Chew My Antlers had the pleasure of meeting Connie and
Molly at a Helping Paws Inc. Wag Walk & Run event.
Molly has a wonderful, heart-warming story, and she loves antler chews to
boot. Below is her story written by Connie Priesz:
My precious therapy partner is Molly. We have been a registered
therapy team since August 2011. We began training, socializing, and
having fun together since we met when she was just 3 months old. She has
such a wonderful personality and really loves people. I was thrilled when
we both successfully completed all the requirements to become a therapy team
when she was only 19 months old. Since I love to read and she loves
relaxing with children the R.E.A.D. program was a beautiful fit for us.
We began visiting the Carver County Libraries in Minnesota once a month.
During the summer, she visits the libraries two times a month for the
students to read to her on summer break. Last week, a boy in first grade
came to read to Molly. His father whispered in my ear that his son was having
trouble reading and that he did not like it too much. Then the boy proceeded to
read three books to Molly! This boy was pleased with his reading and did
not stumble on words as he read aloud. He was very proud of him. Molly
laid her head on his lap as he petted her and read. The boy said he would
practice so he can read to Molly again! This is just one of numerous examples
of how children enjoy reading to Molly and why we find it so rewarding.
Molly worked her magic again at a recent R.E.A.D. event at a local
elementary school. That very same night after the event the
coordinator of the event received this note from a parent.
My daughter read with Molly tonight and we were
amazed on how well she did! She is in kindergarten and has been
struggling with reading but there was something different tonight. Molly
definitely helped my daughter and it was neat to see! I'm just in
awe of how well my daughter did and how proud of herself she was when she was
all done! She is also going through speech therapy and is sometimes
not confident on her capabilities. What a difference we saw
tonight!!! What a great service you and the R.E.A.D. dogs offer!
In addition to R.E.A.D., each month Molly visits residents in a nearby
senior housing facility. A sign with her picture on it advertises our
visit to the residents. Sunday afternoons are
often a time when residents may especially miss their families or feel
lonely. Molly visits each person in the assembled circle of 6 to 13
residents that are there specifically to see her. She is petted, hugged, and
listens to many stories. I answer all kinds of questions about Molly, such as
how she is groomed, what she eats, and how she plays. It
is a great way to spend an afternoon for both the residents and Molly and me.
Recently we started working in the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain
Injury clinics at the local veterans’ hospital. We assist the
patients to help meet their goals as designed by the hospital
therapist. We had the joyful experience of hearing one particular
veteran who had not spoken in quite some time say, “Hello Molly.” This was
truly one of our most rewarding experiences to date.
We enjoy working in our community to enhance the animal-human bond with
people of all ages. Molly so beautifully demonstrates her versatility
helping both young children and older adults. It is very
heartwarming and rewarding to meet new people and see my Molly also enjoy
interacting with them. Molly and I are looking forward to many more
years together volunteering and enjoying new experiences.
-Connie Priesz and Molly
To read more about Molly and to keep up with her activities, visit her Facebook page.