The first time I heard a child reading a story I’d written for dogs to a dog I got a big shock.
I came upon the scene without warning some years ago. When I saw what was going on, I had to step neatly out of the room before my heart exploded all over the place and interrupted them.
I peered around the door frame, eyes wide and listening intently. Wow! What a beautiful scene!
It hadn’t occurred to me ever that children might read the stories to their dog. I don’t know why, it’s so obvious now! I guess because I wrote them for dogs and secondarily – because a person is required to read them to the dog – people.
Had I written anything that might be inappropriate for children? I re-read all the stories and the “Dog Talk” glossaries and thankfully, everything was fine and child-friendly. And because they were written for dogs, I’d even explained some unusual words so good vocabulary-building for children as well as dogs!
In the days following as the child would take hold of Stories for My Dog, settle down cross-legged in front of the dog, flick through choosing a story and confidently start reading it aloud to the dog as though it was the most normal thing in the world, my eyes would fill with joy-tears.
As children we are just so good at throwing love out there, accepting tenderness, feeling the joy. Here, as easy as you like, the dog, the child and my book, wrapped in an intimate atmosphere of love.
I had to pretend like, yeah, of course, everyone reads to their dog, no big deal – because that was the beautiful picture being shown to me by these wise teachers.