"A good book is the best of friends,
the same today and forever."
~ Martin Farquhar Tupper

All-Around READing Dogs
North Dakota ~ "Frankie"  

A therapy dog Bouvier des Flanders outside the tri-county library before a visit.

Frankie's official ID card.

Frankie is part of the Bismarck Animals Reading With Kids (B.A.R.K.) program, which is held at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library two months each year.

Which would she smell first, the dragons
or the tacos?

True to her breed, Frankie has an excellent nose and loves to go hunting for pheasants. At their first BARK event, one child sat down to read and Frankie started sniffing her. All of a sudden Frankie was power sniffing the child's knees and power wiggling her tail. As they got settled down and ready to read, the child said that she has a cockatiel and 2 parakeets that she reads to every day. No wonder Frankie had such a fun sniff fest! R.E.A.D.ing is always an adventure.

Bouvier des Flandres

Like Frankie, most Golden Retrievers
excel at retrieving.

Besides her volunteer sessions at the library, Frankie enjoys pheasant hunting, hunt tests, retrieving anything, obedience and agility training, and competitions. Frankie's formal name is SHR River Run Dream A Little Dream Of Me, BN, RN, NAJ, JH, WC, CCA, Triathlon Award Winner.

Frankie is a fine example of her breed
and of therapy dogs everywhere.

In addition, Frankie is one of the 3,000 Golden Retrievers enrolled in the Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Hopefully this study will find a cure for cancer in dogs.

Stories about Golden Retrievers include:

Ben: The Very Best Furry Friend, by Holly Raus
Can I Be Good? by Livingston Taylor
Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Golden Retrievers, by Kyla Duffy
My Big Dog, by Janet Stevens

Other books Frankie approves of:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
The Berenstain Bears and the Truth, by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

(Click on the titles above for a brief description and convenient ordering information.)


Born in 2013, Frankie is a Golden Retriever and lives with her family in North Dakota. Golden Retrievers are well-known as wonderful therapy dogs, and young Frankie is no exception. She became a Love On A Leash therapy dog in July 2015 and a R.E.A.D.® member in January 2016. She is the fourth therapy dog and fourth Golden Retriever to live with her special person, Genell.

We love to hear
children read.

Frankie visits a residential home for children, ages 8 to 13, once a week as part of her LOAL visits. Each week, Frankie spends 20 minutes reading with a 3rd grade girl who has a seizure disorder. This girl has delayed reading skills due to having up to 300 mini seizures a day.

At their first R.E.A.D. session, Frankie sat up at about halfway into the story so Genell suggested they do some petting and paw shakes, after which Frankie and the girl were ready to continue reading. From that time on, it has just been a normal reading time for Frankie and her girl. Sometimes a few easy words are confused in the reading, but Frankie just lies on her pad and listens. That is how Genell can tell if the girl is having a mini seizure. This child has gone from reading very fast to a nice steady pace with voice character changes. They look forward to their weekly R.E.A.D. time.

Child reading a book at the library to a therapy dog, a Bouvier des Flandres.

It's easy to see which one gets
top billing here!

Frankie has been very good with this child's seizure activity. The mother explained how great it was that after only 4 R.E.A.D. sessions, her daughter could concentrate on one skill for 20 minutes, something she had not done until she began reading with Frankie.

This Bouvier des Flandres is wearing glasses and looking at a book!

Goldens don't have many "terrible, horrible,
no good, very bad days,"but it is a good book.

The local library is their meeting place, but Frankie was also invited to a 3rd grade classroom. It was a fun time with 18 children taking turns reading to her.