When children read to him, Danny does not criticise or correct their pronunciation. He just nods and pricks up an ear, although sometimes he closes his eyes and appears not to be listening.The picture at the link is adorable, and the caption slays me: "Some children show the dog the pictures as they read." And this: "When Danny goes to sleep I tell the children that he's dreaming about their story." OMG. DEAD OF CUTE.
Danny is a greyhound and a novel way of encouraging pupils at Oakhill primary school in Tamworth, Staffordshire, to read aloud. A "listening dog", he is part of a scheme that originated in the US called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (Read).
"It helps with their self-esteem in reading out loud because he is non-judgmental," says the dog's owner, Tony Nevett, who has a degree in animal-assisted therapy. "He doesn't judge them and he doesn't laugh at them."
Dudley and I have participated in a local READ program, and every time one of the kids shows the dogs pictures, it takes the entire strength of my will to hold together my molecular structure and not melt into a giant puddle.
[H/T to Shakers Katie and JulyBirthday.]