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Looking after Allajoye

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2012

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It is the start of a lifelong friendship.

Allajoye Reeves of Matakana welcomed assistance dog Sharma on August 7.

The golden labrador will help the 12-year-old Mahurangi College girl with her medical condition.

She was born with Isolated Lambdoid Craniosynostosis - a rare condition that affects skull development. She also has autistic traits, resulting in a speech impediment and loss of motor skills.

Alla was featured in the Rodney Times on July 12 where mum Donna sought help to raise $10,000 to help the Assistance Dogs Trust train assistance dogs like Sharma.

So far $7800 has been raised with generous support flooding in from Rodney-Hibiscus Coast residents.

Donna says it is good to have Sharma with the family.

"She and Alla are bonding, and Alla's taken to the dog," Donna says. "I went into her room one day, and found the dog dressed in socks and sweatshirts."

Alla is harnessed to Sharma - no matter where Alla decides to run.

"We tried with a rugby boy who tried to move Sharma when she was on the ‘stay' command, and she simply would not budge," Donna says.

"Not until I give her permission to move. She's been trained to listen only to my command."

Alla's online fundraiser, fundraiseonline.co.nz/Alla joyeReeves has $5405, including a $2000 donation by the Dawson family of Matakana.

The band Hard to Handle, with members from Mangawhai, Warkworth, and Kaipara Flats, is having a fundraising concert on September 21 at Ascension Wine Estate, Matakana, at 6.30pm. Tickets $20, light meal provided.

Curves Warkworth, where Donna is a coach, has raised $2000 with a pot-luck dinner and bake sales.

A 130km bike ride organised by the Hibiscus Coast Riders Club on August 12 raised $400 for Alla.

Matakana School made use of its fundraising night for IT equipment on September 1 to auction a Morris and James platter and $50 cafe voucher for Alla.

Contact Donna on 021 448 353 or 09 422 2249, or email curves.warkworth@vodafone.co.nz if you can help with donations.

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- Rodney Times

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