Professor Owls Book Corner~February 2019


Welcome to the February 2019 Issue of  Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter where in addition to supporting those with special needs and learning challenges, we are also committed to being more focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy.  We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

We will also be encouraging young writers and artists with tips, writing exercises and will still be updating our Community News Boards with the latest news from Variety Village and The March of Dimes.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner hopes you enjoy this month’s edition! Please feel free to give us your feedback on our new issue, also send us any ideas you may have to help Professor Owl’s Book Corner be all that it can be.  We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.

Love Your Pet Day


When Celebrated: Always February 20th

Love Your Pet Day is the day to pamper and spoil our pets. Families just love their pets, and really do not need an excuse to spoil them. It is an easy excuse to spend time with them and to give them special treats. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a fish, small horses, a pet snake, or your pet rock……give them lots of love and attention today.

However, there is a group of pets that have important jobs to do. Many of them are dogs’ but other animals used are listed above.

Working dogs typically get plenty of R&R and playtime. When they’re working dogs. These animals cannot be spoilt if they are at home and out of their “work clothes,” they are free to behave like any other dog.

Since the jobs these wonderful animals do are often challenging and stressful, their handlers recognize they need plenty of downtime and exercise.

  • Most people do not realize there are rules of etiquette when in the presence of a service dog team (the dog and the owner/handler)
  • Service dogs should never be approached, talked to or touched unless permission is asked for and granted by the dog’s handler. No offense should be taken if the handler asks you not to interact with the dog
  • Distracting a working dog can result in potential harm to the handler, and can interfere with the dog’s focus and ability to follow potentially life-saving commands or cues

If you’re crazy about dogs, you’ve probably found it difficult to “mind your manners” in the presence of service animals. I know I have. These dogs are so beautiful and carry themselves with such quiet dignity that they’re nearly irresistible.

But resist we must.

Whether the dog is in service or in training to serve, the rule of thumb is: don’t touch or distract him. This is because interacting with a dog that is working, or training could put the other half of his team — his owner — in harm’s way.

It could also interfere with the dog’s focus and inhibit his ability to pick up commands.

Puppies destined to be service dogs begin training on the day they’re born, and it takes a minimum of two years before they’re ready to work full-time. Training is customized for each dog. Essentially, the dogs choose their jobs based on their specific skill sets.

In case you’re not sure of proper etiquette when you encounter a working dog, the following are some do’s and don’ts for behavior around a service dog team (dog and owner).

Dos and Don’ts for Behavior Around a Service Dog Team

  • DO speak to the owner/handler rather than the dog:.

The service dog and her handler are a team. If you want to talk to them, always speak to the person first rather than automatically approaching the dog. Remember, the animal is working, and her human’s life could depend on her staying focused on her job

  •  DO NOT touch the dog without asking permission first.

Touching or petting a working dog is a distraction and may prevent him from tending to his human partner. The dog may be in the process of completing a command or direction given by his human, and you don’t want to interfere.

Fortunately, most service dogs are trained to stay in work mode until they receive a release command from their handler. That’s why many service dogs are able to ignore outside influences.

  • DO keep your own dog a distance away from a working dog

If you happen to have your dog with you when you encounter a service dog team, don’t allow your pet to approach them without first talking with the handler to see if it’s permissible.

Other animals are an obvious distraction to working dogs, and in a worst-case scenario, there could be an altercation between the two animals.

  • DO NOT offer food to a service dog

According to Canine Companions for Independence, “Food is the ultimate distraction to the working dog and can jeopardize the working assistance dog team.”1

Not only are food and treats a potential distraction, but many service dogs are fed a specific diet and often on a specific schedule.

  • DO treat the owner/handler with sensitivity and respect

Asking a service dog’s handler personal questions about his or her disability is out of bounds. It’s disrespectful and an intrusion of privacy.

Assume the service dog team can handle things themselves. If you sense they could use your help, ask first. And don’t take it personally if your offer is rejected, as there’s usually a good reason.

  • DO N0T assume a napping service dog is off duty

All dogs nap, including working dogs. When her handler is sitting or standing for some length of time, it’s perfectly natural and appropriate for a service dog to catch a few winks. She’s still technically at work, however, so all dos and don’ts remain in effect.

  • DO inform the handler if a service dog approaches you

If a working dog approaches you, sniffs or nudges you, etc., politely let the handler know. Resist the urge to respond to the dog — the handler will correct the dog.

  • DO NOT assume service dogs never get to ‘just be dogs’

If you don’t have a pet, maybe today is the day to adopt a pet. Take a trip to your local Humane Society and bring home an animal that needs you. It will make you both feel good.

Origin of Love Your Pet Day:

Our research did not find the creator or the origin of this day. Most likely, it was a pet lover or an animal rights group.


If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

How to Teach Yourself How to  read:

Web Resources:

Our Web Resources provide students, tutors, and all who are interested in a relevant and organized listing of literacy-related websites. These sites have been found useful to adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math and essential skills and to tutors and trainers who work with these motivated learners. We also provide brief descriptions of each site that is listed. Each site is listed according to the Essential Skill provided.


GCF offers the computer and technology training you need for life – absolutely free! Whether you’re new to the computer, returning for review, or want to use technology to enhance your skills, has something for you, from basic computer skills to Microsoft Office training, free. (skills: RT, DU, TS, CU, CL)




Dream Keeper


by Amber R. Duell


 The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He must be if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So, when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

This is another fun fantasy read, I would recommend it. The story is unique and interesting. It is well written in a style that is easy to read and keeps you interested. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this novel.

About Author

amber duell

Amber R. Duell

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

 When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here…email us at:


Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just be honest, be creative and use your imagination!

“Books are uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

When your neighbour moves, they leave you a box of old books that won’t fit on the truck. Inside are all different types of books mostly informational and fantasy.  At the very bottom of the box, you find a very old looking book, as you reach for it you notice it gives off a spark.  You see a piece of paper sticking out the top, as you gently slip it out you notice it is extremely old just like the book.  On the paper is written a warning.

“Beware this book contains magic, use with caution, or face the consequences…”

What do you do? Do you keep the book? Do you throw it away? Do you read it?  If you keep it, what does it do, if it does anything? Is the magic good or bad? Get creative, write and most importantly, have fun! 🙂

Writing Prompt…

“Advice to young writers who want to get ahead without any annoying delays: don’t write about Man, write about a man.”  ~E.B. White

Write about someone (man or woman) one person in particular, who has made a positive difference in your life. What have they done that sets them apart? Do you aspire to be like them?


Variety Village2

Follow this page every month in Professor Owl’s Book corner to get the most up to date events at Variety Village.

Variety the Children’s Charity and Variety Village promotes appreciation, interaction, empowerment and inclusion. We facilitate the achievement of life goals for people with disabilities through sports, fitness, wellness; awareness; education for more than 60 years, Variety Ontario has worked with young people with disabilities and those who face developmental barriers to achieve their life potential. We are a world-recognized authority providing integrated sports and life skills programs, applied research and learning programs that change children’s lives and strengthen communities.

We’ve achieved this reputation because of our ongoing work to better the lives of children and young people with disabilities. We are active in the greater Toronto area and across Ontario promoting the inclusion of young people through our three areas of expertise:

Integrated sports and life skills programs:

Children’s programming is delivered at Variety Village and throughout Ontario.

Applied research:

Reflecting on our philosophy, our practical and theoretical work develops equipment, games, and curricula promoting access, awareness and adapted activities.

Learning programs:

Our academic and professional certifications programs draw students and teachers from around the world to learn and study our best practices and approaches, to participate in their applications and to learn how to adapt their own programs and initiatives.

Our hope is to foster a more integrated society, where everyone feels welcome, inspired and hopeful about his or her future.

Upcoming Events January ~ February 2019

Town Hall Meeting

New Year, New Us!

We’re launching our new direction as we go back to our roots as Variety – the Children’s Charity. The new year brings new dreams to fulfill and more lives to change. Moving forward, the Variety Village that you know and love isn’t going anywhere; we are still offering the same life-changing programming for our home base in Toronto while expanding our reach across Ontario to ensure no child is left waiting on the sidelines.

Please join us for a town hall meeting with Variety Ontario President and CEO, Karen Stintz, as well as other guests as we discuss our recent rebrand initiative. Learn more about Variety’s new direction and what this year will look like.

Bring your questions and concerns and participate in this interactive community discussion!

WHEN: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
TIME: 2:00pm
WHERE: Variety Toronto (Variety Village) Lounge



Please contact Zoe Middleton at

Contact Information:

3701 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON M1N 2G2

For more information on these Variety Village Events and  Programs, please contact/

March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities




Check Out an Event Near You!

Rock for Dimes national fundraiser currently has 12 events in communities from coast to coast. Select images or event titles to learn more about each location.


February 2, 2019 
The Palace Theatre
219-8 Avenue SW, Calgary




Rock for Dimes Vancouver

February 22, 2019  
Commodore Ballroom  
868 Granville Street, Vancouver


Rock for Dimes Windsor

February 2019  (TBC)
Average Joe’s Sports Bar  (TBC)
1266 Lauzon Rd., Windsor





March of Dimes Canada

10 Overlea Blvd.

Toronto, Ontario M4H1A4




For more information on the March of Dimes and their events please visit >

wise-picks ~Lauback website, resources for Tutors and Student.

www.alphca aplus .ca ~ In these pages you will find resources and information to enrich your learning experience. ~ Register with this site and you get information on Online tutoring, words and vocabulary, homework help and much more. ~ Lots of fun and challenging activities for you and your family


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.