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‘Paws to Read’ brings kids and pups to the library (Gallery)

Dakota Markisich, 6, pets a beagle during "Paws to Read" on Saturday, March 11, at the Natrona County Public Library in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

There were a lot of distractions as children’s librarian Chelsie Troutman read colorful books during StoryTime at the Natrona County Public Library on Saturday morning.

In this case she wasn’t bothered by the constant squirming, mostly caused by wagging of tails.

“It’s really fun to watch,” she said afterwards.

About a year ago, the Natrona County Public Library asked therapy dog owners to join in a monthly story time session.

Dogs and kids benefit from the partnership.

“It makes the kids more comfortable being around dogs, and it’s also training for the dogs,” said library youth services specialist Twyla Gaylord.

Curtis Day, local owner of Sit Means Sit dog training, says the dogs are fully trained and certified through K9 Caring Angels by the time they participate in story time.

“All kids like dogs,” said Day. “A lot of kids come to see the dogs, but then it helps get them involved in helping to read too.”

Nicole Coleman brought her therapy dog Bandit, a beagle, on Saturday.

“Some kids love big dogs, some love little dogs,” said Coleman.

“It’s fun to do it in groups like this, and then there’s a dog for every style of person,” she said.

Paws to Read StoryTime takes place on the second Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in the Natrona County Public Library’s children’s section.