Danny inspires young children to read


This is about Danny, a blue and white Greyhound, who celebrates his story voyaging between schools promoting Reading among children.

Tony Nevett with Danny

It all started around eight years ago when I got my first therapy dog Scotts. I have done a Diploma in Animal Assisted Therapy,and saw in the US they had a scheme called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.), where dogs went into schools and children read to them; it worked because the dogs don’t judge or criticise. They help build self esteem; so I joined their organisation. Scotts became the first R.E.A.D. Dog in Europe. We started sending him to schools and had great results with literacy levels, etc. Scotts was getting older, so I decided to get another Greyhound named Danny, who was rescued from
the street in Cork, Ireland. He was trained and became a R.E.A.D. Dog.

Awards showered
So far, Danny has been recognised for his dedicated work and bagged a number of awards, including his own piece on BBC’s Children Channel. His noble jobs have been aired on various other TV channels, namely, Sky, ITV, PBS, CBS, among others and appeared in dog magazines worldwide. He has also been honoured by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. It was in the year 2011, I along with Danny celebrated Animal Action Week on the terrace of the House of Lords alongside other awardees and a host of animal lovers. The furry winner received the award from Baroness Gale and Brian May of the British rock band Queen.

Danny in books
A publisher got in touch to do Danny’s first children’s book titled Danny Goes To London. The book narrates about Danny receiving his awards and his trip around London, through a friendship with the president of Corridor Therapy Dogs. Danny then became an honorary member of Corridor Therapy Dogs at Cedar Rapids in Iowa. Danny Strikes Out In America is Danny’s second book revolving around some adventure he encountered with some of the dogs from Corridor Therapy Dogs in the group at a baseball stadium in the US.

Danny Strikes Out In America was chosen as the reading programme book for Cedar Rapids Kernels’ baseball team in 2013. Thousands of children received the book as a prize for participating in the competition. Moreover, children having difficulty in reading appreciate Danny for the fact that the furry therapist might twitch a paw, but he would not laugh; he might raise an eyebrow, but he would never complain; he might doze off, but he would not give the children a hard time even if they stumbled over a word.

Even those school children who lose confidence in reading in front of their teachers or in the classrooms, they at least read to Danny and it serves the purpose of learning to read.