The Central Coast Pet Sitter

Personalized Pet Sitting with a Special Touch!

Train Your Dog for Long Distance Trail Running in 20 Steps .. Good Read October 10, 2013


Flying Dogs … July 27, 2012

Doggone Dirty Dock Diving is hosting a dock diving event with Splash Dogs August 13 & 14 in Hollister, CA. Click here for a Newcomer’s Guide.

Click on Photo for Video


APTOS All Star Dog Run/Walk Training Program – October 23rd September 8, 2011

Fleet Feet Sports in Aptos

is holding its first ever All Dog Run/Walk Training Program!

The actual Run will be held October 23rd at

The Nisene Mark Redwood State Park.

Training starts every Sunday at 8am and every Wednesday at 7pm to build endurance for both parties.

Cost is $65, and if you would like to register for the race at the same time, the cost is $100. The event fundraises

The Morris Animal Foundation,

and a portion of the training group will be donated as well.

Sign Up Here:

All Star Dog Run/Walk Training Sign Up


Can Dogs Help Kids learn to Read? April 12, 2011

Filed under: dog training,itails,Service dogs,Therapy Dogs — centralcoastpetsitter @ 11:32 am
Tags: , ,

Therapy Dogs do so much more….

Reprint by Rebecca Delaney

A few days a week, Roo goes to the local elementary school, curls up in his spot at the back of the library and listens patiently as children read to him. “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman is his favorite, but he’s not picky — as long as he gets a treat afterward, he’s happy.

Roo is a reading education assistance dog (R.E.A.D). Along with his handler, Tina Anderson, Roo works as a literacy mentor in the Graytown Elementary School in Graytown, Ohio.

The 6-year-old short hair collie has been certified as a therapy dog for visits to nursing home residents and hospital patients. But today he works primarily as a reading assistance dog.

Roo the Reading Education Assistance Dog 

Tina Anderson
Roo, a reading education assistance dog, helps a pupil at Graytown Elementary School in Graytown, Ohio.

“I have always loved reading, and this just seemed like a good way to combine my love of reading and my love of animals,” Anderson told AOL News.

The Intermountain Therapy Animals organization started the R.E.A.D. program in 1999. The group trains therapy animals to visit and help hospital patients and nursing home residents. Research has shown that pets help lower blood pressure and anxiety.

“Someone had the idea that dogs have been successful in having a calming effect on adults. Why not use them with children who have reading and social disabilities?” said Lesley Pulsipher, national R.E.A.D. coordinator in Salt Lake City. “Animals are not judgmental, and children feel safe reading to them. In a classroom, a child’s classmates may laugh if they mess up.”

Teachers at Graytown Elementary pick those children who have trouble reading, have a learning disability — or are just shy and intimidated by reading in front of the class — to visit with Roo.

“That’s the great thing about this program,” said Anderson. “It’s not just for kids who have learning disabilities. It’s also for the child who’s a little shy. It really can be applied to every reader.”

After Roo lies down in his special spot in the library, the child picks out a book to read to him. Usually, Anderson said, the children either cuddle next to Roo or they sit in front of him and read to him as a teacher would read to a class. If a student is anxious, Anderson has the child pet the dog’s ear or scratch his back to help the student relax.

If the children comes across a word they don’t know, Anderson helps them sound it out, and at the end of the story, they talk about the book. Anderson then shows the student how to command Roo with one of the 30 signs he knows in American Sign Language. They may command him to shake or lie down, and then they give him a treat.

“It’s a special connection that makes them feel important,” said Anderson.

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Every reading assistance dog must first be certified as a therapy dog, which entails training and a screening process for both the dog and handler. According to Pulsipher, the program is not just limited to dogs — cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and miniature horses also visit schools and libraries for children to read to them.

At Graytown Elementary, Anderson says she sees Roo’s impact on the children.

“The program really helps brings kids out of their shell and gives them a boost of self-confidence,” she said.