“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him,
and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”
~ Samuel Butler
 
All-Around READing Dogs
Georgia ~ "Nikki"  

This Australian Shepherd therapy dog helps children practice reading at Sims Elementary Shool in Georgia.

Nikki with a reading buddy
at Sims Elementary School.

Nikki was adopted from the Aussie Rescue (ARPH) in 2003 when she was about 3 years old. True to the adaptability traits of the breed, she fit right in with her loving owner/partner and new forever home. Within a year, she passed her Canine Good Citizen test, qualified as Delta Society Pet Partner®, and was registered as a R.E.A.D.® team. She now volunteers every Wednesday as a reading buddy for elementary school children; however, besides reading with Nikki, the children also learn how to get Nikki to do her tricks for them. Many of them introduce her to their class as their reading buddy and show off her tricks.

Nikkie performs during Family Reading Night and received a special K9 Volunteer of the Year 2005-2006 Award.

Nikki has been featured several times during Family Reading Night at the school’s library, and the school even presented her with a special "K9 Volunteer of the Year 2005–06” award.

Nikki is an Australian Shepherd. Interestingly, the Australian Shepherd (or Aussie) as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. It probably originated in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, but was called the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800's. Like many working breeds, Australian Shepherd was initially known by many names, including Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, Blue Heeler, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd.

Aussies are known as truly versatile dogs, easily adaptable to various situations. Many of them serve as working ranch dogs, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, pet therapy dogs, drug detectors, and search-and-rescue dogs.

 

     
 
 
 
 

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