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Girl's best friend

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Ellie is not your average golden retriever. “She can open doors and cabinets, she's being trained to go into the refrigerator, retrieve a specific item out of the refrigerator,” said Terry Henry, Executive Director of Paws4People, an organization that trains animals to help the disabled. Ellie can also turn on lights and read. She's someone the Ivancevich family will learn to count on in emergency situations. “It's really amazing,” said Susan Ivancevich, whose four Amanda is disabled. “I mean (Ellie) knows 107 commands and I've never heard of a dog who can read so that's pretty impressive.” Amanda Ivancevich suffers from infantile spasms, a neurological disorder that causes seizures. After having half her brain removed to treat the disorder, Amanda qualified to have Ellie, a rehabilitative assistance dog help, to her recover. “The dog is going be huge because the dog is going not only be her best buddy when she goes to school, but the dog can open doors, turn on and off lights, pick a pen off the floor, take the top off a pen,” Susan Ivancevich said. Ellie was a gift from paws4people. If there's an emergency, Ellie's trained to retrieve the phone and Amanda's medicine. Henry says the dog also helps Amanda develop socially. “Instead of the kid being the child with the disability, it's the child with the dog,” said Henry. And like other dogs, Ellie can also be a friend. “This is gonna make such a difference for Amanda in the long run,” Susan Ivancevich said. “I just know that she and the dog are gonna become like one person.” Ellie still has to finish three more months of training before she moves in with the Ivancevichs.

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Girls Best Friend

Thanks to WWAY for the great coverage on Amanda and ELLIE and to all the residents of Wilmington for their support of Amanda and ELLIE at both Azalea Festival and the South Beach Grill Fundraiser running this week. It is truly a blessing to live in such a supportive community. For more information on Amanda, feel free to visit www.amanda.story.paws4people.org Thanks so much for your kindness and generosity! We look forward to seeing you around town. ~ Susan I (Amanda's mom)

Girl's Best Friend

GREAT story--what a wonderful story for the news!!!