Dog Stays by Owner’s Side for 20 Hours, Saves Him From Freezing to Death After He Fell and Broke His Neck in Michigan

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A dog is being hailed a hero after he rescued his owner in Emmet County, Michigan, who became paralyzed when he slipped and fell in the snow on New Year's Eve.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, the man -- identified only by his first name Bob -- was watching football when he decided to run outside and get a log for his fireplace, television station WPBN in Traverse City reported.

When he got outside, he slipped and fell, breaking his neck.

Not able to move, Bob laid in the snow for nearly 20 hours. As temperatures dropped to the mid-20s, his golden retriever, Kelsey, stayed by his side, licking his face to keep him warm.

“She kept barking for help but never left my side,” he said. “She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive.”

On New Year's Day, Bob's neighbor found him and called 911.

When he arrived at the hospital, he had a core body temperature less than 70 degrees, the station reports. The doctor also performed surgery for decompression of his spinal cord and stabilization. The surgery was deemed successful.

“I am so thankful for my two heroes,” Bob said. “Kelsey kept me warm, alert, and never stopped barking for help. Dr. Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful.”

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