By Laurie Lake, Miriam Parent
I wanted to share with you all another example of the power of a Miriam education.
We lost both of our elderly Shih-Tzu’s, Clayton Oliver and Cameron Graham, within 45 days of each other this late spring/early summer. Garrett has struggled tremendously with these losses. I heard about the Humane Society Shelter Reading program and asked Garrett if this would be something he would like to pursue over the summer. Garrett at first thought it might make him too sad to see the dogs, but within a couple weeks Garrett came back to me and said, “Yes, I want to read animal facts and Dogman to the dogs. I thought about this a lot recently. 💔” Clayton and Cameron liked when he read to them so why wouldn’t other dogs?
Without Garrett’s newfound confidence as a reader, this would not have been possible. I cannot tell you how therapeutic this experience has been for Garrett and beneficial for the dogs. Dogs who are read to are adopted on average 10-12 days sooner than dogs that are not read to. Garrett practices his reading skills, he is channeling his grief in a productive way and providing a unique social service.
A day does not go by that I am not grateful for what Miriam has given our sweet baby boy (and whole family!). I cannot wait to see what Garrett’s future holds and what new challenging things Garrett shows us he is capable of.
A year ago, Garrett was in a very different mindset, and this would not have been possible. Books frightened Garrett and did not bring him joy as they do now. A year ago, I could not have fathomed my baby boy would be an early reader, much less reading to shelter dogs-yet here he is.
This is the power of Miriam.