Life before Anna was a daily struggle of meltdowns, sensory overload and total dependence for Pāpāmoa 16-year-old Bella Martin.
Life after Anna's arrival is full of giggles, comfort and greater independence for Bella.
It took six years and $20,000 for the family to get Anna, a highly trained assistance dog, but mum Tracy Martin said the decision had been truly life-changing.
And she wants others to be able to access the resource, which currently receives no government funding and is financially out-of-reach for many families.
Speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times, Martin said her daughter's life had been hard.
She suffers from Mosaic syndrome - a rare chromosomal disorder - epilepsy and developmental delays.
The teenager struggles with mobility, sensory overload and is non-verbal.
"Before we got Anna, every day was hard. Bella would have 30-minute meltdowns in the supermarket aisles. The mall was too overwhelming for her with the constant droning music and bright lights.
"She could only be in the car for 20 minutes, otherwise she would flip out and then we'd spend all night by her bedside as she had seizure after seizure and there was nothing we could do for her."
But despite the struggles she faces every day, Martin said her daughter was a "joyful, happy, amazing kid".
"She's had a hard life but she's still a real delight and since we got Anna, a whole new world has opened up to her."
Martin said she had never heard of Assistance Dogs New Zealand until her mother came home from Bayfair one day with a leaflet about the organisation.
"We put in an application that day. We knew it would be a bit of a wait but seeing what Anna does for Bella, the wait was so worth it.
"It took six years and lots of fundraising but we got there and we are so grateful to the Pāpāmoa community. They really rallied around us and we wouldn't have been able to do it without them."
Martin said Anna gave Bella more independence and was a huge comfort to the teen, who could now run her fingers through Anna's fur when she became agitated, calming her down almost instantly.
"Getting dressed in the morning used to be such a struggle but now Anna sits there quietly and Bella is able to pat her and it really grounds Bella.
"I think Anna gives Bella something to focus on so her surroundings are not so overwhelming. We can go to the mall now because the attention is on Anna, not the girl in the wheelchair.
"Anna has also given me more independence. Before, I couldn't leave Bella alone because she would get into things. Now I know Anna is with her and she is safe while I put a load of washing on."
Martin said Anna and Bella's personalities were a perfect match.
"Anna's really goofy and delightful. When Bella first met her she just started giggling and was straight on the floor wanting to play with her.
"They are truly best friends."
It costs $75,000 for each assistance dog to be trained and families are required to cover $20,000 of that.
Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust's waiting list is now more than five years long and growing beyond the organisation's current capabilities.
Assistance Dogs NZ receives no government funding, relying on donations and grants. The organisation's appeal week ran from October 1 to 4 but people can still donate on its website, assistancedogstrust.org.nz.