Jerry's teacher has been raising a special dog and training it to help the handicapped and sight impaired. After a year of training, she sent him back to where she got him and they gave him a go.
Unfortunately, the verdict was that Dezi the Dog did not work out as a handicapped helper and he missed his Teacher Family terribly.
So now, Jerry's teacher has a new idea. She wants to teach Dezi to be a Reading Dog. She wants to have him in her class room and have the kids read to him every day. The edge to this is that dogs don't judge. They just lay there and look sweet while you read to them.
The other morning, I had Jerry read me his book from school because we ran out of time the night before (it is astounding the amount of homework they dump on these poor second graders!). He was nearing the end, but I had to race out the door. So, I told him to finish reading the story to the kitten who was laying right beside him looking like she was actually enjoying his story.
The next night, he was again reading to me, and again, the kitten was all snuggled across both of us, looking adoringly at Jerry as he read. I commented on how she likes it when he reads. Jerry got all excited and suggested "Maybe Occie could be a Reading Kitty!"
"Absolutely!" I agreed, knowing how difficult it is to get Jerry to read lately. "But she'll need lots of practice, though. If you read to her every day, she'll be a very good reading kitty!"
This evil plot seems to be working because he's been reading to the kitty and me every night since then!
And what's even better is that Jerry finally discovered in the school library the Captain Underpants Book Series. They're hilarious little stories that are written in such a way that kids think they're really getting away with something by reading them. He actually spent over an hour reading it to himself, giggling madly.
Both Jim and I badly want Jerry to be a reader. Andy was never big on books. And he's missing out on so much by not being a reader. Life is full of so much more texture when you are a reader.
And I love that Jerry gets the concept of transporting yourself into a story. As we did with Andy, we've read nightly to Jerry since infancy. Somehow he caught on. When he started learning how to read, he was the first in his class to actually read with inflection. I love that. Our work is transcending.
Hmmmm. Maybe once we have Occie trained as a Reading Kitty, we can encourage Jerry's friend Michael to read to her as well. We may have to put fish in his pockets though. :-)