Port Washington library dog retires: 'Hard not to cry'

A well-loved volunteer at a Port Washington library will soon begin a new chapter in his life, but first, he says goodbye.

The library is the perfect place to get your nose – human or otherwise – in a good book. Now that he's leaving the reading scene, Diesel the dog will be missed.

"I love bringing him out and letting the kids – dressing him up and stuff, too," said dog handler Michelle Adasiak.

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At W.J. Niederkorn Library, perhaps the best tale of all involves a visitor who can wag a tail of his own.

"I thought it would just kinda help with the kids. He could do different tricks and stuff rather than just sit there while they're reading," Adasiak said.

Diesel with his handler, Michelle Adasiak, at W.J. Niederkorn Library in Port Washington.

Diesel is a rescue dog. His trainer taught him how to hold kids' hands through reading.

"Kids, they’re very nervous about it. They don’t want to read to an adult, they don’t want to read out loud, but when you read to a dog, they don’t judge," said Adasiak. "I’ve seen some kids start out that couldn’t read at all, and now they can read to him, so it’s really special being able to see that."

The very dog who helped keep kids' eyes on the pages is now losing the use of his own.

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"They determined that he can't see past the tip of his nose, really, and he has no side vision whatsoever," Adasiak said.

It means an early retirement for Diesel, and plenty of celebration of his years offering comfort and love. Before his time in Port Washington, he was at North Shore and Cudahy libraries.

"It’s a little emotional. It’s hard not to cry saying goodbye to these kids," said Adasiak.

Diesel with his handler, Michelle Adasiak, at W.J. Niederkorn Library in Port Washington.

Though this chapter has to close, Diesel's story does not end here.

"The husky kid in him is coming out," Adasiak said. "He started destroying toys, so he’s being a dog. He gets to be a puppy now."

Diesel has his dog siblings at home to play with, and Adasiak said she has another puppy at home she is working with – hopeful to be able to return to the library one day.