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Walpole kids read to Cody

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

New readers can be a bit reluctant when it comes to stretching their reading skills. But sometimes, it can be helpful to read with a friend.

It can be even more helpful when that friend’s only goal is to receive cuddles and attention.

On Wednesday, October 16, kids and their parents came to the Walpole Library to read to Cody, an eight-year-old cocker spaniel.

Cody is a seasoned therapy dog who has built his reputation after starting six years ago. Since then, he has become the first therapy dog allowed into Children’s Hospital in Boston and has become their favorite “volunteer.”

Greeting each kid into the room with a welcoming wagging tail and approaching his guests with a smile on his face, Cody seems to make everyone excited to see him. Kids who signed up for the event were given 15 minutes to read with the adorable pooch, and had their choice of either bringing a book or picking some of the preselected books, including the “Dog’s ABC” and “Dixie and the Good Deeds.”

Siblings Mia, Rina, and Sofia were happy to split their time reading to Cody.

“I don’t know that word,” said one of the sisters as she read her book.

“That’s ok,” replied Cody’s handler before helping the girl, allowing her to continue with the book.

“Did you like that, Cody?” his handler asked. Cody answered with a wag of his tail. The youngest of the sisters opted to play peek-a-boo with the dog, who was more than happy to play along in lieu of reading.

Liam, age 5, came into his session filled with boundless energy. Picking out the “Dog’s ABC” book - the most popular of the day - Liam sat down beside Cody. As his mom helped him read the book, Liam took the time to give Cody some much-deserved pets. “He won’t stop licking me,” giggled Liam as he played with the dog. Soon enough, reading had ceased completely and Liam and Cody were enjoying each other’s company instead. “What color is your dog?” Cody’s handler asked.

“Brown. What color is this dog?” Liam asked, as he continued to pet the dog.

“He’s a ruby,” she answered.

Cody seems to be the perfect dog for everyone, whether they’re intent on reading to him or just enjoying his company. With his friendly personality and his love of attention, he’s sure to maintain his reputation as an adored visitor at the Walpole Library - and everywhere else he goes.

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