Dog helps boy with cerebral palsy to walk

By  | 

ALFRED, Maine (NBC) — A middle school boy from Alfred, Maine has re-learned to walk -- twice -- thanks to his service dog, Wendy.

Hunter VanBrocklin has cerebral palsy and got Wendy about four years ago through the Service Dog Project. After a year of training, Hunter could take Wendy to school with him.

"She's like bringing your favorite stuffed animal everywhere," said Hunter.

Doctors told Hunter that he would have to have hip dysplasia surgery in January of 2016, and said Hunter might not walk again. But thanks to his previous work with Wendy, Hunter's surgery went well.

"With Wendy he's gotten way stronger. He's got little muscles which he never had before," said Kelly. "He can run around, he can walk around without her and play dodgeball. He's playing soccer -- stuff that he probably would not have been able to do wheelchair-bound, and Wendy did that," said Hunter's mother, Kelly.