Your Child Can Read with an Animal | Guardian Whiskers in Madison, WI

Reading aloud to a dog is not only fun…!

Guardian Whiskers (a local nonprofit) offers unique opportunities for Madison area kids to read with an animal/buddy. Pet interaction improves people’s physical, social and mental health. Pets receive health benefits from socializing with people too!

When Annabelle knows that she’ll be reading a book to a Guardian Whiskers’ canine Book Buddy, she cannot wait! Annabelle’s father, Brian Goodman, says, “Annabelle is not motivated at home to read, but when she knows she will be going to a Book Buddies reading session, this is her greatest inspiration throughout the whole week to read.”

Book Buddies (Every second Saturday of the month at Guardian Whiskers)

Instead of bringing one book, Annabelle now brings a stack of books to share with the Book Buddies every second Saturday of the month to Guardian Whiskers Book Buddies Reading Program at City Dog Veterinary Clinic: 1004 East Washington Avenue in Madison.

Studies show reading aloud to animals helps children gain confidence, motivation, and perseverance while developing reading skills and a lifelong interest in learning.

Lay Lay’s Big Sister, Erica Gerow, is amazed at how much Lay Lay’s reading skills improved after her first reading session. With more than a year of virtual learning because of the pandemic, Erica says that the reading sessions bring a welcomed change that Lay Lay can get excited about!

For more information and to sign a child up for a free 20-minute session visit here:

Guardian Whiskers Founding Story

Guardian Whiskers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The community programs harness the power of the human-animal bond to help and inspire people of all ages.

For almost two decades, Dr. Katarina Luther, DVM has provided veterinary care to thousands of dogs, cats, and even occasional exotic animals. The incredible bond of people with their pets has been an inspiring part of her life every day. While she now owns and manages Cat Care Clinic and City Dog Vet in Madison, Wisconsin, a driving passion for Katarina is giving back to the community, near and far.

In 2017, after many years of providing care and building bridges in the community and veterinary world, Katarina chose to use her experience and resources to create the non-profit organization, Guardian Whiskers, Inc. Through Guardian Whiskers’ programs and events, Katarina aspires to allow those not fortunate to have pets, particularly children, to benefit from the many gifts they bring.

A large inspiration for Katarina’s programs are her own three children, now teenagers. Her children were fortunate to grow up surrounded with pets and hobby farm animals. Like most kids, they turned to critters for joy, peace, laughter, and non-judgemental companionship when they needed a friend. Katarina believes every child should have the opportunity to cuddle with, read to, or just enjoy the magical presence of a pet.

Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


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