Once a week, Jewel, the miniature dachshund literacy dog, and her owner visit a second grade girl in one of Denver’s housing projects. They work with The Bridge Project, an after school program run by the University of Denver. They hope to assist kids with basic math, language and reading skills, and encourage them to appreciate education and finish high school. They would even like them to go beyond that, to trade school or college.
Jewel’s owner writes:
Jewel became a literacy dog after obtaining her therapy dog registration in February, 2007. Dogs that become therapy dogs must pass temperament testing and pass a test of basic obedience. Jewel was registered as a Delta Society therapy dog through the local affiliate of the organization, Denver Pet Partners. The first step to become a registered therapy animal team is for the owner/handler to attend a weekend workshop without their pet. Then a couple of weeks later the dog, or other animal, goes through the evaluation. Please visit the DPP Web site that I linked above. It provides contact information and dates of upcoming workshops and evaluations. I chose to put Jewel into a literacy program because it is more suited to her temperament to work with one child than in a group setting or some of the other therapy animal opportunities.