A few weeks ago at the Staples store in Glassboro, I needed help and found the friendliest face to get to what I was looking for. We started talking - what a funny thing for Photoschmoozer to do!! Quickly Mary Chris - or MC as fellow employees call her, and I became fast friends. How "Unusual" for me - not!! We talked about what I do MC said she had a perfect person/photo op for me. I needed to meet Sophie! OK I was game. Who was Sophie? Well, turns out she is a border collie/black lab - a pet therapy companion that MC has been in training with through PAWS for People. In this particular program, MC and Sophie go to libraries and children get in line with their favorite books to read to Sophie. Yesterday, I was in Staples again and MC said they were going to be at the Gloucester County library for reading that very night. Why not said Photoschmoozer and right after dinner, I headed out the door. What a treat I discovered!!
The mission of PAWS for People is "to lovingly provide elders, children and folks with disabilities individualized, therapeutic visits with a gentle affectionate pet. Now look at this picture and lets talk about affection. Some of the children are a tad hesitant because Sophie is big for their small size but many, like this little girl, have come for many sessions and are totally in love with Sophie. (http://www.pawsforpeople.org/ or email PAWSforPeople@comcast.net )
Here is a brother and sister duo - found out today that they are students at Mullica Hill Friends school (I met their parents at lunchtime at the Bus Stop Music Cafe in Pitman- totally by accident!!) They come to the library all of the time and I do believe that Sophie has come to recognize and welcome them!! PAWS is an all volunteer non-profit organization and is always interested in talking with potential volunteers (302) 351-5622.
Sometimes Sophie doesn't have to listen to a story but thrives on the attention. Sometimes the attention can come from a 'child' of any age - see how quickly these two have come to appreciate one another. It's definitely a win-win!!
By the end of the evening, Sophie is definitely ready for some of her own quiet time. Tonight the program had 19 children come to read to the 4 dogs - Sophie has friends see. So Sophie's program is called PAWS for Reading and is basically geared to children 3-11 to improve their reading and communication skills.
Sophie and Photoschmoozer has a private conversation last night and she has agreed to find a Saturday in the summer to come and meet her favorite friends - children - at the Uptown Pitman Farm Market. See you there!!