This is the story of Sting, a sweet therapy pup who loves nothing more than to be around people.
Sting has been volunteering with the “Paws to Read” program at the White Bear Lake Library in Minnesota for several years. While he is there, he helps kids aged 4 to 8 feel more comfortable and confident about books and reading. He simply lays alongside them as they read stories to him aloud.
But last week, no one showed up.
Sting’s handler, John Muellner, says he’s aware that February is a slow month for the program, but had hoped some young readers would show up.
“I actually knew nobody signed up that afternoon, but Ann the librarian was going to try and drum up some business,” Muellner said. “And since it’s fairly close to us, I thought why not just go?”
Sting was disappointed and even a little brokenhearted.
Muellner posted Sting’s sad predicament on Facebook.
Little could he have known, the overwhelming outpouring of support he’d receive.
“It’s been insane,” Muellner said. “I guess these days nothing surprises me with the internet. But the amount and with responses worldwide is a bit astounding.”
All the attention has had a real impact; Sting’s reading schedule is now totally booked with eager kids for the next few months. Sting is now a star.
“It’s great to see some of the kids come out of their shell,” Muellner said. “I mean think about it, when’s the last time you read out loud for 20 minutes?”
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