Book Buddies Children’s Literacy Program

Book Buddies Literacy Program provides kids with supervised emotional support from a certified therapy dog. Foster a love for reading with a buddy. Now accepting volunteer applications!

Join us! Book Buddies is now recruiting volunteers and their dog buddies.

If you have that all-round fantastic dog and a passion for the healing power of pets, join our cause! Apply as a volunteer along with your four legged friend to help foster a love of reading among kids in the Madison-area community.

Guardian Whiskers staff and certified trainers will help you through the certification process, all you have to do to start is reach out by email, and let us know you’re interested.

Accepted pup applicants for Guardian Whiskers therapy dog certification program will receive training and two nationally-recognized certifications.

If your dog is not a certified therapy dog, they will be certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Pet Partners when training is complete, and at no cost to our volunteers!

The certified therapy dog training program is free for volunteers and funded by Guardian Whisker donors.

Costs of training and certification are sponsored through Guardian scholarships, made possible by generous donations to our cause. All we need is you and your pup’s time and desire to make a difference in the lives of our young participants.

Learn more about the program and how to get your dog certified as a children’s therapy dog.

Guardian Whiskers takes great pride in the high-quality, well-trained, insured volunteer therapy dog teams that make up our great organization. Each therapy dog team is comprised of one registered therapy dog and their person.

All therapy dogs are up-to-date on required vaccinations and have reliable, sound temperaments.

Book Buddy therapy dogs are gentle, polite, and love people! The owner of the dog is always holding the other end of the leash and is trained and background checked to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Our Guardian dogs and people must successfully complete Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Pet Partners testing/observation requirements and obtain registry with the organizations (all provided and funded by our program if not already certified).


Book Buddies collaborates with teachers and therapists to incorporate reading with buddies into curriculums and therapy routines.

Guardian Whiskers works with certified therapy dogs, parents, instructors, and therapists to make reading fun for kids. Use the power of a pet to boost confidence, relieve stress, and foster a dedication to reading.

We’re always looking for new ways to continue our work in the community. Please reach out to us if you’re inspired to try something new!

Studies show animal companions develop social skills & soothe anxiety

The presence of a therapy dog helps a child read aloud without pressure or stress. The Book Buddy dog offers quiet, social support and invites interaction. And best of all, a therapy dog helps to reduce a child’s blood pressure and general level of anxiety. Reading aloud is fun!


Get involved

Guardian Whiskers works with certified therapy dogs, parents, instructors, and therapists to make reading fun for kids. Use the power of a pet to boost confidence, relieve stress, and foster a dedication to reading.

Children and their book buddies bond in a quiet, relaxed reading room. In the first session, we provide an introduction to dog behavior and the program.

We work alongside veterinarians and staff at City Dog Vet to make sure all dogs are appropriately handled and cared for during the reading program (=plenty of treat and stretch breaks!). Our incentive program encourages kids to continue their literacy journey.

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Guardians can book FREE reading sessions at City Dog Vet. Call (608) 383-5963 or email [email protected]