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Cabrini Vioral happy to share her Sharpsburg spotlight with pet sidekick

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Sharon Drake | For the Tribune-Review
Cabrini “Rene” Vioral and her dog, Reba.

Cabrini “Rene” Vioral is a well-known Sharpsburg businesswoman but said people visit her office for more than notary public work.

Vioral, who has lived and worked in the Lower Valley more than seven decades, shares her days with about four pounds on four feet, her tiny dog Reba.

A tea-cup mix of Yorkie and Shih Tzu, Reba is notable for her inch-long ponytail, trimmed with a ribbon, and her sweaters that sport catchy phrases like “I woke up famous.”

The pooch has become somewhat of a superstar, just like her namesake, Reba McEntire, Vioral said.

“They greet her before they greet me,” Vioral said.

Reba’s ears perk up even before visitors round the corner into the office, which for 19 years has been located on a little portion of Fourth Street behind the Circle K market.

The last five years, Reba has claimed not only Vioral’s office but also siphoned off a large portion of attention from the daily visitors.

Sometimes Reba dances across Vioral’s big brown desk and other times the pup will sit quietly when she needs to, just watching as her owner talks with clients.

Vioral started bringing her dog to work simply because she didn’t want to leave her at home. Though she uses a walker, Vioral still carries her puppy into the office around her neck.

“We’re a partnership,” Vioral said.

She credits Reba with recognizing initial signs of sleep apnea after waking up to find the tiny dog breathing into her mouth on several occasions, Vioral said.

Vioral went to a doctor and was diagnosed, and she credits her pet.

Vioral said Reba helps her stay happy and it seems the dog has created a trend in Sharpsburg. Other business owners have started to bring their dogs to work, she said.

Vioral is content on having remained in the Lower Valley her whole life. She grew up in Aspinwall and met Jim Vioral when she was a freshman at Fox Chapel Area High School. Their son Jeff and daughter Jamie grew up here as well.

The couple lived many years in O’Hara before moving a year ago to Indiana Township. They celebrated their 50th anniversary at the Fox Chapel Yacht Club in O’Hara.

They rarely vacation, Vioral said, as they’re both dedicated to their businesses.

Jim Vioral for a long time operated a car shop in Blawnox and now runs Vioral’s Auto Body on Route 910.

“We’re just happy to be here,” she said. “We’ve lived our whole lives here.”

Sharon Drake is a contributing writer.