"To get the full value of joy
you must have someone to divide it with."
~ Mark Twain
All-Around READing Dogs
North Dakota ~ "Buddy"  

Whippet, reading therapy dog.

Show me the pictures!
Colorful books are interesting.

Christie has always felt very strongly that although Buddy is their family dog, it is her responsibility to share him with others. She says that is his greatest gift! He loves meeting people and seems to know which people need a little extra Buddy love. They moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 2012 and quickly became acquainted with Therapy Pets of the Red River Valley. They became a Pet Partners Therapy Team in May of 2013 and a R.E.A.D.® team in May 2014.

Buddy offers a little " Buddy Love."

Buddy and Christie started doing therapy work in June of 2013. They have visited area nursing homes, treatment centers, and public libraries. Buddy has also visited college campuses, providing stress relief to students during finals week! During the school year, Buddy spends 4 hours a week at a local elementary school listening to children read. He works primarily with children who need more confidence with their reading skills. The students tell him that he is, "the best listener ever!" He has also helped many children get over their fear of dogs, due to his calm personality.

Buddy stretches out listening to a good story .

Initially hesitant and uncertain, Buddy now loves riding in the car and sits proudly in the front seat with Christie on the way to his therapy visits. Buddy loves to meet people, actually prancing through the doorways of the facilities that he visits, obviously excited to spread some joy.

Surely it must be time for a belly rub
very, very soon!

When he's not at "work," he loves to go on walks, chew on sticks, and of course, he loves belly rubs! It is such a gift to share him with everyone!

Stories with Golden Retrievers in them include:

My Buddy, by Audrey Osofsky
Pillow Pup, by Dianne Ochiltree
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy, by Dori Butler (there are several books in The Buddy Files series)

From homeless to helpful, that's Buddy's story. Although he is a prime example of a Golden Retriever, being calm and gentle and eager to please, Buddy's early months were not ideal. Found as a stray in a city park in 2008, it appeared as if he were camped out at the park waiting for the children who would come there to play. After a couple of days, one of the mothers called the humane society, where he was taken. His profile was later posted online at petfinder.com, and that is where Christie found him. She was told he was about 9 months old at that time. He didn't know how to walk on a leash, was not housebroken, and they weren't sure if he had ever been indoors. Buddy was also very hesitant about riding in cars, to the point that Christie had to lift him in and out of her SUV for 3 weeks before he became self-confident enough to jump in and out by himself.

The first thing that Christie did with Buddy when she brought him home was to go for a walk. He caught on quickly to walking on a leash and soon they were enrolled in a beginner obedience class, where he excelled. It is interesting to note that although he excelled in the obedience class, the doorways were scary for him and he had to be carried into the training facility the first 3 times they attended.

Hello, I think I like you!

Fun Fact-> The first the first three dogs to achieve their A.K.C. Obedience Trial Championships were Golden Retrievers.

This whippet loves to be close to books and to people.

She reads so well, Buddy can
picture the scenes in his head .

Because of his personality and how well they were doing in class, he and Christie were approached about becoming a therapy team thru Delta Society. They took the class, but because she had not owned him the required length of time then and he did not meet their minimum age requirement, he was unable to test.

Pleased to meet you!

Then, they moved to a remote area in North Dakota where opportunities were limited; however, they could do casual visits to the local nursing home and public library.