We just returned from a wonderful program offered by our public library called Read To Rover. It gives kids in grades Kindergarten through 5th an opportunity to practice their reading skills with a therapy dog. I found it very interesting that when I asked my daughters if they wanted to practice their reading with a dog, they sprinted past me, book in hand, already zipping up their coats. It dawned on me that while I sit there and often repeat: "sound it out", "group the letters", "you know that word", "what's the root word", and annoyingly so-on and so-on, an animal just listens. Of course, I know an animal won't give feedback! But, for a child, there is a calm, supportive presence of an animal who loves your attention and company, no matter what you are doing.