Famous Amos: Therapy dog a hit at Plumb library
Patrons of the Plumb Library may have noticed a cheerful, furry face hanging around here and there when they go to pick out books.
The friendly face would be that of Amos, an 8-year-old greyhound and certified therapy dog. Amos comes to the library with his handler Holly Langenfeld, a Rochester resident, to lend a non-judgmental ear to children who want to practice their reading skills out loud.
Amos and Langenfeld are part of "Tail Waggin' Tutors," a part of Therapy Dogs International. The program's goal is to provide a new way for students to practice their reading skills without judgment or criticism.
Tail Waggin' Tutors website says "[Children] are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other classmates. By sitting down next to a dog and reading to the dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. Reading improves because the child is practicing the skill of reading...and associating reading with something pleasant."
Amos has been a certified therapy dog since 2014, and started working with Plumb Library a year ago.
“We’ve had a good response,” Langenfeld said. “The community gets excited.”
After reading to Amos, children become part of his book club. After reading to him five times, they receive a free book.
“He get so excited to see the kids,” Langenfeld said.
Aside from helping out at the library, Amos has another gig – private tutoring.
“We schedule that as well and see really big improvements,” Langenfeld said. “It’s nice to see the benefits of it.”
Langenfeld adopted Amos from Greyhound Pets of America in Middleboro.
“When I got him I knew he was special,” she said. “He has such a gentle nature. He’s very zen. He’s just a really good dog, I feel really lucky to have found him.”
Amos is at the library the first Thursday of every month from 6-6:30 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month from 12:30-1 p.m.
With assistance from Langenfeld, Amos answered some questions about himself.
Sippican Week: What’s your favorite book?
Amos: Dr. Seuss’ “Go Dog Go.”
SW: Do you have a favorite game?
A: I like my routine. I get up, eat breakfast, go for a walk. I get so excited for all that.
SW: What’s your favorite kind of treat?
A: Anything soft and chewy, like jerky or meatballs.
SW: What’s your favorite thing to do?
A: Going to work at the library! I like being around people and getting attention.
SW: Do you have any siblings?
A: I have a sister at home. She’s 13.5 years old. We’re best friends.