It’s a dog’s life:  Dynamic duo of Bugs and Sam conducts borough business with ease, efficiency, warmth

By on January 14, 2015

Mayberry is not a fictional town; it’s Adamstown.

Why is Adamstown Mayberry? The answer lies, in part at least, to the welcoming, personal style of conducting business in the borough hall.

At the heart of that is Bugs, the Welsh terrier, and her coworker, Sam Toffy, the secretary/assistant treasurer of the borough.

Sam Toffy, Adamstown borough secretary, and her "assistant," Bugs.

Sam Toffy, Adamstown borough secretary, and her “assistant,” Bugs.

They go to work every day helping people, not just with a word or deed, but eliciting smiles and general happiness.

The duo of Sam and Bugs have become the friendly hallmarks of the borough office.

“I like helping people,” said Toffy. “I believe in good customer service. From my personal experience, I don’t find good customer service often, so when people have a problem or something, I like to go the extra mile and help them.

“Even if I can’t help them, I like to find ways that they can find what they’re looking for instead of saying, ‘I’m sorry, that’s not part of my job.’ I will go and do what I can to try and come back with some information to help them find what they’re looking for.”

Bugs starts her day sitting at the door of the Adamstown Library before it opens, which is across the hallway from the borough office.

“She sits at their door with her tail going before they open it,” said Toffy. “As soon as they open it, she goes shooting through and jumps on everybody to say hello. I can hear them laughing.”

Bugs is a stress-reliever and even the friendliest library in the county needs it.

“Kathy Thren [library director] will come sneaking over and say: ‘It’s such a hectic day, I just need some of my Bugs love,’ and she’ll just rub her and rub her and she goes back over to the library,” said Toffy.

Bugs also serves as ambassador for the Adamstown library which is connected to the borough office.  Here he greets Nicholas Dietrich, 2, of Reinholds, and his mother Liz.

Bugs also serves as ambassador for the Adamstown library which is connected to the borough office. Here he greets Nicholas Dietrich, 2, of Reinholds, and his mother Liz.

As the day progresses, Toffy is hard at work but the seven-year-old Bugs sometimes gets lazy and lies in a sunny spot waiting for the next social opportunity.

But Bugs was almost not brought on board.

At the June 3, 2014 meeting of council, President Randy Good asked his colleagues if anyone would have an issue with Toffy bringing her dog to the office.

A discussion ensued. Some council members said they felt the presence of a dog might be unprofessional while others said the dog would provide a home-town feel for the office.

In the end, the Bugs alliance prevailed and with a 4-3 vote, the cuddly canine took residence for several hours each day. Voting in favor of Bugs was Good along with members Joseph Dietrich, Mark Bansner, and Ed Zander. Council Vice President Dave Matz and members David Gundrum and Cindy Schweitzer were in opposition.

“At first I brought her only one or two days a week,” said Toffy. “I didn’t want to upset anyone on council, but people started loving her being here.

“They’d pop in just to say hi to her or to give her a treat. I guess I’ve become second fiddle.”

Adamstown is a small town set on a hillside where everyone knows everyone.

“Everybody loves her!” said Toffy. “We have people who come in here just to give her a treat and then they leave. Some people come in here before they go to the library to give her a little pet. There’s a lady named Rose from Brookview Development who brings her treats. Rosemary, the tax collector, brings her treats. Joe, the UPS guy, brings her treats. The kids love her at the library. She loves being here!”

Toffy grew up in Carbon County and lived in Macungie most of her adult life until she moved to Adamstown about five years ago.

“I just love it here,” said Toffy. “I can see myself living here forever. We have a great staff and awesome council. Not only in their capacity as council, they’re just great human beings and great to work with. When there’s a problem, they’re understanding and compassionate.”

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at

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