When I was told an awesome story about a Labrador that comes to help kids of all types learn how to read, I just had to share it with the It’s a Lab Thing community.
“Here is some info on my favorite 4 legged student, Sampson. 🙂 This is the 3rd year that Sampson and Shannon have been coming to my classroom at Roswell North Elementary to listen to students read. This year Sampson is working with about 12 students on everything from fluency, comprehension, vocab, and even their IEP goals. Thanks to READing Paws, I have students who are excited to read and cannot wait to share their books with Sampson.” – Mrs. Shaye
Told my Sampson’s Lab Mom Shannon Z.
“I want to share my success story and how much it has affected my life! My family adopted our black lab Sampson in March of 2010 and our lives changed forever. Like many, we had the perfect dog picked out in our heads even before we adopted Sampson…a young yellow Lab who was full of energy and loved to be around people and other dogs. We arrived at Petco and when we realized the yellow labs there were just not for us we found this beautiful black lab just hanging out on the curb sitting quietly with the softest brown eyes and a deep soul. They always say- you do not pick your dog, your dog picks you. Once we came over to him and he licked my hand and kissed both my young daughters, we knew he belonged with us.
After we got him home, we found out the hard way that Sampson does not like other dogs in his face when he is on leash. I immediately took him to a trainer because I wanted the lab that got along with everyone and everything. She said, well he has leash reactivity which is not uncommon with some dogs. But don’t give up on him we will work with you and him on this issue. After we worked very hard for 18 long months, Sampson is now a certified therapy dog and is very involved with READing Paws in the school systems. Who knew that my Lab that acts all tough when other dogs are in his face, can lay down with a child that is very afraid to read aloud and give this child enough love and confidence to read with a smile on his face. All the while getting his ears and his belly rubbed-what more could a Labrador ask for?
Along with children, Sampson also worked in a rehab facility for stroke patients. Once again, he sat at the feet of patients in wheelchairs and waited patiently for the love they wanted to give him. Even though most patients had no control over their muscle movements, Sampson sat still and let them know its ok if they are a little rough with petting or brushing. This is what he has been trained to do and with those soulful, soft brown eyes looks at them with reassurance.
I have always wanted to get involved with therapy work and never imagined that my Lab Sampson could bring so much love and joy to a persons life just by reading a book or just by a simple task of brushing him. I am so grateful Sampson chose us as his forever family and I know that he will continue to touch the lives of many people for years to come!”
“I Hope this is a story that inspires someone to adopt a sweet lab or sparks an interest to get their dog certified to be a therapy dog. This program is very close to my heart because I needed a Sampson when I was learning to read!”