The heat of August has unleashed a number of references to the "dog days of summer" which got us thinking about real dogs and how they have also been in the news lately.
We recently came across a piece in the Claremont Ohio Sun about how giving elementary school students a chance to read aloud to therapy dogs has had a positive impact on the students' reading scores and confidence.
We looked a little further and learned that programs using dogs as reading companions for struggling readers have been put into practice in a number of communities, from Janesville, Wisconsin to Baltimore, Maryland.
In fact, Therapy Dogs International has developed a program called Tail Waggin' Tutors that uses trained dogs to work with school children. You can contact them to find out more about how to set up a program in your school.