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Dog inspires autistic child to come out of his shell

Logan Erickson was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old, and he had never spoken a single word. That all changed one day after the Iditarod race in Alaska. reports that Erickson met musher DeeDee Jonrowe when she visited his town after the race and he also came face to face with one of her dogs, Mr. Miyagi. As he went home with his mother he uttered his first word - Miyagi.

His mother noticed the effect the canine had on his development, and his family looked into getting a specially-trained service dog. However, the $30,000 cost was a huge obstacle.

Jonrowe, along with Erickson's community and the staff at Eagle Pack Pet Food, helped raise the money needed to provide Logan with a service animal.

Logan is completing his stay at 4 Paws for Ability, which paired the now 9-year-old with Juke, a yellow Labrador. The new team will return home to Alaska where his family hopes he will continue to grow with the aid of his new companion.

4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit that works to train canines to assist with a number of disabilities.
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