Hilltop's first reading dog has died

McHENRY – Daisy, the reading therapy dog for Hilltop Elementary School, died July 26 after her back legs gave out due to arthritis.

Daisy's story recently was chronicled in a story that was published last month in the Northwest Herald.

Maureen Adams-Durkin, Daisy’s owner and Hilltop’s learning disabilities teacher, thought of bringing Daisy as a reading dog in 2005 so Adams-Durkin's students would enjoy reading. Adams-Durkin and learning disabilities assistant Barb Szamlewski also thought Daisy could get through to the students in a different way.

Daisy helped more than 175 students in her eight years of service. She retired May 21 to enjoy her "golden" years.

Daisy’s visits were treated as incentives for the students to complete their regular work first. Szamlewski said the kids would get so excited about having "Daisy Day" and she said Daisy 100 percent had done her job.

Daisy was the youngest dog in her litter and her mother was also a therapy dog. Daisy became a certified therapy dog when she was 5 years old.

To view the July 11 article about Daisy.