August 4 – Assistance Dog Day

Happy Assistance Dog Day!

Today we remember and honor man’s best friend, the dog! Dogs make great pets for children, the elderly, and anyone in-between. But when you have a specific problem, you need a special dog… an assistance dog. Below are several picture book choices to help young readers learn more about service dogs.

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Helping Dogs written by Mary Ann Hoffman (2011)

Informational text for easy readers accompanied by photographs of real-life service dogs helping people in many different situations. This book helps young readers understand the work these dogs do on an everyday basis and how much training goes into making sure these dogs do a good job. Helping dogs give people with disabilities independence, acceptance and love. They are so much more than just a pet!

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Anna and Natalie written by Barbara H. Cole and illustrated by Ronald Himler (2007)

Anna’s class is taking a trip to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia. Her teacher, Mrs. Randall will choose four students to lay the wreath during the ceremony. Everyone wants the honor, so Mrs. Randall will choose from the letters written by students saying why they should be selected. Anna is so excited, she rushes home from school and calls her grandfather to help her. Natalie slept on the front porch swing as Anna worked on the letter. When Mrs. Randall read the four winning letters, her voice cracked as she read ‘I want to be on the team, not for myself, but for many others who have not been honored or remembered. They worked long and hard and saved many lives.’ And it was signed, ‘From Natalie (with help from Anna)’ The class cheered for Natalie and Anna. On the day of the ceremony, the reader sees the illustration of a beautiful black labrador leading the procession down the long marble steps, with Anna walking beside her.  It is not until that illustration that Anna’s disability is shown, Anna is blind – Natalie is her guide dog.

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Catie Copley written by Deborah Kovacs and illustrated by Jared T. Williams (2007)

Catie was trained to be a seeing-eye dog for the blind. But, poor Catie didn’t pass the medical test. So when all the other dogs met their new people, Catie had to stay with the trainer until she got a new job. And soon, she did. Catie helps Jim greet guests at a big, beautiful hotel. She stays with Jim at night and goes to work with him during the day. Catie loves her new job, she gets to go to meetings, play with children, and go for walks. Then one Saturday, Catie had an extra special job. A little girl had lost her teddy bear. Catie snuck away from Jim when he was busy and went in search of the teddy. She searched everywhere until she found the teddy bear at the bottom of a laundry basket. Jim scolded Catie for leaving her post, but the little girl and her grandma were very happy. And so was Jim, he just couldn’t stay mad at Catie.

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One Incredible Dog! Kizzy written by Chris Williams and illustrated by Judith Friedman (2006)

Kizzy is a special dog. She helps people practice reading. Her job is to help people enjoy reading. Kizzy works in school library listening to children read. She also goes outside and plays ‘Kizzy Tag’ with the kids. Kizzy also works with older people. One of Kizzy’s jobs is to help a woman who is recovering from a stroke. The woman has a hard time talking, but she reads her magazine to Kizzy. Then Kizzy goes to a speech therapist’s office where she works with a little girl. Kizzy stays busy all day working with people in the R.E.A.D. program. She is one happy and proud puppy!

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