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      Dog becomes a helper to his owner through rehab

      In late November of 2013, Kim Hill injured his lower back at work, causing him to have to have back surgery.

      At the time Kim and his wife were caring for a litter of pups at their home in Chatham.

      One of those pups, Napoleon, was also injured just days after he was born when his mother accidentally sat on one of his back legs.

      At 11 days old the Hills had to make the decision to get his leg amputated.

      Following Kim's back surgery, he began his rehab process at U.P. Rehab in Marquette with Physical Therapist Bradley Jackson.

      In the past, Jackson and his dog, Boomer, had worked together as pet partners visiting and treating patients in Wisconsin and the U.P.

      When Kim's physical therapist found out about Napoleon's disability, he thought it was a no-brainer that the two should recover together.

      "Ultimately I think they were spring boards for each other to get better than they ever could've individually gotten on their own" says Jackson.

      Kim's back surgeon agrees the bond between animals and people can definitely increase certain health conditions.

      "I don't think there's any question that companion animals play a role for a number of patients in recovery" added, Dr. Craig Coccia.

      Kim is grateful to have had Napoleon "the dynamite dog" by his side.

      "I was with him everyday, everyday, everyday and as he was getting stronger, we realized that we were getting stronger together" says Hill.