Pictured at Left is Suzie-Q, a certified reading partner through the Dog B.O.N.E.S. program. She visisted the Ayer Public Library on April 19th and was showered with hugs from young readers.

Suzie-Q Partners with Young Readers
By: Mary E. Arata
Nashoba Publishing

AYER -- Suzie-Q may be a rambunctious 2-year-old black Labrador retriever at home for owner Agnes Shanahan of Ayer. But once she puts on her vest, she's all business.

Shanahan took Suzie-Q to the Ayer Public Library on April 19 where she served as a quiet, supportive audience member for young readers taking part in the Thursday morning early readers program offered by children's librarian "Miss Amy" Leonard.

Suzie-Q is certified in the Dogs B.O.N.E.S. program (Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support).

She's a therapy dog, visiting local senior centers and nursing homes like the Alzheimer's unit at the River Court Residences in West Groton. Suzie-Q also assists at Seven Hills Academy in Groton.

But last Thursday, Suzie-Q served as a partner for young readers. Suzie-Q returns to the Ayer Public Library on Thursday, May 17, June 28, July 12 and Aug. 9.

Follow Mary Arata on twitter.com/maryearata.