Amos the therapy dog celebrates his retirement

Aug 10, 2019

ROCHESTER — Amos, the long-time therapy dog for Plumb Library flunked out of greyhound racing when he was younger, but that same calm demeanor led him to a successful “second job” as a reading companion. 

The dog’s owner, Holly Langenfeld, told children and families this and other facts on Saturday, Aug. 10 when children and their parents gathered at Plumb Library to celebrate his 10th birthday and wish him well in his retirement. 

Amos has worked as a therapy dog since 2014 and has been visiting the library since January 2017, making nearly 70 visits. Library Assistant Lisa Fuller said that having Amos as a reading dog is helpful, especially for kids who need extra confidence in their reading skills. Children might be nervous to read to a room full of their classmates and teachers, but Amos provides a laid-back alternative.

Fuller added that Holly and Amos have scheduled private tutoring sessions in the past for children who struggle with reading.

Fuller said that the retirement party was bittersweet, as she will miss having Amos and Holly at the library on a regular basis. “There’s something special about the door opening up, and Amos and Holly coming in...everyone’s mood changes,” Fuller said.

Though Amos will no longer work as a therapy dog, Langenfeld said that the duo will still make informal visits to Plumb Library in the future.

To commemorate his retirement, and upcoming 10th birthday on Aug. 20, Amos received plenty of gifts including squeaky toys, treats, blankets, and lots of attention from children.

After singing “Happy Birthday,” children were treated to cake and cookies while they looked through various photographs of Amos’ many visits to the library.

Langenfeld said that this is technically her dog’s second retirement, given that he also “retired” from racing. She then adopted him from Greyhound Pets of America in 2012.