It was all smiles at Trinity Mission Health and Rehab on Wednesday when Oreo came to visit.
Once a month, James “Chubby” Arrington of Rocky Mount brings his 2 ½ year old Boston bulldog Oreo to Trinity Mission to visit with the residents.
Oreo is a working dog, Arrington said; through home training and online training, he got her the necessary certifications to be a therapy animal.
Once Oreo’s in action, it’s easy to see just how therapeutic she can be. Residents at Trinity Mission perked up when Oreo entered their rooms, and they were more than happy to scratch her behind the ears and give her treats.
Arrington said he likes seeing the happy reactions from Oreo’s many friends at Trinity Mission and other facilities he visits. Oreo is particularly skilled at working with children with special needs, he said.
“I’m retired, and I’ve got all I need,” Arrington said. “I just like to go out and help other people.”
A former Army medic, Arrington said that Oreo entered his life shortly after his wife passed away in 2014.
“My daughter gave me this little dog,” he said. “Her mama belonged to Little Miss Wheelchair Virginia. They had three puppies, and they kept the two males and gave me the little female.”
It is possible that Oreo might be slightly spoiled. When the weather is pleasant, Arrington said, he carries Oreo around town behind his motorcycle; she rides in a half-scale replica of a 1950s Shasta camper (air conditioned, of course).
She also participates in events in the region, Arrington said. He’s a member of the Roanoke Military Vehicle Club, and at a recent Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser, Oreo raised funds dressed in military gear, including a bullet-proof vest and a little helmet.
“I’ve spent a lot of time training her,” Arrington said.
Moses Barr, activities assistant at Trinity Mission, said that dogs…