The pig books he was scheduled to read were replaced with dog books, and before the “surprise guest” made his appearance, Rosansky chose to warm up the crowd of about 25 kids aged 2 to 4 with “Where’s Spot?,” an interactive children’s book featuring a mother dog searching for her lost puppy and discovering other animals all over the house instead.
On each page, a door needs to be opened to see whether Spot is hiding in there. Rosansky said he chose that book so he could get the kids involved.
“Reading is very important, and I like the interactive books because they reinforce the message and make reading fun,” he said.
With plenty of little hands available to help each time he turned a page, Rosansky encouraged the kids to come forward, asked their names and engaged them in conversation.
The interaction with his young charges prompted the former mayor to remark, “Boy, I have lots of helpers. I don’t get this much help from the City Council.”
Rosansky read one more book before Rogers arrived with Hagrid, the 1-year-old black-and-brown dog described by its owner as a “big, giant teddy bear.”
Rogers explained that the Bernese, with a naturally gentle temperament, is the perfect dog to be around children. The breed is known for pulling small carts or wagons, a task they originally performed in Switzerland, and one that Hagrid performs especially well.
“We’ve taught him to pull a Red Flyer wagon, and when we’re out in public with him, he’s a show-stopper,” she said. Rogers had wanted a show dog since she was a child, and even at his young age, Hagrid has already been winning medals at dog shows across the country.