Children invited to practice skills by reading to a therapy dog

L.K. Noller, with her dog, Lola, on Sunday, July 9. Lola was certified as a therapy dog at the age of 1. OLIVIA SUN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Lola Noller, a lifelong Chautauquan, has been spending summers here since she was only three months old.

Lola, a retriever mix, was born outdoors in Accord, New York, and rescued by the Ulster County SPCA in 2012. Thanks to volunteer efforts, Lola grew up healthy despite a difficult beginning. It’s only fitting that Lola is now a volunteer herself.

Lola, a certified therapy dog, and her owner, L.K. Noller, will welcome visitors from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday at the Smith Memorial Library for “Reading to Lola.” Children ages 5 through 8 are invited to practice their reading skills by sharing a story aloud with Lola. They can bring their own book or select one from the children’s section at the library – Noller said many children often choose dog-centered or animal-themed books.

This will be the first time that children at Chautauqua Institution can read to Lola, but it won’t be Lola’s first time listening. Noller and Lola regularly visit their hometown library in Kingston, New York.

“Even a dog should do volunteer work,” Noller said.

According to Noller, reading to Lola gives children a chance to practice their reading skills out loud, and parents can listen and get an idea of how their children’s skills are developing. It also brings children into the library, if only because they want to visit Lola.

Reading to Lola, Noller said, is “almost like reading to a stuffed animal,” and if nothing else, it’s “an amazing photo-op.” Lola, with her reddish, fluffy coat, is cute by just about anyone’s standards.

“Reading to Lola” will be held again from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday for Library Day. Those interested can sign up at the Smith in advance or just stop in.

Tags : L.K. NollerLola NollerReading to LolaSmith Memorial Library

The author Adrianna Jereb

Adrianna Jereb covers visual arts for The Chautauquan Daily. The Wisconsinite is a rising senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, studying English creative writing and Spanish. Her interests include reading, writing, yoga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and compiling Spotify playlists. After graduation she plans to work as a journalist, think about grad school and adopt a shelter dog.