Held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the children's book section, the program featured Rudy, a therapy greyhound who loves to listen.
Rudy, a former race dog, is now helping children at the Barnegat Library in addition to visiting retirement homes and local schools, according to Darla Novick, Rudy’s mom.
The "Tail Waggin’ Tutor" program is a regular year-round event, which usually features Taffy, a Brittany spaniel, who happened to be on vacation in Florida this week.
But that didn’t keep Rudy from fulfilling his mission of giving children a chance to "read for fun," according to children’s librarian and program coordinator Lisa Taylor.
The event is very small, usually with five or six children, and runs the last Friday of every month andis held at other county library’s with single dog and multiple dog attendance, she said.
“The children choose from a variety of stories then sit and read to our guest," Taylor said. "The program has even branched out to younger children, some who have not learned to read yet, but have picturebooks… All we want is for kids to enjoy books and the dog seems to help that," she said, and as it turns out, Rudy helped in a big way Friday afternoon.
Registered attendees got a chance to show off their reading skills to Rudy, calling on his patient ears and still having fun. Attendee Abbey Constantino, 7, of Barnegat, was first to get Rudy to show off his skills: listening and having fun.
Rudy, a brindle Greyhound, was adopted from Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, an organization aimed at rescuing former Greyhound racing dogs from the Florida area andadopting them into stable loving homes.
"He’s a wonderful addition to our home; in fact he’s not like the hyper race dog everyone would expect," said Novick. "He’s a bit of a couch potato."
"When we adopted him he had ran in over one hundred twenty races at three race tracks, and had abroken foot," she said.
According to the Greyhound Friends of New Jersey website, who specialize in rescuing the dogs, most have ailments that need special attention or are victims of abuse.
For further information on adopting, donating or general inquires please visit: http://www.greyhoundfriendsnj.org.
For further information and registration deadlines on the "Tail Waggin’ Tutor" program andother children’s programs held at the Barnegat Library, visit http://engagedpatrons.org/Events.cfm?SiteID=2161