Aimee Copeland welcomes new service dog to help recovery

(WTVM) - A Georgia woman who made national headlines after a difficult battle with a flesh-eating bacteria is getting a new best friend.

Aimee Copeland's new service dog, Belle, will help in her recovery.

"She's a black labradoodle and she's so sweet. She's one year old. I'm just loving her and so excited to have that new addition and that new help," says Copeland.

Copeland, who lost her hands, leg, and foot to a rare flesh-eating bacteria after a zip lining accident, has had to re-learn how to walk and take care for herself.

She's done amazingly well, but says her new four-legged friend will make her life so much better.

"Things are going to go so much more smoothly because she can pick things up off the ground for me, she can retrieve objects that are higher than I can reach."

In addition to picking up objects, Belle can retrieve food, flip light switches, and even dispense medication.

Crystal Ayala is the owner of Florida-based non-profit Psychiatric Training Dog Academy and Registry.

She trained Belle and is now partnering with Aimee to connect service animals with people in need.

"We're trying to help people learn how to do this properly so that we can help more people," says Ayala.

Belle still has to undergo a little more training in Florida. She's expected to be back for good with her new owner next month.

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