Doggone fun: Kids have opportunity to meet service dogs

Specially-trained dogs will show off their skills at a couple of upcoming programs at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.

The first Dogs at Work program at 4 p.m. June 15 will be all about agility, featuring dogs from K9 Campers and Waggin’ Pals 4-H Dog Club. It will be on the lawn at the corner of Walnut and Tipton streets across from Schneck Medical Center.

The other program, set for 4 p.m. July 13, will include seeing eye, search and rescue and Indiana State Police dogs on the library’s lawn along Walnut Street.

The programs go along with the library’s summer reading program’s theme of Build a Better World.

Lola Snyder, head of youth services at the library, said for the agility program, a course will be set up for the dogs. Children may have an opportunity to meet and pet the dogs afterward.

The second program will allow the three different types of dogs to demonstrate how they help people, whether that’s providing guidance, performing search and rescue, sniffing out drugs or helping capture criminals.

Snyder said the Seeing Eye dog came about after Juanita Cox brought hers into the library several times. Snyder learned Cox recently moved to Seymour from the northeastern United States and has a Seeing Eye dog because she is legally blind.

“She’s very good about educating kids and wanting to talk to them about it, and so I asked her if she would be willing to do this, and she’s like, ‘Yeah, absolutely. I do that all of the time,'” Snyder said. “She’s going to come out and demonstrate how her dog leads her around things, so we’ll have some cones set up.”

Snyder said she hopes these events will draw more interest in the library’s Paws to Read program, which ran through the spring and will be offered again in the fall.

Paws to Read gives children an opportunity to read while having George, a standard poodle owned by Suzanne Steltenpohl of Seymour, in the room with them. Steltenpohl also owns K9 Campers.

Snyder said the program, which was conducted twice a month, drew anywhere from three to 10 children, and she was hoping for better attendance. Sometimes, it conflicted with other activities in the community.

“The ones that came loved it a lot. George is a delight, so they do like sitting with him,” she said. “For the people that we’ve had, it has been a very good program. I just wish more people would take advantage of it.”

Heather Robinson, youth services program assistant at the library, said as more people find out about the program, she hopes attendance will increase. That’s why the library staff wants to pick it back up in the fall.

“We don’t want to stop it because I think it’s such a valuable program, and it’s fun,” Snyder said. “I’m hoping that by introducing the dogs (at the two summer programs), then we can say, ‘We have this program in the fall’ and promote it a little and pass out a flier while we’re there to get more interest.”

If you go

New for the summer, the Jackson County Public Library presents Dogs at Work.

This program features trained canines who live and work in the Jackson County area.

The first program, at 4 p.m. June 15 on the lawn at the corner of Walnut and Tipton streets in Seymour, will include an agility demonstration by dogs from K9 Campers and the Waggin’ Pals 4-H Dog Club.

The other program, at 4 p.m. July 13 on the library’s lawn along Walnut Street, will include Seeing Eye, search-and-rescue and Indiana State Police dogs showing how they help people.

Information: Call 812-522-3412, option 2, or visit myjclibrary.org/events

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.