Through the charity ‘Therapy Dogs Nationwide’, which was established two years ago, Angus the golden retriever helps countless children in the local area to enhance their reading skills, offering a friendly face and a patient ear to give encouragement and confidence to youngsters - particularly those who may struggle more than others.
Eleven-year-old Angus and his owner Mandy Stephenson make regular visits to Louth Library and Lacey Gardens Junior School (pictured) through the ‘Paws and Read’ scheme. Last week, the Lacey Gardens pupils made a special ‘Well Done Angus’ banner to celebrate his return to the prestigious event.
Looking ahead to Crufts, which takes place this week at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, Mandy said: “Therapy Dogs Nationwide have a stand ourselves, but because Angus comes here to do this, he will be at The Kennel Club stand on Thursday (March 7) from 10am until 12 noon.
“We will be having books there and children will come along, and Angus will be representing us. Children always form a queue to have a chance to read to him! He’s had fifty children around him at once - but he’s chilled out!”
This will be the third year that Angus will have attended Crufts - which Mandy says is always a ‘manic’ occasion, but a lot of good fun too.
Other local therapy dogs help out elsewhere in the Louth area, including Kidgate Primary Academy and East Wold CE Primary School.
Mandy would like more ‘therapy dogs’ to become active in the local area.
To be assessed as a potential volunteer, a dog must be at least nine months old, and their owner must have owned them for at least six months.
But, of course, the most important thing is for the dog to have a good temperament!
• Call 01507 607758 or visit www.therapydogsnationwide.org for more information.