Service dog gives girl without arms a helping hand

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LANSING, MI (AP) -- Man's best friend takes on an entirely new meaning for one DeWitt girl.

Zoe Bosanic was born without arms.

For the first 11 years of her life, she’s done just about everything herself.

As she gears up for school in a couple of weeks, her family decided it was time to get her a little help.

“When they say man's best friend, I think they mean human's best friend,” said Larisa Ballard, Trainer and Charity Coordinator for Canines for Change.

Bosanic’s year-and-a-half old Golden Doodle Mochi was taken in by her family a month and a half ago.

“She just has so much personality,” said Carrie Knickerbocker. “We've fallen in love with her. She's just really sweet.”

Mochi isn't like any other dog, though.

She’s a service therapy dog who’s able to help Zoe with some of the tasks that can otherwise be a challenge.

“When Zoe drops something she has to use her neck to pick it up and Mochi will help with that,” said Knickerbocker.

While Zoe’s never let anything get in the way of living a normal life, like playing soccer, mastering karate and participating in multiple dance classes, there’s a few things around the house Mochi will be able to help with.

She can pick things up off the floor, bring Zoe her backpack and open and close the refrigerator.

Canines for Change, a Grand Ledge non-profit organization, has been working with Mochi since she was a puppy.

Auncia McCulogh, one of Mochi’s trainers, says working with Mochi and other dogs is a job that’s both fun and rewarding.

“You get to train a dog for someone that's in need of the dog and then seeing the dog go off to the person,” said McCulogh. “It’s just beautiful.”

Ballard says when Zoe and Mochi met after months of training, it was the perfect match.

“When Mochi met Zoe for the first time, she went over and gazed at her like oh you're mine,” said Ballard. “It was just very endearing.”

It isn't just at home where Mochi will help Zoe out.

Her first day back to school at DeWitt Middle School will be Mochi’s too.

Learn more about Canines for Change here.

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