Armstrong Ambulance Service is pleased to announce that its new therapy dog arrived at headquarters last week.
Willie Blue Armstrong is a 12-week-old chocolate lab who is currently working on completing his training so that he can fulfill his important role as the ambulance provider’s resident therapy dog. Willie was named for company founder Bill Armstrong, and his middle name is a nod both to Armstrong’s favorite color and the company’s ubiquitous blue blankets, which are part of his legacy and used to keep patients warm and comfortable.
So far, Willie has completed two weeks of behavioral training, and will undergo more rigorous training at Fox Hill Farm and K-9 in order to ensure he’s prepared for his future responsibilities. Willie will live at Armstrong’s Arlington base, where he is already receiving 24/7 care and attention from the staff, who have welcomed him with open arms.
Once his training is complete, Willie will be charged with cheering up patients who are sick or injured, and will also make regular visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area.
Willie has already completed his first assignment by sending a letter of encouragement to a 7-year-old Wisconsin girl, Emma Mertens, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. Mertens requested–and has received–letters from more than 50,000 dogs nationwide, including Willie.
“We’re so excited to have Willie here on our team and watching him spread cheer and smiles to everyone he encounters is pretty amazing,” Armstrong CEO Rich Raymond said.