Lonely Shelter Dogs Are Comforted By Children Who Read Them Bedtime Stories

It’s already disheartening enough that a thing like kill animal shelters exists. But realizing that many shelter pups are lonely and scared, often living in tiny prisons for sometimes months at a time, is haunting, writes moneysavingbasics.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. One program in Missouri, Shelter Buddies, tackles not just one but two common problems: 1) lonely shelter dogs without the proper social interaction, and 2) children with reading setbacks who need extra practice. The idea behind Shelter Buddies is to have children boost their literacy skills by reading to a shelter dog. Through the process, children get to practice reading out loud in a smooth, confident voice and take their time pronouncing each word they come across. The pups simply are there to listen without judgment.

As a result of reading out loud, the participating children not only get to associate a positive interaction with reading but can gain confidence in their current literacy skills. The significant differences between reading to a human versus reading to a dog make the latter happen. Dogs tend to be more patient, better listeners, and quite forgiving of our mistakes, making them the perfect companions for kids improving their reading and pronunciation.

That said, this Missouri program is genius. I can see it being incredibly useful for children with learning disabilities or who aren’t fans of reading. After all, they say that when children aren’t focused or interested in what they’re learning, it’s because they don’t like how it’s being taught; it isn’t relevant to them. But, integrating something children may deem “hard” or “boring” (reading) with something “adorable” and “fun” (animals) can make all the difference.


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