Children read to SwedishAmerican therapy dogs

Published: Aug. 5, 2018 at 6:12 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Therapy dogs usually are the ones helping to calm down a person but on Sunday some area therapy dogs were able to sit back and relax while being read to by little kids.

Therapy dogs from SwedishAmerican Hospital gathered at Klehm Arboretum where little children were able to bring in their favorite book to read to the dogs. The dogs spend their time visiting cancer patients at the hospital. Organizers say it’s relaxing and some of the pups even took a little nap while getting read to. Organizers say reading to dogs can also increase a child's confidence in their reading ability.

"It benefits the dog, it's very relaxing, and for a child to read to a dog, the dog is not judgmental. So, they can read in whatever voice they want to read in, they can make a few mistakes reading those words the dog doesn't care he still loves to listen to your little one,” said Caring Canine Coordinator Claudia Aschbrenner.

The therapy dog program has been at SwedishAmerican since 2010. Organizers say the dogs are a great way to help a patient relax and take their mind off medical treatments while they're in the hospital.