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.
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.
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.