When story time come with hugs

Eric Cravey
Posted 10/18/17

MELROSE – Clyde the Wonder Dog has coloring much like a German Shepherd, has been mistaken for a giant bear and brings smiles to the faces of people of all ages.

One Saturday a month, Kathy …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

When story time come with hugs

Posted

MELROSE – Clyde the Wonder Dog has coloring much like a German Shepherd, has been mistaken for a giant bear and brings smiles to the faces of people of all ages.

One Saturday a month, Kathy Morse, 74, of Bostwick, her husband Bill and Clyde head to the Melrose Public Library to take part in the library’s Paws to Read program. Clyde, a trained therapy dog, sits on the floor while children adoringly pet him while a library volunteer reads books to the group in the children’s room.

“They really love Clyde, especially kids. They like to pet him and play with him,” said volunteer Mike Mason, 62, who works with Clyde each month and reads to the group.

Kathy Morse said the atmosphere in the room usually changes when Clyde enters. Weighing in at 150 pounds and almost three feet tall, Clyde has a presence. But it’s his laid-back demeanor that makes him a fast friend.

“He usually greets every person and when we have a room full of kids, he’ll greet each one as they walk in, even the little tiny kids,” Morse said.

After a few minutes, Clyde reaches out his paw for a handshake, seeming to crave constant affection.

“He’d rather be in your lap,” she said.

Morse said her husband often take Clyde with them while shopping and other trips. And on more than one occasion, Clyde has been mistaken for a bear.

“One time, we went to a rehab facility and this couple came running out and said, ‘We have to see what’s in your car; it looked like a bear,’” Morse said.

Along with monthly trips to the Melrose Library, such as the recent Oct. 14 visit, Clyde has warmed hearts at such venues as the Fleming Island Public Library and the Isle Health and Rehabilitation Center on Fleming Island.

“The therapy is bringing smiles to peoples’ faces and, I think, hope. I lot of the people who live in institutions, had dogs before and they can’t have them now and so, it takes their mind off their situation, even if it’s only for a few minutes,” she said.

The Morses have been sharing Clyde with the Melrose Public Library for three of his 8 years. Before he was certified as a therapy dog, Clyde went through a rigorous assessment that involved three evaluations.

“They test the dog, but they test the people too and the way they handle their dogs. They make an assessment of the overall personality. They have to be good with other dogs, good with other people,” she said.

Clyde is a Leonberger, a mountain dog breed derived from three other breeds – St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Leonberger is “bright, patient, loving, and family oriented,” good traits Morse verifies Clyde has.

“It’s just nice to bring joy to other peoples’ lives,” she said.

Mason agrees with Morse. He said Clyde has a way of making people feel better.

“The first thing that comes to mind, is if a child is going through something, they can spend time with Clyde and hug him and it all gets better,” Mason said. “It’s a good time for the children.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment