Glenn Schrader and his wife Linda have lived in Great Bend for many years and are known as owners of Scranton Machine and Supply for many years. But Glenn is better known to the hundreds of children in the area as his canine companion, Luna, a Burmese Mountain Dog trained to listen to children read.
On July 31, it will be seven years since the couple sold their business. But some would argue that training her Luna and taking her to places like schools and libraries is a full-time job.
Luna wasn’t the first dog he trained for therapy work.
“Twelve to 14 years ago, I had another dog who worked in therapy, but I was working at the time, so I usually saw the moon on Sundays, and there were about 60 people,” he said. he said.
Now he and Luna meet as many as 800 people a month. After meeting the training requirements, Luna obtained certification through the Pet Partner Program, which registers therapy dogs and other therapy animals. Luna is part of Pet Partners’ Read with Me program. The organization conducted a rigorous assessment of more than 20 qualities to see how Glenn and Luna would interact and qualify them as registered therapy dogs.
Glenn and Luna have been Pet Partners team since 2018.
When he was ready, Glenn took Luna to the Great Bend Public Library to see children’s librarian Amy Mayhill.
“We were just discussing bringing in a dog to read to the children,” she said. It is!”
“It’s very difficult for most children to learn to read aloud to anyone,” says Schroeder. “But children tend to be able to read to dogs.”
In April they finished their weekly ‘Read to Luna’ series at the Great Bend Public Library and took a month off before returning during the summer reading program in June.
We All Nuts
Bicyclists in the area may not know the Schroeders, but they may know the farm where they live south of Great Bend Airport. A stone carved with the name of the “We All Nuts” farm is frequented by cyclists.
Schrader said the name was suggested by his daughter-in-law, who lives in a “big city.”
“She thought we were crazy living in a small town like Great Bend,” he said. When it came time to name the farm, Schroeder didn’t want to use something as boring as “Walnut Valley.” So he made a pun on the words of his daughter-in-law. If you think of the Southern chatter of “Y’all,” the name of the farm becomes “We’all Nuts!” (Walnuts.)
It might sound like a noisy place, but Schroeder says it’s usually a peaceful place. He and Linda came here from the East Coast in 1973 to help with his father’s family business. He said they used to live in the middle of the universe but moved to a remote location, that’s fine. “We enjoy peace and quiet.”
Most of the time, yes.
“We had some exciting moments there,” he said.
Once, on their way to Arizona, three cyclists from Wisconsin stopped and camped overnight on the Schrader family property.
“They got stuck in Colorado,” he said. “It wasn’t Donner Pass, but it was tough.” While they were in Kansas, the area was under tornado watch. Linda cooked dinner for the bikers, brought out trash bags, and showed them shelter from the rain on his former farm in case evacuation was needed.
Two other campers who showed up at the farm were traveling in gypsy wagons pulled by mules. After reading “We All Nuts” carved in stone, they were a little scared to stop at the farm, but a neighbor happened to walk by and reassured them. After visiting with the campers, Glenn learned they were from Wisconsin, just like the other cyclists before him. They knew each other, but they didn’t know each other personally, he said.
“It was strange that we both ended up here,” he said. “We are interconnected.”
Community Connections is a regular feature of The Great Bend Tribune that showcases the people who live in the Golden Belt. Readers are encouraged to submit the names of individuals active in the community that they would like to see featured in future articles. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and describe your ‘connecting with the community’.