You can borrow a pooch at a Canine Library in Vancouver next weekend


This could paw-sibly be the cutest event of the year.

Vancouverites will have the chance to borrow a therapy dog from a ‘Canine Library’ using a bark-code — just like checking out a book — at Emery Barnes Park next weekend.

Vancouverites will have the chance to borrow a dog from a ‘Canine Library’ using a bark-code — just like checking out a book — at Emery Barnes Park next weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

The adorable event will offer participants 15 minutes to read a poetry book to a pooch and enjoy its company.

The Vancouver Public Library teamed up with Vancouver Park Board and St. John Ambulance to make the Poetry in Parks event a reality for doggo lovers.

Candie Tanaka, programming and learning event coordinator for VPL, said this year the Park Board wanted to host an event to help “foster better relationships between dog owners and non dog owners in parks.”

After brainstorming, the groups came up with the idea to mix two popular programs; Paws 4 Stories, run by St. John Ambulance, and the VPL’s Human Library.

The difference: Instead of checking out a human to chat to and learn from, you get to read to a St. John Ambulance BC/Yukon therapy dog. There will be six pooches to choose from — from as big as a Husky to as little as a Chihuahua.

The Paws 4 Stories program. Photo: St. John Ambulance BC/Yukon Facebook

Vancouver writer Alex Leslie has curated a selection of poetry books for both adults and children to choose from, relating to animals and nature.

Tanaka told Vancouver Is Awesome the event offered a little something for everyone.

“For kids who are new at learning, they don’t have as much fear when they’re reading to a dog,” they explained.

“And sometimes it’s just therapeutic for an adult to read to a dog. You can just zen out and have a nice experience.”

Tanaka said VPL would be introducing people to the participating dogs through its Instagram feed during the next week.

View this post on Instagram

Hi I’m Taz, but my friends call me Tazie or Mr Big Ears. I’m a wise 11 1/2 year-old Papillon/Chihuahua cross seeking a human reading companion. ?? ?? I love veggies and baths before visiting friends at the nursing home. I dislike walking in hot weather and staying home alone (though luckily I have my sister to keep me company). Are you the human I’m looking for? ? ?? Use my bark code to take me out of the Canine Library on Sat, Sept 14 from 1-3pm at @vanparkboard Emery Barnes Park. Not sure we’re a good match? A few of my @stjohnambulancebc therapy dog friends will be at the park looking for humans to read poetry to them too. #tongueouttuesday? #tot #readingcompanion #stjohnambulancetherapydog #vanparkboard #librarydog #vancouverpubliclibrary #dogstagram #dogs #doggo #dog #papillonchihuahua

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They anticipate it’s going to be a busy day.

“It’s our first time doing this program so we’re pretty excited about it,” Tanaka said.

“It should be a lot of fun.”

If you want to take part, you’ll have to register for one of the 48 time slots in person at the park on the day.

Tanaka said it was paw-sible that the program would happen again in the future.

St. John Ambulance and Paws 4 Stories will also be accepting donations at the event.


Date: Saturday, September 14
Location: Emery Barnes Park, 1170 Richards St
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Registration: In person at the park