WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 109 of 211

Kids, Dogs, and Books the story' and after that Charlie settled back to read—he stopped rushing and trying to perform." The official use of the term Therapy Dog is attributed to Elaine Smith, an American registered nurse who, when working in England, noticed how well her patients responded whenever a visiting chaplain came into the hospital with his Golden Retriever. In 1976, back in this country, she started an organization called Therapy Dogs International (TDI). TDI, whose motto is Paws Awhile for Love, confirms that "holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression." Brittany, the library program co-coordinator, sometimes invites our volunteer teams into Wellesley's Elementary Schools to give demonstrations in their children's libraries. One Friday Katie Bear, Sherri, Luna, and I spent several hours together sitting on the floor of the Bates School Library, as class after class of first graders paraded in and swarmed around us and our dogs. For each class, Liz Rey, the school librarian, asked for silence and then introduced Brittany who told them a lit- tle bit about her Read to a Dog program. She then proceeded to read Harry the Dirty Dog out loud, telling the children that this was one of her favorite books. One little blond girl named Catherine, who hadn't brushed her hair that morning but had held it at bay with a dozen multicolored barrettes, just couldn't stay still. She kept jumping up and down and interrupting. Then she crawled over several children to get to Luna and curled up beside her. First she patted her ears, then slipped her arms around Luna's wide Labrador retriever (CONTINUED ON PA GE 112) 108 WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012

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