"Nothing will turn a man's home into a castle more quickly and effectively
than a dachshund."
~Queen Victoria

All-Around READing Dogs
Wisconsin ~ "Biscuit"  

This Dachshund therapy dog flops one ear open  to listen to children read to her.

Ears flopped open,
"the better to hear you with!"

Pat’s son needed speech therapy when he was only two, as well as a learning disability class for reading and language arts when he first started school. The three of them used to read books together, Pat and her son each taking a turn reading a page with Biscuit lying between them. Although her son does not like dogs as much as many children, it was a good experience for him and helpful training for Biscuit. Now he is proud that Biscuit worked at his school, and the other students envied him because he lived with Biscuit.

This Dachshund is a Reading Education Assistance Dog in Wisconsin

Who could resist reading to her?

All R.E.A.D. and therapy dog partners make wonderful memories over the years. For example, Pat has learned that Biscuit likes to lie on her back next to a child and have her tummy rubbed while he or she reads. She soon realized that if the rubbing stops, Biscuit would sneeze, so if Pat sees a big word coming up in the book that she thinks the child might not know or understand, she’ll stop rubbing Biscuit. When she sneezes, Pat can always say, "Biscuit doesn't understand that word, could you explain it to her?” or "Biscuit has a question.” One boy kept getting the word "ancient" wrong and it took about six Biscuit sneezes before he got it right. After he was done, he ran off to his friends saying, "Biscuit kept sneezing because I couldn't get the word “ancient!”

This Dachshund is a Reading Education Assistance Dog

Hunting, for Biscuit, sometimes means
flushing out just the right storybook.

Once time Biscuit sneezed just as a boy read, "There were two ladies sitting outside with bananas in their hair." So Pat said, "Biscuit wants to know why the ladies have bananas in their hair." He reread the sentence and said, "I'm sorry Biscuit, it was bandanas in their hair, not bananas." Then he turned to Pat and said, "Wow! That dog really does know her stuff!”

The "Biscuit" stories are naturally some of Biscuit's favorites:

Biscuit, Biscuit Goes to School, Biscuit Finds a Friend, Biscuit’s Christmas .... by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Books with Dachshunds in the story include:

A Dachshund's Wish, by Joe Tavano
Dex: the Heart of a Hero, by Caralyn Buehner
Little Pink Pup, by Johanna Kerby
Noodle, by Munro Leaf
Peekaboo, Stretch! by Karen Pandell
Pretzel, by Margret Rey
The Hallo-wiener, by Dav Pilkey

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


Biscuit is a black and tan dapple smooth-haired Miniature Dachshund. Eighth on the 2009 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. list, Dachshunds come in wide variety of colors, two distinct sizes (miniature and standard), and can also have long hair or a rougher wire-haired coat. The breed originated in Germany and was developed to hunt badgers; the smaller (miniature) size was developed for smaller prey like rabbits. Dachshunds have lived with many celebrities, including Mary Tyler Moore, Clark Gable and Carol Lombard, and Willian Randolf Hearst, and featured in movies (Slinky in "Toy Story"), children's books (Hundley in Curious George tales), cartoons (Odie in the Garfield series), and television shows (Schatzi in "That '70s Show"). "Half-a-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long," they are a lovable and playful addition to many homes, including those with children.

Dachshund therapy dog, Ripon, Wisconsin

Biscuit loves to hunt and run and play,
always ready for any- and everything.

Registered with Therapy Dogs Inc. and a Reading Education Assistance Dog, Biscuit has proven herself to be an ideal classroom assistant. Like all therapy dogs, she has been screened for skills and temperament, health and cleanliness, good manners and attitude. She is calm and reliable, obedient, and impeccably groomed to be attractive and fun to touch and stroke. She enjoys children and likes curling up on the floor with them to hear their stories.

This Dachshund is a therapy dog that children read to in Wisconsin

Biscuit holds a book open, ready for
the next reader.

Biscuit’s owner, Pat, works closely with the school teachers in order to understand what type of issues the readers have so Biscuit can better help them. She says, “As far as the kids are concerned, I am just sitting with the dog. The dog ‘asks’ all the questions and I talk for her.” Sometimes Pat will say, “I don’t think Biscuit knows what that word means. Could you please explain it to her?” Other times she might comment, “Since you are halfway through the book, could you please tell Biscuit what has happened so far?”

Hmmm, which book would you like?

Biscuit works in the Ripon Public Library as well as the local school district. She usually works up to two hours at a time, spending 15 to 20 minutes with each reader. Pat taught Biscuit to “look” so that she can say, “Look, Biscuit,” and she will put her nose where Pat is touching the book’s page. To the children, appears she is really looking at a particular word or picture.