Kids learn about Service Dogs at Oley Valley Library

In its on going event series the Oley Valley Library hosted a special presentation from Denice DeAntonio and her service dog Finley Tuesday night, all to teach kids how to behave around service dogs.

“It’s important to teach kids about service dogs becuase its not something you see too much of here in Berks County” -Denice DeAntonio

It wasn’t too long ago when Denice suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. At the time she didn’t know how much her life would change. Recovery had it’s challenges and one of those was mobility. To regain a normal life, DeAntonio applied for and received a service dog named Finley.

Some may remember Finley from the news back in 2013. Just a few weeks after getting Finley, he broke loose off his leash while at the Wyomissing Broadcasting Square shopping plaza. He was found three days later a few miles way.

Interested in spreading awareness of service dogs, Danice learned about the Oley Library and their events from a friend. After a little bit of planning the date was set to bring Finley to the library. DeAntonio told us it wasn’t the first the first time she has spoken to a group about living with a service dog, but it is the first time she has held a meet and greet specifically for kids.

It was a fun night for the 25 attending kids. While listening to Denice, each kid had the opportunity to color their own dog on paper. The main focus of the presentation was the message ‘don’t touch a service dog while their working’. Of course, this message is not easy to understand for kids. Early exposure to the concept of a service dog, what they do and why they are used was the goal of the night.

You wouldn’t believe how many adults (some with kids) would approach me and pet Finley without permission, says DeAntonio. Learning how to behave while in the presence of a service dog is an important skill to learn as a kid. Although dogs like Finley seem friendly, they serve an important role for those who depend on them and shouldn’t be distracted.

The Oley Valley Community Library Currently Offers over 7,000 print, DVD, and audio resources on hand and regular meetings of the knitting club, Lego Club, Preschool Story Time, Adult Book Club, Networking Meetings, Public Board Meetings, Craft Nights, Senior Workshops provided through Berks Encore and Friedens Church, local author signings and poetry readings as well as The Summer Reading Program in the summer.

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