Library hosts Read to a Dog

Mark Rountree
The Leavenworth Times
Morgan Bedard reads to Angel, who is owned by Rhonda York, during the Read to a Dog activity Wednesday at the Leavenworth Public Library.

Morgan Bedard, 6, sat on the carpeted floor in the Jahn Room of the Leavenworth Public Library and read to Angel.

“I like her. She’s fluffy,” Morgan said.

Morgan and many other young children, books in hand, took part in the Read to a Dog activity Wednesday at the library.

Approximately a dozen other dogs were on hand during the event, hosted by the Leavenworth Human Animal Bond organization.

“Sometimes kids may feel intimidated reading to an adult,” said Rhonda York, director of the organization. “Sometimes they just feel more comfortable reading to a dog.”

Anderson Peck reads to Milo, who is owned by Jim Iverson.

York said the organization visits many places, including correctional facilities and senior living centers.

“The dogs bring so much joy to people,” she said. “Exposure to dogs can emotionally free people. They can bring a positive emotion into different situations.”

York said each dog is “temperament tested” before they are allowed to join the organization.

Human Animal Bond is a nonprofit service organization staffed by area volunteers and their therapy pets dedicated to providing animal assisted activities and promoting the human-animal bond, according to a website for the organization.

Naomi and Sasha Mohn visit with Buddercup, who is owned by Cindy Lasiter.

Volunteers and their therapy pets visit local hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, health care facilities, veterans’ service organizations and convalescent centers.

According to the website, research shows that visits with therapy pets encourage social interaction and may result in stress relief and incidental physiotherapy.

For more information about the Leavenworth Human Animal Bond organization, visit www.ftleavenworthhab.com

The Read to a Dog activity marked one of many events being hosted by the Leavenworth Public Library as the community slowly rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a full range of programs for children, young adults, teens, adults, everybody,” said Leavenworth Public Library Director Matt Nojonen. “And as a gathering place and a cultural and artistic center, libraries serve an important role in a community.”