"A dog is a willing listener for a child."
All-Around READing Dogs
Kansas ~ Lackman Library, Lenexa  

Tri-color rough collie with child reading to her.

Cabernet, a beautiful tri-colored Rough Collie, looks away from the book just long enough
to pose for her picture.

Cabernet became a registered therapy dog shortly after her first birthday. Her temperament is perfect for the work she does. She is a Canine Good Citizen and does therapy work through several organizations: Children's Mercy Hospital Pet Pals, Delta Society Pet Partners (Mo-Kan chapter), and Pets For Life. Cabernet is also registered with Animal Assisted Crisis Response as well as Noah's Canine Crisis Response. She is trained to go into crisis situations (like 9/11 and Katrina) to offer emotional relief and support to victims and first responders. Cabernet's favorite books are Molly Collie, The Christmas Collie, and Dog Breath.

Labrador retriever mixed breed therapy dog.

Sake, a gentle Labrador mix,
is a favorite with young readers. It looks like she's saying "Meet my great reading buddy!"

Sake is another rescue success. He grew up in the shelter for a year before Cabernet found and adopted him, and he has also proven to be excellent at therapy work. Like Cabernet, he is a Canine Good Citizen and does therapy work through all the same organizations that she does. Sake's favorite book is Mutt Dog, but he loves listening to any book being read to him. Sometimes he closes his eyes so he can concentrate. When the story is over, he likes to congratulate his readers with a high five or handshake.

Border collie mixed breed therapy dog with children reading.

Joker, a Border Collie and Rat Terrier mix,
proves even breeds known for their activity
can listen patiently.

This is a picture of a Redbone Coonhound lying on a blanket in a library.
Ginger poses wearing her
Delta vest and R.E.A.D. tag.

Ginger is a mixed breed but clearly has the temperament and good looks of her Redbone Coonhound heritage. She was adopted into her forever home in January 2007, and not long after it was obvious she had a talent for exuding a calm, quiet affection that put people at ease. Although they are typically instinctive hunters, Redbone Coonhounds are known to be even-tempered at home. Happy, affectionate, and very good with children, they make good family dogs because they are so eager to please.

Ginger, aka “Miss March,” was featured in the 2009 Calendar of Veterinary Events, a national calendar for veterinarians. But more than just a pretty face, in addition to encouraging children to read in a relaxed, comfortable, nonjudgmental environment, Ginger also visits patients with Alzheimer's at a local nursing home and the mental health unit at a nearby hospital.

Ginger likes to listen to books of all kinds. Some of her favorites are Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis; Bark, George, by Jules Feiffer; I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Firth; Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters From Obedience School, by Mark Teague; Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Dog by Sara Swan Miller; Henry, the Dog with No Tail, by Paula Wiseman; My Father, the Dog, by Elizabeth Bluemie; Mutt Dog! by Stephen Michael King; and Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan.


Meet some of the wonderful dogs that participate in the Lackman Library Reading Program in Lenexa, Kansas. These dogs are truly all-around therapy dogs, as they participate in many activities in addition to their reading programs. Just imagine how much joy and comfort these dogs are bringing to the people who come to know them.

German Shepherd therapy with a happy child.

Mackenzie, a German Shepherd Dog, has changed many people's opinons of "big, scary dogs."

Mackenzie is a rescue German Shepherd Dog born in November 2002. She is registered with both Delta Society® and Pets For Life, and has been doing therapy work since 2004. She is also a registered crisis response dog with Animal Assisted Crisis Response® and Noah’s Canine Crisis Response (Crisis response dogs are specially trained therapy dogs that provide animal-assisted emotional support to victims and emergency responders at crisis sites).

Mackenzie has visited juvenile detention centers, adult-care facilities, and group homes. She apparently loves her work, as she gets restless when she is not able to visit regularly.

Mackenzie shows people that big dogs, and German Shepherds in particular, don’t have to be scary. She has soft brown eyes and a smile that welcomes children and puts them at ease. During a R.E.A.D. ® session, she can often be seen with her head in a child’s lap, her eyes closed, listening intently to the story.

Golden retriever therapy dog with child reading.

Teddy, a Golden Retriever, proudly displays
R.E.A.D.® identification on his vest.

Teddy volunteers at an elementary school and at several different libraries. In addition, he visits nursing homes, a rehabilitation center at a local hospital, and is in the Children’s Mercy Hospital Pet Pals Program where he visits children in the hospital and the physical therapy unit. Teddy is a cuddly, sweet boy who loves walks, peanut butter, and belly rubs. Some of his favorite books are Dog Breath, the Cheerios books, and all the books about Boomer.

Dalmation therapy dog with children

KyAn, a Dalmation, listens while hoping
there will be lots more readers to vsit.

KyAn looks much younger than her 7 years in this photo. Working in the R.E.A.D. program for several years, she visits the library year-round. Dalmatians are very playful and need lots of hard exercise and attention. They may be too energetic for young children; however, KyAn is a perfect example of how great a Dalmatian can be when raised and socialized around youngsters.

Bernese Mountain therapy dog relaxes while a child reads to him.

Archie (above) and Moritz (below) are
Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dog with a child reading to him.Easily 100 pounds, Archie and Moritz are
much larger than most of the children who
read to them.