My Buddy

My Buddy Walker went to West today and had a big day. He visited the life skills class and had a great time playing games with the boys there. And then he got in some reading in the library with some 3rd graders and some kindergarteners. He says they were all very kind and respectful. The librarian chose a book called My Buddy. This is a book that we actually have in our home library and is one of our favorites.

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It’s written by Audrey Osofsky and illustrated by Ted Rand. It was published by Henry Holt and Co. in 1992. It’s about a boy with muscular dystrophy and his service dog, Buddy.

Walker happens to carry a few pictures with him of his time as a Guide Dog in Training and he shared them with the kids. They thought it was pretty fun that Walker did some of the same things that Buddy did! Like going to a mall!  Buddy knows 60 commands and the kids figured that Walker knows about 30. But they thought that was pretty smart!

We like this book because it’s about a service dog and Walker and I come from that background. This is a really nice book to read with kids that shows them how special service dogs can be. It talks about some of the training that Buddy goes through and also how Buddy and his boy have to train together. At first they had a hard time trusting each other. The boy tied Buddy to his wrist so that they had to spend every moment together. Even taking showers together! I used to take showers with the Mom Person. I liked that. Now I’m too big.

Buddy does a lot of stuff for his boy that makes life easier and more fun. He becomes just like one of “the guys”.

IMG_1742Buddy and the boy go shopping at the mall and Buddy gives the money to the shop lady! That’s not something Walker ever learned! I think this book helps kids appreciate what a dog can do for people. And I think that these kids in West really appreciate our visits. It’s been fun going there.

We couldn’t find any information on the author of this fine little book. Ms Osofsky has written a couple of other books, but seems to be rather elusive! We did find a nice review of My Buddy with a little about how she came to write it. You might check it out here.

For more information about service dogs visit Canine Companions for Independence.

And for Guide Dog information visit Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

And a little video from Canine Companions for Independence —

Sally Gets a Job

Our Perfect Picture Book Friday Pick this week is Sally Gets a Job written and illustrated by Stephen Huneck.

This is a fiction book published in 2008 by Abrams Books for Young Readers. It is suitable for ages 6 and up.

From the 1st page — “There they go, off to work and school. I wish I could go, too. Maybe I should get a job.”

Thus begins Sally’s musings about what would be the perfect job for her. Maybe she could drive a school bus, or be a teacher. Maybe a lifeguard at the beach. Maybe an archeologist or a pro ball player. So many options!

In real life there really are lots of dogs doing very important work. There are guide dogs for visually impaired people, service dogs for people with other needs, search and rescue dogs, drug sniffing dogs, bomb detection dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, show dogs.

I myself am a working dog with multiple titles — therapy dog, library dog, reading dog, school dog. And much like Sally, I have often dreamed about other jobs that I could do —

I have been a teacher and library dog, a farm dog, an actor, a rally competitor. It might be fun to be a fire dog. But like Sally in her book, I have found that the best job in the world is —

Taking care of my family!

There are lots of “Sally” books. She’s a very busy dog. She’s one of my very favorite book characters. And her Dad Person who was also her author and illustrator was an incredible artist using hand carved wood blocks. Mr Huneck died in 2010 but his influence on the dog and art worlds is huge. His home in Vermont has become a haven for dogs and their owners. It is called Dog Mountain. And on the mountain is a unique chapel called Dog Chapel. Dog Mountain is open to the public and they often have special events there.

If you were to read this book in your classroom it could open up lots of discussion about jobs that dogs do for people. And then you might talk about what jobs the kids’ dogs do for them. We have these talks a lot when I go to school. And there are probably dog groups of some kind in your area that probably have members that would LOVE to come visit a classroom. Dog people LOVE sharing their dogs!
Some resources that you might look into¬† —

Therapy Dogs International, Delta Society, Canine Companions for Independence
Guide Dog Users, Search and Rescue Dogs, Police Dogs, American Kennel Club.

So what does your dog do for you? Think on that!

And go check out Sally Gets a Job — and all the other Sally books!
And then check out the other PPBF books at Susanna Hill’s place!