The door opens to the Plumb Library and in walks 8-year-old Amos, followed by his adopted dogmother Holly Abramson and a splash of Saturday afternoon sun across the library foyer floor. Amos is eye-catching in his bright turquoise-blue woolen coat that contrasts against his pale white fur and little brown and gray spots. He continues without pause towards the children’s section where he’s likely read all the favorite titles over the past year since he first moved to Rochester, some of them over and over again.
“That must be Amos and Ms. Holly,” says Library Assistant Jenn Frasier, who’s become accustomed to the sounds that accompany Amos and Holly and the way their cumulative six feet make their way across the room. Amos waits calmly for Holly to place Amos’ soft, fluffy brown reading pad on the floor so he can lower himself down, fold his long limbs beneath his lean, mean, racing machine body, and stretch across the floor with a ‘ffffump.’
Amos has been a regular patron at the Plumb Library since January 2017 when The Wanderer first met the ‘tail-waggin tutor,’ Rochester’s own book-loving dog as he sat down for the first time with his first Rochester early reader that would mark the next chapter in Amos’ own book of life.
On Saturday, April 7, it didn’t take long for Amos to drift into a deep state of relaxation to the spoken words of Matt Simmons as he read aloud to Amos and Simmons’ 3-year-old daughter, Autumn.
Once upon a time there was “Iruska Danny,” a young racing greyhound from Florida before his ‘happily every after’ in Rochester as Amos, in the library, in Rochester, with Ms. Holly. But watching Amos lying still with his eyes closed drifting off into a literal bliss, it’s clear how far he is now from that chapter in his story. Every time Abramson asks Amos, “You wanna go to the library and see the kids?” he sinks deeper into his new life in Rochester as everyone’s favorite reading buddy, and the Abramsons’ adopted love bug of six years.
Amos, a certified Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog, and avid book listener, comes to the Plumb Library for sessions with young readers eager to practice their emerging skills with Amos. The more he likes a book, the more he will snuggle into the reader and pass right out until the turning of the next page brings his attention back to the moment, said Abramson.
Some of his favorite books are from Dr. Seuss, especially Go, Dog, Go!
“Anything that rhymes,” said Abramson. “He literally sticks his face in the book. It’s very natural for him. He positions himself in just the right way.”
Frasier says Amos is “the perfect patron” at Plumb. When he’s at the library on the first Thursday and Saturday of the month, “He greets everyone, every time there’s other people around, the reaction to a dog in the library is everyone wants to pet him.”
“He’s very patient, always quiet,” Frasier said. “We have a fan club coming to the Thursday session very regularly and Amos is always very happy to see them. He cuddles right up to them.”
With quite the following, the next step is of course to produce the Amos merchandise, including free stickers with Amos’ face on them and an Amos bookmark that can be punched each time the child reads to Amos – after five punches, the child receives a free gift from the librarian.
And now, with his very own Facebook page called “Amos the Therapy Greyhound,” his following only continues to grow.
When he’s not delighting everyone at the Plumb Library, he enjoys accompanying Abramson to her day job during the week at the very pet-friendly equine supplies store she works at in Middleboro. In his free time, Amos loves running wildly in his backyard and doing zillions of ‘zoomies’ till he’s dizzy.
“We do take him hiking quite a bit,” said Holly, hitting the trails together all throughout Rochester. “He’s usually in the front leading the way.”
And anywhere he hears a child’s voice, Abramson said, “He’s just like, ‘Where are they?’”
Abramson said being Amos’ adopted dogmother is a blessing and an honor.
“He’s a really special dog. We found each other.”
Haven’t met Amos yet? He will be attending a special April school vacation session at the Plumb Library on Friday, April 20, from 12:30 to 2:00 pm appropriately called “Breed All About It!” with various dog-themed stories, activities, and crafts assisted by the Junior Friends. Register by calling 508-763-8600 or emailing LFuller@sailsinc.org.
By Jean Perry