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To help children gain confidence, Gore Library has invited a canine secret weapon - Walter.
District librarian Lorraine Weston-Webb said reading to a dog could help. Mya (6) and Carly (9) Soper put that into practice with Walter. The springer spaniel-foxy cross would be at the library today to meet children and listen to a few stories.
Similar initiatives had proved popular at other libraries, Ms Weston-Webb said.
''Dogs are great listeners and not at all judgemental.''
The visit is a joint initiative between the library and animal control teams, which also aimed to teach children how to be safe around dogs.
Dog owner Rachael Buchanan said Walter had to undergo behavioural testing to ensure he was right for the job.
''It's a big responsibility and important to introduce children to dogs correctly.
''Walter loves children and is a bit of a natural at this type of thing.''