Anna Goad is an energetic nine-year-old, who loves watching TV, riding horses and hanging out with her friends at school.
She's also legally blind and autistic. When her mom, Ginger, adopted Anna from China, she knew Anna would require special help.
Anna was almost two years old when she came to Franklin to be with her new family.
A few weeks ago, Ginger and Anna found out they qualified for a therapy dog.
"This dog will open up the world to her in so many ways," said Goad, "She will learn from the dog and the dog will learn from her. She'll also have a special connection, because sometimes kids with autism have trouble connecting with people. But dogs are safe to connect with. They don't judge you, they don't criticize you, they don't rush you."
The dog won't officially be ready for its new owner for about a year to a year-and-a-half, but Ginger says the new four-legged member of their family will make a big difference.
"The main thing is safety. Kids with autism are typically very oblivious of danger," explained Goad, "The dog will have a leash on and Anna will have the leash around her waist, so they're tethered together, so she's never really far from the dog."
Goad also told Nashville's News 2 the dog will be trained to find Anna if she ever runs away and will also help her adjust to new situations.
Simply by being next to Anna, Goad hopes Anna will be comforted by petting her dog and will learn more words and phrases by talking to her dog.
"I'm really excited to see what it does for her language," Goad told Nashville's News 2. "It affects every part of her life, for years to come. The independence, the safety, the social aspect and the language component."
Ginger is now working to raise $12,000 to pay for the animal. She says it's a small price to pay for the companionship and therapy Anna will receive.
A pasta dinner fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Franklin Baptist Church located at 700 New Highway 96 West in Franklin.