Buddy Unchained Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
by Daisy Bix - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to build children's understanding of generosity, community, and service to others. Spanish Version Attached.

Have you ever rescued a pet? In this charming story, Buddy, a rescued dog, tells us about his life after being adopted and his painful experiences before. Buddy is forced to spend most of his time chained in a yard with little food and water and taunted by mean children before he is rescued and adopted by a caring family. Readers will come to understand that animals deserve caring treatment just as people do.

Before Reading

ASK: What do people do with their dogs when they are not with them?

SHOW: Look at the pictures of Buddy chained. Talk about how you might feel if you were chained in one place and could not go anywhere else all day.

CONNECT: Have you ever seen a pet being hurt, taunted, or left without food or water? Talk about the responsibilities we have to our pets and the care we need to provide.

During Reading

ASK: What does a pet need to be taken care of well?

SHOW: Look at the pictures of Buddy throughout the story. What things does Buddy need to thrive? Does he have those things?

CONNECT: What do humans need to live? People and animals have a right to basic needs.

After Reading

ASK: Who do you think took Buddy away? Where did he take him?

SHOW: Look at the pictures of Buddy being rescued. Describe how the rescuers interact with Buddy.

CONNECT: Do you know how animals are rescued in your neighborhood or community? Why do you think these people rescue animals? What happens to the animals after they are rescued?


  1. Learn more about organizations working to fight animal cruelty. Research ways to help.
  2. Make a list of needs and wants for pets. A need is something you have to have to live. A want is something you would like to have. How are the needs and wants of people and pets the same or different? Make large collages on construction paper using images cut from old magazines. Create one collage for needs and one for wants.
  3. The ASPCA defines animal welfare as the compassion and respect due animals as living, responsive beings. Animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans. Think of ways people can be respectful to animals and to other people. Talk about how it feels to be treated with respect.