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Mamaroneck Librarian Enlists Her Dogs In 'Paws A While To Read' Program

Nettie gets ready to howl on cue during the story.
Nettie gets ready to howl on cue during the story. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin
Lori Friedli stamps the hands of children who read aloud.
Lori Friedli stamps the hands of children who read aloud. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin
Lori Friedli and Nettie cuddle for storytime.
Lori Friedli and Nettie cuddle for storytime. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Few things are more comforting than the wagging tail and wet nose of a dog, which is why Mamaroneck Reference Librarian Lori Friedli and her husband, Andy, bring theirs to the library.

The Friedli's three Bernese mountain dogs, Charley, Nettie and Olivia, are certified therapy dogs.

Every first Sunday, the big, fluffy dogs come to the Mamaroneck Library to cuddle with library-goers as Lori hosts storytime and helps local children learn to read in a program called "Paws A While To Read."

"We've been working with therapy dogs for six years," Andy said.

Lori read "Jules The Lighthouse Dog" by P.T. Custard to a circle of excited children on Sunday, Nov. 3, teaching them some of the occupations Bernese mountain dogs hold around the world, including avalanche rescue.

Parents brought their children over to pet the dogs and listen. The children laughed and read along with her, petting the dogs and asking question about what therapy dogs do to help people.

Adults found themselves joining in on the fun as well.

Lori explained to the small crowd that therapy dogs must be certified through specific programs to show mastery in obedience and behavior.

Many therapy dogs work in hospitals, nursing homes and visit schools.

The next session will be on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mamaroneck Public Library, which is at 136 Prospect Avenue.

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