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Motorcycle-riding Dog Spreads Valentine's Day Cheer to the Elderly

Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia were thrilled to see "Chopper" the dog

A cuddly friend is bringing smiles to the elderly this Valentine's Day.

"Chopper" the Boston Terrier, who rides an electronic motorcycle with a leather jacket and goggles, visited patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia in Chula Vista Wednesday.

The facility, Glenner Town Square, is decked out in 1950's designs, from a Cadillac to a diner, the space is used as "reminiscence therapy" for those struggling with diseases of memory.

"Patients always get so happy when they see everything is from back then," said Barbara Alvardo, activities director for Glenner Town Square.

Other forms of healing, like art and pet therapy are utilized in the center as well.

Chopper first rolled through a movie theater featuring an Elizabeth Taylor flick. Men and women were handed roses and post cards with Chopper's photo on them.

"I love dogs!" shouted one patient. Another kissed Chopper's head, telling him "I love you!"

He also visited a library at the center and a house where men and women were putting together puzzles while watching "I Love Lucy."

"Thank you for visiting us!" One patient said while Chopper sat on his lap.

Chopper's owner has been bringing him to facilities such as children's hospitals and retirement homes for years.

"I think he loves meeting everybody," said Mark Shaffer, Chopper's owner. "He is very go with the flow."

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