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S E C T I O N 2 Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y Photos by Brandon Chew/The Almanac Reading to Annie at the Woodside Library are Cassie and Stella. Good listeners On the cover Two young girls, Cassie and Stella, read to and groom Annie, a therapy dog, at the Woodside Library. By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac Dogs give young readers undivided attention R obbie came from Redwood City to the Woodside library on June 11 just so he could read to his longtime friend, Annie, who happens to be a 132-pound soft, cuddly and very, very patient Newfoundland dog. Annie and her person, Jeanie Eagan, were at the library as part of the Paws for Tales program, which sends dogs specially trained by the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA to local libraries so children (and sometimes adults) can read to them. Annie and Jeanie, along with Sara, a Hovawart dog, and her person Sherri Camps, come to the Woodside library on the second Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m. In Atherton two dogs and their trainers are at the library on the fourth Saturday of the month at 11 am. In June, Sara’s owner had another event to attend, so, for the first time ever, Sara missed the reading session. Robbie was thrilled to see Annie. Robbie is 14, with some developmental delays, but he loves reading to Annie so much that he has, at least once, tried to sneak out of the building with her. Robbie’s mom says that after her son spends just 15 minutes with Annie, he gets relaxed. “He gets calm,” she says. “He gets happy. It lasts through the night.” What does Robbie say? “Can we stay with Annie?” he asks, as the massive dog lies on her back for a tummy rub. Cassie Pfaff, 6, and her friend Stella, 5, came from San Carlos to read to Annie. The two girls double-teamed the job, with Cassie reading “Come Back Ben” to Annie, showing her the illustrations, while Stella brushes Annie’s long black fur. “Therapy dogs are trained to give unconditional love and attention” to whoever they are working with, says Jeanie Eagan. Cherie Gilbert Cisneros, a pre-kindergarten student at Woodside School, spent most of her time cuddling with Annie, but her father said she’ll be back again. See page 23 July 2, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21

Almanac July 2, 2014 section2

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