Welcome to Common Core Texts, a project by Michael DeJoseph. Here you'll find high-quality reading passages for grades 3 to 12 in ELA, Social Studies, History, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and many other topics.

Training Daisy
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

The day had finally arrived. Skyler and Kenny waited expectantly by the door. They whispered to each other so as not to miss the sound of the car pulling into the driveway. They did not have to wait for long. They heard the familiar “thump, thump” of their father’s station wagon as it turned off the street and into the driveway. The children ran outside, zipped past their father and scampered into the back seat of the car.

They were greeted by a familiar furry face and a wagging tail. Both face and tail belonged to Daisy, their three-year-old German shepherd. In the seat beside her lay her harness. It was the symbol of Daisy and the children’s hard work. If all had gone well this afternoon, the harness would become Daisy’s work uniform, a sign to the world that she was a fully trained service dog.

Every day for eighteen long months, Skyler and Kenny had trained Daisy to work with the visually impaired: people with sight problems or blindness. First, they trained her to perform the tasks that every obedient dog should know. Daisy learned to sit, to walk on a leash, and to settle patiently and wait. Those simple tasks came easily to their intelligent pup.

But the more challenging tasks took time and patience. Daisy learned to navigate carefully around objects like signposts and trash cans. She needed to keep well clear of them in order to guide her owner along a safe path. Daisy learned to halt at the edge of a curb, a staircase, or any other spot that required a step up or down. A professional service dog trainer helped with the most challenging tasks. He taught Daisy to ignore commands that might put her owner in danger, such as an order to walk into busy traffic or down a steep and slippery path.

Today, all of their hard work had come to a conclusion. Daisy had taken her service dog exam. But did she pass? Skyler and Kenny followed their father into the front hallway, with Daisy tagging close behind. They looked at their father expectantly. Their father gave a smile and a tiny nod. The children ran off to tell their mother the news.

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