using Can I Be Your Dog in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/f/ medial
/g/ final
/k/ initial
/r/ vocalic



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

Can I Be Your Dog?

By Troy Cummings

This picture book shares the tale of Arfy, a homeless mutt who lives in a box in an alley. Arfy writes to every person on Butternut Street about what a great pet he’d make. His letters to prospective owners share that he’s house broken! He has his own squeaky bone! He can learn to live with cats! But, no one wants him. Won’t anyone open their heart–and home–to a lonesome dog? Readers will be happily surprised to learn just who steps up to adopt Arfy. Troy Cummings’s hilarious and touching story is a perfect gift for a child wanting a dog, and for pet adoption advocates. It also showcases many different styles of letter writing, making it appealing to parents and teachers looking to teach the lost art of written communication.

This persuasive kindness themed book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like perseverance and wanting a family. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting adjectives, sequencing and character analysis as well as for sounds including: /f/ medial, /g/ final, /k/ initial and /r/ vocalic! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Can I Be Your Dog in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:


character analysis

illustration study
text features
repetitive text​​​


order of letters that Arfy sends to find a place to call home


willing, allergic, butcher, bone to pick, fetch, gloom, first-class, partner, adopt, volunteer, spay, neuter, donate

Character Analysis:

Arfy tries to find a home by convincing his neighbors that he can be helpful in exchange for a place to live.


facial expressions



Text Features:

repetitive text
large text
exclamation marks


How was Arfy trying to make the people at the yellow house feel when he said he asked them first?
What do you think the people at the yellow house thought when they read the letter?
Why do you think they added an “um” in their letter?
How does Arfy feel reading this letter?
What do you think the butcher lady thought when she read the letter?
How do you think the butcher lady feels about Arfy? How do you know?
What was she trying to convey when she said “no hard feelings” and gave him a treat?
How does Arfy feel about this?
Why do you think the firemen might not want to have a dog around?
How does the mailwoman feel about delivering Arfy’s letters?
How do you think the junkyard guy feels about dogs?
How does Arfy feel when he finds the letter with the bright pink heart?


What do you think the people at the yellow house will do when they read the letter?
Who do you think he will write to next?
What could he say to the butcher lady to convince her to keep him?
What do you think the butcher lady will say?
Who will Arfy write to next?
What could he say to the firemen to convince them to keep him?
What could he say to the junkyard guy to convince him to keep him?
Who do you think he will write to next?
Where do you think Arfy will go?
Who do you think wrote Arfy a letter?
What do you think the letter for him will say?