Children spotted reading books to dogs in Nicoma Park

By Darla Slipke Modified: January 19, 2010 at 8:33 am •  Published: January 19, 2010
is time D'Leo stood at the base of her feet with his nose poking over the top of the book in her lap, his tail wagging.

After the first book, Paige wanted to read another book, and then another.

“Do you want a treat?” Neely asked Paige when she finished. She held up D'Leo's treats.

Paige shook her head.

“They're natural and crunchy,” Neely teased as she held a clicker that she uses as positive reinforcement for D'Leo up to Paige's ear.

Sometimes Neely brings stickers for the children who read, or lets them choose from a colorful collection of competition ribbons D'Leo has won.

Dressed in a red bandana, D'Leo entertained everyone who stopped by the library as he chased balls, performed tricks and listened to half a dozen books. Even a few people who didn't come for the program stopped to watch and listen when they saw him.

“He loves the attention,” Neely said. “He's just a big lover boy.”

The Children Reading to Dogs program is offered at several Metropolitan Library System branches. To check availability in your area, go to the "Calendar” tab at

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