Our relationship with our furry best friends has existed for eons. It is one that is filled with love, trust, and friendship, and we will eternally be grateful to have found such loyal companions on this planet. But if we are going to be honest about it, our relationship was based on utility.
We “scratched each other’s back,” as the old saying goes. They helped us with our chores and guarded our belongings in exchange for us providing food and shelter for them. Thousands of years later, the back-scratching has toned down in most cases, but it didn’t mean that our relationship with them would, too.
Over at The Humane Society of Missouri, they found a way for children and dogs to help each other out. When dogs are surrendered or rescued by a shelter, they are usually anxious, and their social skills go out the window. This isn’t always the case, but for some pups, this becomes the reason why they don’t get adopted.
The children, on the other hand, want to practice their reading, and more importantly, they want to help ease the loneliness of the shelter dogs. The institution’s Assistant Director, JoEllyn Klepacki, has been asked multiple times by children, “How can we help?”
So the shelter made the Shelter Buddies Reading Program. The program invites children between six to fifteen years old to read their favorite books in front of the shelter dogs. It helps the kids improve their reading skills, and also their confidence in reading aloud.
At the same time, the dogs who were afraid of people are slowly learning to trust humans once again. Having a buddy that they spend a lot of time with, even with a glass door between them, is enough to do the trick. Hopefully, all the work that the children and the pups put in will result in the dogs finding their forever homes.