• Aimee Copeland starts new chapter with service dog


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The local woman who survived after battling flesh-eating bacteria has taken a new step in her recovery.

    Aimee Copeland got a new service dog over the weekend.

    The dog is a Labradoodle named Belle who has undergone special training to help Copeland with her transition.

    Belle was trained by PSD Academy & Registry, out of Florida.  Copeland's companion will return back to Florida for another month of training before making Snellville her permanent home. Belle came this weekend to become acquainted with Copeland and get used to her surroundings.

    The dog is trained to pick up Copeland's medicine, and even turn off her lights.

    Channel 2's Rachel Stockman met with Copeland, who talked about moving forward after last year's zip line accident, when she contracted the bacteria. Doctors were forced to amputate several of Copeland's limbs.

    "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 said.

    She's also thrilled about becoming a spokesperson for the nonprofit that helped train her dog.

    Copeland is teaming up with the training group to create a nonprofit called Paws of Mind. The nonprofit will provide medical service dogs that assist in daily activities for adults and children with disabilities. The group will rescue shelter dogs, train them and then pair them with those in need.

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