Once a month, Beth Neuman and her dog Forest, an 11 year old toy poodle, volunteer at Ottendorfer Library’s Paws ‘n’ Books program. The literacy program offers children ages six and older the opportunity to read aloud to a four legged friend for 15 minutes, helping to boost their reading confidence. We interviewed Beth before one of their Paws 'n' Books sessions.
NYPL: How did you meet Forest?
Eleven years ago a friend I worked with found her on her front steps in Queens. They had two cats, so they asked if I wanted to adopt her. My previous dog passed away two years prior, and I had been thinking about adopting.
How did Forest become a therapy dog?
She got evaluated by a licensed trainer. I took a class and we both passed the exams that were given to us.
What makes Forest a good therapy dog?
She is calm and well-behaved and likes people.
Besides the Library, where else do you two volunteer?
We visit patients at Beth Israel Hospital and this summer, we started working with a summer camp. The kids make up stories about dogs and then read them aloud to her. Through the program the kids learn how to treat dogs.
So what kinds of books do you and Forest prefer?
Well I like books about animals and Forest especially likes to listen to books about dogs.
Check out some of the following series starring some of our favorite canines. Be sure to recommend any other favorites in the comments section below.