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Award-Winning Rutherford Dog Helps Children Read

Rodney, a seven-year-old Pomeranian Shitzu mix who helps children read.
Rodney, a seven-year-old Pomeranian Shitzu mix who helps children read. Photo Credit: Carol Lynn Schniski
Reading with children
Reading with children Photo Credit: Carol Lynn Schniski
Carol Lynn Schniski and Rodney
Carol Lynn Schniski and Rodney Photo Credit: Carol Lynn Schniski

RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rodney, who is made of nine pounds of fur and a whole lot of love, will be making his way to the Wood-Ridge Library on Monday, Nov. 9 to help children learn to read.

The 7-year-old Pomeranian Shitzu therapy dog from Rutherford visits the library twice a month as part of the Paws for Reading program. Children, ages 5 and older, will each get to read one-on-one with him for 15 minutes.

“Children who are beginning readers can read to the dog,” said Margaret Mellett, the library director. “It’s a way for them to practice reading with an audience that is non-judgmental and always enjoys a good story.”

Last month, Rodney was one of only four dogs in the country to be recognized and given an honorable mention by the AKC (American Kennel Club) Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE).

ACE celebrates canine heroes in appreciation for the inspiring ways in which they contribute to people’s lives.

Carol Lynn Schniski found Rodney at a pet store when we was a puppy. Since he was so mellow and laid back, she thought he could help others.

Five years ago, Rodney began making the rounds in Ridgewood, Paramus, Hackensack East Rutherford, Rutherford, Nutley and Wood-Ridge. Besides libraries, he stops at assisted living homes and group homes and works with autistic children.

“He loves children. He absolutely adores them,” Schniski said. “It’s truly amazing to see him in action. He is the most lovable dog ever.”

MORE INFO on Paws for Reading in Wood-Ridge: www.woodridgememoriallibrary.org OR: (201) 438-2455

To find out where Rodney will be during the week, call Schniski at (201) 896-9321 .

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