There was an unusual guest at the Clearwater Library last Saturday – Certified Therapy Dog Luna. The rescue mix visited the library with her owner, Carmen Carlson, looking for kids to read to her.
Area kids could sign up to read to her for 15 minutes during the library’s Paws to Read program, the second one they’ve held. The first wasn’t nearly as exciting, however, as it had to be held over Zoom due to the pandemic.
“Kids love it and it’s a great chance to them to read out loud with no judgement,” said Clearwater Library Assistant Jen Randall.
Luna is registered through Pet Partners. She and Carlson are part of Central MN Therapy Animal Assoc. (CMTAA), and visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, colleges, and more. Luna was found as a stray and has been a therapy animal since 2019.
“It’s been really rewarding,” said Carlson.
Along with reading practice, benefits to assisted animal therapy include decreased anxiety and blood pressure, help with physical therapy, and improved emotional and mental well-being.
For more information on therapy animals, visit their website at CMTAA.org.