Kennedy Welcomes Ellie the Service Dog


Ellie is coming to Kennedy to work as a service dog.

Ellie and her handler, freshman Rihanna Baldwin, are being welcomed to Kennedy. Ellie helps Rihanna with prediabetes, fainting spells, seizures, mental health concerns and long-term health problems.

Service dogs play an important role in the community, most of all helping improve the quality of many people’s lives, not just their handlers.

“I have a bunch of disabilities that I couldn’t control and when I got Ellie, I trained her for those disabilities she would alert me before something would happen,” said Baldwin.  “So I would be able to get to a safer place to have the episodes, and when I was out she would be there to comfort me after.” 

Service dogs are their handlers’ life support in more ways than onefrom guiding visually impaired people to helping people like Rihanna with the disabilities she struggles with. Service dogs help not just with physical disabilities but also with mental disabilities. 

Service dogs give that support to kids and adults need to continue doing their daily activities. They also make their lives all around less stressful and overwhelming. 

“Before Ellie, I wasn’t able to go into stores without either throwing up or getting nauseous because of the busyness in the stores and the feeling of claustrophobia. Once I got Ellie and started training her completely changed the feeling I had when I walked into those stores,” Baldwin said. 

Service dogs are normally not to be touched, but Baldwin will let people touch Ellie unless she has a bad health day. Baldwin loves when people ask to pet Ellie,  making her feel welcome.