Performing poodles kickoff Summer Reading

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Michelle Harrell and her trained furry companions helped the Chilton/Clanton Public Library kickoff the Summer Reading Program and summer library activities on June 4.

Children sat mesmerized and excited as Michelle’s Magical Poodles jumped through hoops, over poles and through her arms.

The four dogs also helped her do a magic trick or two and showed off their fetching skills.

“We go all over the United States and travel and perform,” Harrell said.

Harrell told the audience that they could teach their dogs some of the tricks her dogs did in the show.

“I encourage you to try some of these tricks, engage with your family pet and have some fun with your dog,” Harrell said.

Many of the props she used in the show were common items, like a hula hoop and a bandana.

“You can do a lot of things without props,” Harrell said

She said getting a dog to learn a trick takes a lot of patience and treats.

“You can make some of this stuff at home,” Harrell said of her props. “I made this (a hurdle) with that piping you can find in hardware stores that you can make all kinds of cool stuff out of.”

Harrell said she has also found props at thrift stores.

Some of the tricks were similar to ones dogs might do in the circus.

“Did you know poodles are one of the smartest breeds out there?” Harrell asked. “Does anyone actually know where poodles comes from, what country?”

After guesses ranging from Auburn to France, Harrell revealed that poodles come from Germany.

“They were originally water retrievers,” Harrell said. “They had a job.”

One of the dogs showed the children how to roll and spin if they ever caught on fire.

Harrell encouraged the audience to find things to do with their pets so that they stay active. She said doing activities together keeps people from wanting to get rid of their dog.

“I use a lot of treats, but when we are at home … we just run around and play with toys and have a good old time,” Harrell said.

The event broke a Summer Reading Program attendance record for the library, according to a post Harrell made on Facebook after the event.

The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program is “A Universe of Stories.”

Events will be held each Tuesday in June and July.

A complete calendar of library activities can be found at under “Events.”