Woman, therapy dog aid children
Bren Quiett Reisch has been volunteering for years, but now so is her 3 year-old Godlendoodle, Vinny, who is a therapy dog.
By Corey Gibson
WEST CHESTER TWP. —
Who: Bren Quiett Reisch, 62, who lives in West Chester Twp., has been volunteering her time to the community for many years. Most recently she has been going door to door for the Butler County Victory Center, helping people get registered to vote, but she also recently trained her 3 year-old Goldendoodle, Vinny to be a therapy dog.
What she does: A doctor, who Reisch was friends with, suggested Vinny would be a great therapy dog, not only for other people but also for Reisch who had suffered a brain concussion, causing her to lose some of her short term memory.
She began taking Vinny to the Ronald McDonald House. The first day she took the dog in, everyone loved him. One woman even grabbed Vinny, hugged him and started crying. The women said seeing Vinny was the best thing that happened since she brought her daughter from Texas to get surgery.
“They get comfort from knowing Vinny and touching him and loving him and hugging him and playing with him,” said Reisch. “I am blessed I am able to do that with him.”
Reisch recently organized a program, called Tail Wagging Tutors, at the Midpointe West Chester Library, for children who need help learning to read. The program, which started this month, consists of 17 therapy dogs going to the West Chester Library and listening to the children as they read to the dogs.
“The dog does not criticize, does not ridicule. They just give love,” said Reisch. “They have found that therapy dogs really help children who are nervous about reading.”
The most satisfying thing: “There was a this little girl, the first day we were at Ronald McDonald house, and this little girl started hugging Vinny and would not leave his side for anything,” said Reisch. “I later found out it was her first day at the Ronald McDonald House and she was about to have surgery, as well as stay at there for quite a while. Because of Vinny, he gave her the courage to not be afraid.”
How to get involved: People interested in bringing their children to read to one of the therapy dogs can call (513) 777-3131 ext. 2. Others interested in volunteering at Ronald McDonald house can call Elise Hyder at (513) 636-5586.