Students get hands on with dogs while reading ‘My Dog Skip’

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – When veterinarian Glenn Thomas surprised Boys & Girls Club students with his three dogs Friday morning, half of the students jumped into their seats while the others cautiously approached the dogs.
The 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds at the Haven Acres club were talking about Willie Morris’ “My Dog Skip” with Lisa Reed as a part of the Tupelo Reads program.
Thomas brought his dogs, Jeb, Mitchell and Hoagie, to the classroom so the students could talk about having dogs and relate that to Morris’ tale of his first boyhood dog.
“I think it’s a great book,” said Jeremiah James, 11, after marveling at three-legged Jeb who greeted kids around the room. “Skip is a good dog and he’s really friendly.”
Thomas told the students why he loves dogs.
“Dogs are straight-forward and forgiving with unconditional love,” he said. “Much better than people.”
Reed said she and Bonnie Webb have been reading the book with the children throughout the week.
While reading about a summer trip Morris and Skip took to Jackson, Reed pointed to a map of Mississippi, showing the students the route the Greyhound bus would have taken from Yazoo City to “Jackson-town.”
Xasha Berry, 12, said the friendship between Morris and Skip is fun to read about but it’s not her favorite book.
“I think it’s all right but I’m not very interested in dogs,” she said. “I’m reading another book right now that I really like, ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.’”
jb.clark@journalinc.com