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By Fiona Reid
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Book in for dog days

LIBRARIES across the region are being asked to consider holding ‘doggy days’.

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has written to Dumfries and Galloway Council and contacted a number of libraries suggesting they have dedicated Dog Friendly Library Days. She believes it could help increase footfall and bring great benefit to those who may be suffering from loneliness and isolation.

Ms Harper pointed out that such events have been a success in eight libraries in Perth and Kinross and in other locations across the UK dog therapy operates in libraries, schools and colleges.

She said: “Dogs play an important role in supporting their human companions, including those who need extra help in social situations. A dog’s presence can start a conversation, perhaps with people who are otherwise lonely and isolated. Also, it allows like-minded pet owners a meeting place”. The MSP is also keen to see the use of therapy dogs to take part in children’s reading and story sessions.

She added: “The benefits of this idea are for all ages. In some schools, when children read to a dog on a regular basis, it has shown to improve the child’s literary skills, social interaction and confidence.”

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