The Georgia woman who made headlines last year when she contracted flesh-eating bacteria after a zip line accident is continuing her recovery with the help of a Labradoodle named Belle.
Aimee Copeland lost her hands, leg and foot to amputations as doctors tried to prevent the spread of the deadly bacteria. Now she’s learning to live without these appendages, and Belle will be there to help along the way.
The service dog has undergone special training at PSD Academy & Registry to help Copeland, and the two recently met so that Belle could get acquainted with her new owner. Belle will return to PSD for a final month of training before making a permanent move to Copeland’s Snellville, Ga., home.
Belle is trained to perform a variety of tasks for Copeland, including picking up objects, turning off the lights and even bringing her medications on schedule.
"Now with Belle in my life, it's just going to be easier. Things are going to go much more smoothly because she can pick things up for me. She can retrieve objects that are higher than I can reach, and I'm so excited. And just having a companion around just makes such a difference emotionally," Copeland told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Copeland serves as a spokesperson for Paws of Mind, a nonprofit she founded in collaboration with PSD Academy & Registry. The organization will rescue shelter dogs and train them as service animals for people with disabilities.
Watch Copeland and Belle interact in the video below.