Noah, 7 and Addison Wills, 9, read to Hunter at the Brandon Township Public Library last week. The therapy dog visited the library during Reading Month. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
By Shelby Stewart
March is reading month, and there’s a new four legged audience at the Brandon Township Library that loves to hear a good ‘tale.’
Pam Comstock saw a Facebook post about a dog in a ‘Paws to Read’ program, which has kids read to therapy dogs, that no one had signed up to read to the dog, and after the post went viral, the dog was booked up to be read to for months.
“I saw that and said that was something I could do,” said Comstock.
She has one dog who is a certified therapy dog, and one who she is in the process of certifying. Hunter, an 8-year-old German Shepherd Akita mix, visits the Brandon Township Library on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to hang out with the kids in the STEM program.
“My original goal was to take him to the VA hospital in Detroit,” she said. “He took the therapy test, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Once I saw that post, I called around to all of the local libraries and Brandon jumped on it.”
Hunter has to be re-certified once a year, and his younger brother, a German Shepherd named Siggy, is in the process of getting certified as well.
“It’s something I’d be interested in continuing to do,” she said. “He loves it. He wags his tail, lets everyone pet him. I just wanted to be a part of it.”
Hunter was a rescue, who Comstock got through a friend when he was 2. Comstock was his fourth home in two years.
“I’ve always had two dogs, and I only had one dog at the time, I was looking for another, and I wanted to rescue but I have grandchildren around a lot and you just never know,” she said. “But he was just a perfect example of someone gave someone a dog who couldn’t take care of it.”
Comstock has had Hunter for six years, and in that time she took him to nursing homes, hospitals, and many other places as a therapy dog.
“This is just more of a fun time,” she said.