BOSTON (WHDH) - The Museum of Fine Arts held a meet-and-greet with one its special volunteers – Riley the Museum Dog – in an effort to promote a new children’s book.
For more than a year, he’s volunteered his bloodhound skills at the MFA to find moths, mice, and other art-destroying pests.
His nose helps curators keep almost half a million pieces of art in fine condition.
“It’s amazing. It’s easier for him to find it than a conservator would need to really comb through something, and it would take hours and hours,” Nicki Luongo of MFA Protective Services said. “Riley can run by something, catch a scent, and oh, there it is.”
Riley has sniffed out mice and moths about a half dozen times. He’s also a hit with kids.
“I thought that was kind of cool that they’re having a dog do that instead of people,” said Genevieve Spiros of West Roxbury.
Riley’s owner, Luongo, and another MFA staff member came up with the idea. And now, Riley has his own book – “The Adventures of Riley the Museum Dog.”
“It’s been great. The kids love it. They love Riley,” said Ryan Huddle, the book’s illustrator. “He meets a bug that wants to eat it, and they become friends.”
Wednesday, the authors and Riley sold autographed copies with Riley’s pawprint.
“I love the whole thought of kids learning and understanding about our artwork, and that we have to take care of it,” Luongo said.
For Riley, his nose knows.
“He doesn’t quit,” Luongo said. “When he’s onto something, never doubt his nose, just like the book. He’d chase it as far as it would go until he got it.”
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