GOOD FRIENDS: Mabrey-Ann Fogarty, Zac Wilson, Chloe Jarick and Lilly Selman with Spotty.
GOOD FRIENDS: Mabrey-Ann Fogarty, Zac Wilson, Chloe Jarick and Lilly Selman with Spotty. Sam Flanagan

Spotty opens a new chapter

AFTER the resounding success of Dalby's first Story Dog, the town now has a new pooch spending time with young students.

Last year the Dalby Herald did a story on Lyn Clancy and her black Labrador Sammy, who help children with difficulties reading at Our Lady of the Southern Cross College.

Now 11-year-old Jack Russell Spotty and her owner Mabrey-Ann Fogarty are doing work with Year 2 students at Dalby South State School.

"Lyn Clancy was doing it with her dog Sam and I thought Spotty would fit in perfectly,” Ms Fogarty said.

"We had training in Toowoomba and she just absolutely loved children.”

Story Dogs is a program in which a volunteer brings in their beloved canine to school so children who struggle with reading can simply read to the dog, away from the class, without judgement or pressure.

Dalby was the first town in regional Queensland to introduce the program.

Ms Fogarty said Spotty's friendly nature is perfect for the children, as they are able to feel comfortable around her.

"I brought her here to parade (assembly) one day and when it was time to go home she followed the kids into the class; she didn't want to leave. I had to pick her up and carry her out.

"She is so smart, she knows the difference in days; when she knows it's a day we go to school she walks back and forth to the front door all morning.

"The children have all progressed in their reading. The first couple of lessons they were shy and nervous, but now they can read to her no problems.

"My favourite part of this work is seeing the children develop, all of them are starting to be adventurous and read bigger books.”

Dalby South State School student Zac Wilson has appreciated Spotty's help.

"She sits in my lap when I read sometimes... she makes reading fun,” he said.

For more information on Story Dogs visit