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Pompton Lakes library kicked off their “read to a dog” program in 2015 where Linda DeYoung brings her certified therapy dog, Gavin, along with other owners and therapy dogs, to listen to stories read by children.
Jessica Presinzano/NorthJersey.com

WAYNE — Rosemary Acampora and her son Will were afraid of dogs. Then, along came Polly.

While Linda DeYoung was working part time at the Wayne Public Library’s Preakness Branch, Polly, her certified therapy dog, began to go to work with her. Since then, Polly has heard hundreds of stories from children and provided comfort to dozens of students and seniors.

“As soon as you walked in, you wouldn’t know there was a dog there,” said Regina Bohn, previously a supervising librarian at the Preakness Branch. Polly “was so well behaved, she would stay in her area, but if Linda was walking around, she would follow unless she told her to stay put.” 

Soon after DeYoung began to work at the library in 2009, she spearheaded the “Paws for Reading” program. Children can practice their reading with certified therapy dogs as part of the program. This was where the Acamporas met Polly.

“I didn’t want [my son] to grow up to be afraid [of dogs], so I started to look at different places to see how we can overcome our fear,” said Acampora, who as a child was bitten by a dog. She said her son was also bitten when he was younger.

They both ended up at the Wayne library, where they met Polly.

“Polly was the perfect dog for our experience, because she was so calm and gentle,” said…