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Otto's younger brother, Booker is ready to take over his duties at the library

COURTESY PHOTO: MELANIE NELSON - Long-time West Linn library dog Otto celebrated his birthday and retirement on Tuesday, June 28. West Linn library staff and patrons celebrated the birthday and retirement of longtime library dog Otto and ushered in Otto's younger brother, Booker, as the new library dog with cupcakes, stories and bellyrubs on Tuesday, June 28.

Otto began working at the library in 2014 following the success of the library's Tales to Tails program.

At the time, Library Operations Supervisor Melanie Nelson was planning to take time off to care for her new Leonberger puppy, Otto.

Library Director Doug Erickson told her to instead bring Otto to the library.

PMG PHOTO: HOLLY BARTHOLOMEW - West Linn's new library dog Booker receives a pet at Tuesday's party. A massive and fluffy registered therapy dog, Otto was instantly popular with library staff and patrons. "We branded around him, included him in special events and also made him a Tales to Tails dog," Erickson said.

Otto began visiting schools in West Linn and beyond.

"Whenever there was a need — a parade, traumatic event, celebration, a need for special attention for someone — Otto was there," Erickson said.

COURTESY PHOTO: MELANIE NELSON - Whiskey, younger brother of Booker and Otto, will also train to become a library dog. Nelson said Otto was looking forward to a retirement consisting of helping Erickson in the library's back offices, relaxing at home, taking walks in the woods and looking after his youngest brother, Whiskey.

"Otto has created a big role here at the library for Booker to step into," Nelson said.

But having learned from his older brother and gone through training and therapy registration of his own, Booker is ready to follow in Otto's paw prints.

"Booker has the exact temperament that a Leonberger should: kind, gentle, friendly, happy and relaxed," Nelson said. "Booker loves spending time with kids of all ages and always wants to say hello to a stranger."PMG PHOTO: HOLLY BARTHOLOMEW - Library dog Booker considers stealing a cupcake.

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