'Manny the Frenchie' cheers up elderly patients in Des Plaines

FOX 32 NEWS - He’s a French bulldog from Chicago who has become a social media sensation.

"Manny the Frenchie" has fans all over the world, and now he has a few more after visiting an elderly center in Des Plaines.

His visit was aimed at creating some nice memories for patients with memory issues.

Manny the Frenchie showed off for the patients at Advocate Lutheran General's adult services center
Friday, but he really didn't have to. He had them when he walked in the room. The 6-year-old, 22 pound French bulldog is the world's most famous French bulldog with two million friends on Facebook and another million followers on Instagram.

“He's always been special, kind of different, more human like I always say. Our dogs run around the yard all day, the other ones. Not Manny,” said Manny’s owner, Amber Chavez.

Patients here are coping with illnesses like dementia, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer’s, and a visit from Manny the Frenchie was just what the doctor ordered.

“Many of us have tough days, and to see that bright light of a dog, who just comes around and wants to be petted, and cared for, it means the world,” said patient Roberta Felker.

“Especially when you have memory impairment and you might forget what you had for breakfast, but you never forget that you had a dog. And a lot of these people don't have any animals anymore. And so it taps right into all their emotions,” said Gwynne Chovanec, director of adult services.

Manny's already got the training necessary to visit adult centers like this one and soon, he'll be ready to visit children.

Manny's owners live on Chicago's near west side. They say he loves bacon, and taking an occasional nap in the sink.

On Saturday, he's got a book signing -- or whatever dogs call it -- in Downers Grove where his  owners  hope to see more smiles like they saw on Friday.

“Sorry, it is emotional. And I never know that people would love my dog as much as I do,” Chavez said.

That book signing is from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Anderson’s in Downers Grove.

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