The good people at the Humane Society of Missouri wanted to come up with a program that would make a big difference for their animals, especially those whose temperaments would make them more difficult to get adopted. “We wanted to help our shy and fearful dog without forcing physical interaction with them to see the positive effect that could have on them,” program director Jo Klepacki said in an interview. So what did they come up with? The Shelter Buddies Reading Program, wherein local children come to the children and practice reading to the dogs. It might sound a bit peculiar, but think about it: The dogs are kept in their kennels while the children read to them, thereby encouraging interaction but not overwhelming them. Over time, the dogs become more accustomed to being around humans — and therefore, better-suited for adoption.