As he read to Mooki, Pierre smiled and often made eye contact with him. He made sure to hold the book so Mooki could see the pictures.  Then Pierre read 10 Minutes til Bedtime, as Mooki seemed to know to put his head down for this bedtime story. 

It was plain to see Pierre loves dogs and enjoyed reading to Mooki.  He told me he has read to dogs before.  

When I asked him what it was like to read to a dog he said, “It’s just kinda special. I get to meet a new dog and I always like that.”  I told Pierre that I saw Mooki looking at the book as he read and Pierre added, “Yes, and he scratched at the pages too.”

Alexandra, 5, chose Arthur’s Baby to read to Mooki.  Her tiny voice was barely audible as she sat next to this sweet canine. Her mom sat on one side to help her with some words and Mooki sat lovingly nearby.  Alexandra was following in the footsteps of her older brother and experiencing the fun and joy of reading aloud to a listening dog.  

Animals and children are such a natural pairing. They both live in the moment and love acknowledging each other with unconditional hugs and kisses.  

On this stormy Saturday afternoon, a very special bond was formed between all the children that connected with the very special — Mooki the Dog! 

Until next Wednesday, remember, it’s “all for the love of kids…”

In joy, Marilyn

Nina June 09, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Dear Marilyn, I am Pierre and Alexandra's mother. We met at the library last Saturday. The article is wonderful and the children are over the moon! Thank you!
Marilyn LoRusso June 09, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Nina, Thank you so much for your kind words...and I loved meeting your adorable children! I am so glad they enjoyed being featured in my column!
Marilyn LoRusso June 10, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Mooki the Dog and Joan wanted me to post this: "It was a pleasure meeting you too last weekend. Thank you for sending the link to your wonderful article. Mooki and I so enjoy being a member of the SHARE program and our reading days with kids. And last Saturday was no exception. All the children were so sweet and enthusiastic that day. You got some great still shots of the kids interacting with Mooki and of course the video of Pierre reading to him as well. Along with family and friends, I plan to forward your article to Darlene (our SHARE trainer at Marin Humane Society) who will love seeing the fruits of her labor in print and on video! Warmest Regards, Joan and Mooki The Goldendoodle"

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