Fools Gold, CA


Fool’s Gold Is Going to the Dogs

Buddy the labradoodle seems worried. He always seems worried. That’s part of his charm and, according to Montana Hendrix, his handler, it’s part of what makes him so effective as a therapy dog. Montana started a program this year in which children who have learning disabilities read books to a completely nonjudgmental audience – dogs.

Boy reading to labradoodle“Buddy is the dog I use with the most reluctant students,” Montana says. “He always looks like he’s a little worried. When kids reassure him that everything is okay, they improve their own self-esteem by comforting him. Then they want to make him feel even better by reading to him. Helping someone else is a pretty powerful incentive. These kids have great hearts.”

She started the program at Ronan Elementary, which is operating in its temporary facilities at Camp End Zone for Kids while the school is being rebuilt after last year’s fire. The popular program spread to other schools in town, and Montana is planning to run a summer program through the library.

“I used to work part-time at the library, but after years of searching, I finally found my true calling working with therapy dogs. Now that I’ve settled on a career, I’m ready for the next step in my life – marriage and kids!”

Buddy whimpers, and his eyebrows draw together.

“It’s okay, Buddy,” Montana says with a scratch behind his ears. “I know there’s still a man shortage in Fool’s Gold, but I’m sure I’ll find someone to love one day.”

If you were advising Montana about how a single girl can find love, what would you tell her? Where should she look?

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