Five-year-old pays tribute to librarian story-teller ... by naming his dog after him

Daniel the Spaniel and Daniel Belton SUS-160401-173241001
Daniel the Spaniel and Daniel Belton SUS-160401-173241001

Meet Daniel the spaniel ... and Dan The Man.

The lovable Cavalier King Charles spaniel has been named after Daniel Belton, a senior West Sussex library assistant.

The honour was bestowed by a five-year-old boy from Steyning who was so inspired by the llibrarian’s story-time sessions that he decided to give his precious pet the same name.

And Daniel the spaniel was even allowed special VIP access into Lancing library to meet the original Dan up close and personal.

Dan, who has worked in libraries across West Sussex for almost 22 years, said: “The dog belongs to a member of staff who works at Steyning Library, but who often comes into Lancing.

“Her sons, Michael and William, had joined us for a story-time session. We did ‘Aliens and Robots,’ with the children designing their own robots. We always try to get into it too, so I was ‘wearing’ a very large brain on my head!

“I think Michael, especially, must have enjoyed it and it was fresh in his mind.”

Michael’s mum, Christina, said: “My children go to a lot of children’s activities in all our local libraries and my youngest really likes the ones Dan does.

“My husband and I were thinking about getting the boys a puppy. We asked them if we got a boy puppy what would they call it. Michael said ‘Dan’ and when I asked him why he said ‘Dan is funny and kind’.

“So I asked who Dan was, thinking he’d say a boy at school, but he said ‘Man at library’.”

Dan wasn’t expecting such a compliment, but admits it’s wonderful to be able make a positive impact on the children who attend the various activities run by the library.

“We all take turns leading story-time and when you first start it’s a bit daunting but actually, it’s the best part of the job,” he said.

“Once Dan the dog was three weeks old, they brought him in. We don’t usually let dogs in the library but he was allowed in especially for a photo opportunity.

“I’m more of a cat person actually, but it is a lovely little dog!”