I work in a library, so I naturally think of books when there’s a problem or challenge. Just as adding a human sibling to a family requires a lot of planning and preparation, so does adopting a dog. At our library, I’ve collected children’s books that help to educate children (and their families) on how to treat a dog. Some of these books are listed below, and I’ve also included a few books about adopting rescue or shelter dogs.
Are You Ready for Me? By Claire Buchwald. Gryphon Press, c2007.
Shows both the responsibilities and the joy of companionship a dog brings to the family.
Tails Are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick & Marieka Heinlen.
Free Spirit Publishing, c2005. This board book can be used to teach preschoolers the proper way to interact with pets.
Don't Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs by Wendy Wahman. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition, 2009. This picture book provides information on how to interact with dogs.
May I Pet Your Dog?: The How-to Guide for Kids Meeting Dogs (and Dogs Meeting Kids)
By Stephanie Calmenson & Jan Ormerod. Clarion Books; 1st edition, 2007. A little boy learns how to treat an unfamiliar dog safely and politely.
Be A Dog's Best Friend: A Safety Guide for Kids by Renee Payne & Jennifer Gladysz. Doggie Couch Books (May 22, 2009). This books is written from a ten-year-old’s perspective and offers advice on how to best approach new dogs, play with familiar dogs, and be cautious of unknown dogs. Provides clear illustrations of dogs demonstrating inviting and uninviting body language, as well as demonstrations of do's and don'ts.
Having Fun with Your Dog (ASPCA Kids) by Audrey Pavia and Jacque Lynn Schultz. Howell Book House (March 30, 2009) This book provides information on fun activities you can share with your dog such as camping, hiking, swimming, agility, flyball, and junior handling.
"Let's get a pup!", said Kate by Bob Graham. Candlewick Press, 2003, c2001.
Kate’s family goes to the local animal rescue center to adopt their new family member.
Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts & David Walker.
Putnam Juvenile (September 20, 2007) A little boy speculates about the life his dog may have led before being adopted from the shelter. A note on adopting a shelter pet follows the story.
A Home for Dakota by Jan Zita Grover. Gryphon Press, c2008.
Dakota lived in a crate in a cold dark barn until finally people come to rescue her and other dogs.
Buddy Unchained by Daisy Bix and Joe Hyatt. The Gryphon Press, 2006.
Buddy’s hard life changed for the better when he was rescued and taken to a shelter, where he was subsequently adopted by a caring family. The author includes additional information about how to help an abused dog.
These books are about dogs in general, and not basenjis specifically, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives a starting point for education and discussion. I also encourage you to request these books at your local library and take full advantage of the resources available in your neighborhood.