Sofie is a Miniature Poodle. Poodles have been known for at least 400 years and are depicted in 15th century paintings. No one is sure where the breed officially originated, but most people think of France and French Poodle. Although it was used as a gun dog by hunters in France, the American Kennel Club claims it is from Germany, where it was used as a water retrieval dog; others believe Denmark, or possibly Hungary.
Miniature Poodles like Sofie are one of three official sizes, the smallest being the Toy and the largest being the Standard Poodle, but all are considered the same breed. They are intelligent and joyful companion dogs, typically willing to please and easy to train.
Barbara and Sofie live in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, an island off the west coast of Canada, about the size of Great Britain. When Sofie was rescued by Barbara and brought into her new forever home, nobody dreamed she would have the temperament to work with children. In fact, Barbara had never heard of a program where kids read to dogs. At the same time, her dyslexic daughter actually used to read to dogs--they just didn't know there was a program like Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) "out there."