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Reading Dogs for children

edited April 2017 in General Charlton
A little story about a change of lifestyle which stemmed from our first visit to the training ground to watch the Upbeats in training. The original visit certainly opened my eyes to the efforts the parents/guardians go to just to attend the training ground, one lady in particular getting 3 buses from Sydenham to New Eltham and a Gentlemen that drove from Chelmsford so their children could spend an hour and half playing football. Then there was the enthusiasm shown by the Upbeats not only when they score a goal on the pitch but how they greet members of staff or each other as they assemble every saturday for training.

It certainly made me look at life a little differently and pursue what I wanted to do with my dogs, Baileys temperament made him perfect for the environment around youngsters and their unpredictable behaviour, so gone was the protection work we did with him and we started visiting schools both special needs and mainstream schools including 3blokes school in Bexleyheath.

After relocating down here and eventually retiring early, I started a little training school just stop boredom setting in and helping folk out I've never been a fan of the wording "Dog Trainer" as Mrs Redmidland pointed out more than once invariably the issue is the other end of the lead. Steadily grew my dogs reputation and a tv appearance did them no harm although it wasn't something I was comfortable with and I would happily say I hated it outside of raising the profile of my dogs, even Gabi Rosalin seem to wanted to concentrate on what you read in the papers when asking about Bailey when we appeared on the BBC.

This led to me be contacted by a local radio station who asked to met them at the paddock, I think this was the week after @man_at_milletts visited with his family so that made the topic of conversation quite easy and the following month I went onto the radio for an hour and spoke about the visits to the Upbeats and local schools.

We were also contacted by local school we had visited last year with a proposal that both Bailey and Valli become "Reading Dogs" for children who struggle to read aloud in class and publicly. The proposal has been agreed in principle with all necessary paperwork currently being checked by the local authorities in return as the school informed me I wouldn't be paid, although registered as an employee the school has offered us the full exclusive use of a 4 acre cricket field which is all secure and perfect for our dogs to run free in return for the service, something I would willing do for nothing.

But for a humbling appearance at Sparrows lane all those years ago I would not have the best job in the world and no money could buy what I get in return for walking into a classroom or assembly hall with one of my dogs.

So thanks CL, each and everyone of you.image

Comments

  • You are one very special guy, Ray.

    And we're proud to say, one of our own.

    xx
  • What is a "Reading Dog", Ray, how does it work?
  • What is a "Reading Dog", Ray, how does it work?

    I wonder if its a case where some kids felt intimidated standing at the front of class reading a book to everyone on their own (and are worried someone will take the piss).

    With the dogs there, the kids will be too scared to take the piss because they know that if they do, Bailey will rip their faces off
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again. Those animals would petrify me into reading!

    On a serious note, I've got nothing but absolute admiration for what you do with those massive hairy bastards of yours Ray. People like you make the world turn round
  • Can you get thinking dogs for the stupid? I can think of a CEO who might benefit.
  • Carter said:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Those animals would petrify me into reading!

    On a serious note, I've got nothing but absolute admiration for what you do with those massive hairy bastards of yours Ray. People like you make the world turn round

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  • You are one very special guy, Ray.

    And we're proud to say, one of our own.

    xx

    Just very lucky with my dogs. But thank you. X
  • I didn't know you had dogs? Please tell me more?! ;)

    pop round, have your photo taken with them. My Grandaughter did shes not phased by them. ;)image
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  • T.C.E said:

    I didn't know you had dogs? Please tell me more?! ;)

    pop round, have your photo taken with them. My Grandaughter did shes not phased by them. ;)image
    Awesome picture
  • T.C.E said:

    I didn't know you had dogs? Please tell me more?! ;)

    pop round, have your photo taken with them. My Grandaughter did shes not phased by them. ;)image
    I would love to one day! They look amazing!
  • T.C.E said:

    Apparently and didn't know this myself, reading to adults be it teachers or their parents or just front of their pals can make a nervous children feel more intimidated therefore reading to a dog with no correction or help builds their confidence. Once their confidence levels at a normal level then any reading issues are addressed, as we all know if you are low in confidence and you make a mistake your confidence levels drop even further. I can only imagine being a 5/6 year old with reading difficulties reading to a class, it must be horrendous for them. For my part in it, I only help if the child asks for it. I'm not to correct any mistakes or volunteer to help they will be basically reading to one of my dogs. Most of the children at this particular school met them last summer and bar one all came and said hello and had photos taken with them so they are pretty comfortable with them there. ;)

    Do the dogs have any preference for what is being read to them?

    The Hound of the Baskervilles perhaps or 101 Dalmations? ;)
  • T.C.E said:

    I didn't know you had dogs? Please tell me more?! ;)

    pop round, have your photo taken with them. My Grandaughter did shes not phased by them. ;)image
    I would love to one day! They look amazing!
    Let me know first, I won't feed them the day before. ;)
  • edited April 2017
    Yes amazing beautiful dogs. Sitting here typing with my dog JJ snuggling up to me on the sofa. Fantastic after a challenging day. We all think it was the best decision we ever made bringing this bundle of joy into the family. Dogs are the best - full stop! Far more intelligent than people who don't own them realise!
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  • PWR - it's amazing you are training your dogs to teach kids to read. My dogs are not quite that clever but I'm trying to train them to lay on one of the sofas and sleep while I'm watching the football on tv and when my beer is getting low to run and get me another one from the wine cooler. I'm proud to say that so far we are 50% there with the training...
  • edited April 2017
    T.C.E said:

    T.C.E said:

    I didn't know you had dogs? Please tell me more?! ;)

    pop round, have your photo taken with them. My Grandaughter did shes not phased by them. ;)image
    I would love to one day! They look amazing!
    Let me know first, I won't feed them the day before. ;)
    Ouch! What did I do to deserve that?

    That Henry Irving fella. That would be fair enough! But me? I'm a pleasure! ;)
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