My name is Rue. I’m a dog, and I can read. Life before I could read…it’s difficult to recall. I remember long, lazy days of naps. Treats for doing basic things like sitting, or coming when I was called. Chasing the ducks in my yard with no real purpose other than to watch them fly.
Before I could read, I spent my days vying for the attention of the house cats, Louie and Pika, but to no avail. They thought my silly antics of chasing the ball around the yard were mindless and pointless. I tried time and time again to impress them by showing them how I could chase my own tail, something that they had never attempted, but they still gave me the cold shoulder. They would laugh at me when I repeatedly got my head stuck in treat bins, popcorn bags, and cat food containers. I was only trying to be efficient and eat every last speck of food, but they still considered me an idiot. It was confusing and embarrassing. How was I supposed to know? I couldn’t read.
My style before I became literate was…interesting. I enjoyed when my human let me wear costumes and t-shirts because it was fun to see her smile. I couldn’t tell what the shirt said, but I sure did love taking pictures. The cats would sit back and laugh while I posed for the camera. I had no idea why. Didn’t I look good?
Wake up, eat, go outside, play, walk, nap, repeat. Day after day.
Sure, my life was fun, but was it fulfilling? The answer, my dear readers, was no.
After a very rewarding reading retreat put on by the wonderful people at the Center For Canine Literacy Center, my life has completely transformed. I am now the .1%.
Don’t I look so sophisticated in my sweater? Reading completely transformed me into the stylish, fancy, and proper dog that I am today. No more t-shirts for me!
Back in my puppy days, before I could read, it took me a full 6 months to learn how to “lay down,” much to the despair of my human. Now that I can read, I’ve learned 5 new tricks in the past week! Thanks, Dog Tricks For Dummies!
Before I could read, I used to pick up just about anything on the floor and eat it. My stomach hated me, and my humans were annoyed with me. Now that I have the gift of reading, I can properly read labels and ingredients. I realize now that the food in the basement says “cat food” and not “free for all.” Thanks to reading, I am now 90% less likely to have gas, which is a win for everyone. Reading also allows me to sniff out and identify the hidden gems in the household. I know that the bin by the door says “treats” and that the container that says “peanut butter” means wonderful, creamy deliciousness.
The cats, as it turns out, have more in common with me than they had originally thought. Now that I can read, and have read numerous studies on cat behavior, we spend countless evenings on the couch discussing and arguing about our favorite literature. Louie’s favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, while I prefer Gary Paulsen. Gone are the days of tail chasing and treat stealing. I’m much too civilized for that nonsense now. After we have our cultured chats, it’s often the perfect time for a sophisticated nap. Every great genius needs their beauty sleep.
Before reading, I used to race through walks around the neighborhood, smelling mailbox after mailbox with no real direction or purpose. Now, I take time to enjoy my surroundings, appreciate the colors of nature, smell the roses (but not eat them, ouch), and converse with my fellow canine comrades who are literate. Sadly, I’m limited in those choices. My only other nearby literate lad is a grumpy black pug who lives 4 doors down, and frankly, discusses politics too much for my taste. My neighborhood is full of illiterate pups who get a thrill out of digging in the garbage, instead of digging into classic literature or current events. I need your help.
Who else will join me on my journey?
Thanks to the wonderful people at CCLC, I was given the gift of reading. Now, you can help other illiterate dogs transform into the sophisticated, smart, and knowledgeable canine that I have become. Your donation today will help the 99.9% of dogs who can’t read in the world. Do your part to help. Do it.