|Not pictured – the kid at the rear sorting Micron’s Tail of
Wondrous Beauty by shade of coat color.
Nothing too scary, ok? says Micron. I’m of a delicate nature. And not one about cats either. Those give me really weird nightmares. He shudders slightly. Maybe a story about food?
I’ve got Star Wars: Bounty Hunters for Hire, says the young reader.
That’ll do, Micron agrees.
The big dog prepares himself for another evening of listening to stories at our local Brookville branch of the Dayton Metro Library. The monthly Paws to Read event where Micron can [cough] work as a Therapy Dog. A reading tutor, of sorts.
As Micron rests with eyes closed, our young friend reads to Micron about Jango Fett and his cloned offspring. As each page is finished, the book is turned so Micron can see the pictures. Look, Micron, says our reader. And Micron does. He opens his eyes and lifts his head to get a clear look. He blinks, but doesn’t put his head down until the book is turned away. He does this every time.
The dog has a gift for this work.
A good group of kids this evening, we have six readers to share the dog with. All are at different reading levels, but Micron doesn’t notice this. He pays no mind when a word is sounded out by syllable or during the occasional pauses as the reader takes a moment for comprehension of the story. Micron doesn’t care a cat’s whisker about reading skills. His reasons for being here are as pure as only a dog’s can be.
He just wants to be near the kids. To be quietly among their presence and enjoy them.
|Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but . . .|
Always a good idea to let everyone settle for a couple of minutes to get to know each other a little before getting things started. Micron is introduced to the readers with a short bio and his job description. Once again I find myself in that warm glow of being so proud of this fellow and his chosen vocation. This is absolutely where this dog should be, I know it and . . . Ack! Micron! Leave it!
Oh my. Love at first sight for my obviously myopic dog. Micron is entranced by a pair of furry boots. Well, only the left one, really. It must have more personality or something.
This calls for a dog cookie distraction . . . and he’s back. Alrighty, time to get things started here.
And so our young readers select an interesting looking book from the selection the children’s librarian has set out on display for them. They sit and crack open their chosen tome as Micron relaxes into his favorite story listening position. Which is pretty much just being prone. He says this is intended as a non-intimidating posture to relax the kids. I say I wonder if I should hold a mirror up to his nose to see if he’s still breathing.
|Just relax, my young reader friend.|
Over the next hour we learn about interstellar bounty hunters, follow along with adventures of brave woodland critters, and laugh out loud at a funny story of a very silly squirrel. And Micron listens to every word. His eyes are closed, but he’s not asleep. He very much looks like he’s enjoying the experience.
You can tell here that he’s fully engaged. Because for one thing, he’s not snoring. A tell tale sign that he’s outa here, mentally speaking. And also because he has one paw firmly on the reader to keep going. Tell me more.
That belly rub going on there is just a job perk.
Micron insists that this is indeed work. It must be, because he leaves totally exhausted and that’s what work does, right? Well, if you’re doing it right anyway.
It takes a lot to be this engaging, Food Lady. he tells me. I mean, I have to stay awake the whole time and stuff.
Do what you love, they say, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
And you know what? If I ever doubted that before, I now know it to be true.
Our mighty Micron is proof. I can honestly say this dog has never worked a day in his life.
|[gasp] Our children would be . . . Gorgeous!|