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Junior The Wonder Dog Ready For TV Debut

If your Saturday morning routine involves planting the kids in front of TV cartoons, this weekend you might consider a different show.

At 11 a.m. tune in to “Born to Explore,” the ABC series that explores intriguing stories around the world. Then stop what you’re doing, sit down and watch it yourself.

This Saturday’s show features Junior, a very inspiring dog.

With Westport tags.

Junior the Wonder Dog.

Junior the Wonder Dog.

Junior was abused, before being rescued by the Connecticut Humane Society, then adopted by Westporters Jim and Laura Pendergast.

Three years ago, at the couple’s summer home in Maine, Junior suffered a stroke. His rear legs were paralyzed.

The Pendergasts committed to water and physical therapy, plus acupuncture, twice a week.

Yet Junior was slow to heal. So the couple purchased a wheelchair.

“We trained him little by little. He really fought us at first and would cry and cry and cry, but with treats and sheer determination, we got him to be able to walk with it,” Laura Pendergast told the Scarborough Leader.

 Today Junior runs on the beach, plays with other dogs, even swims.

Junior romps with the Pendergasts.

Junior romps with the Pendergasts.

“It’s an inspirational story about him not giving up on himself. He really got himself in a situation where he can live a happy and free life,” Laura Pendergast said.

The show was filmed last summer in Maine.

“A lot of people who regularly walk their dogs know Junior, but it seems like we always run into someone who doesn’t know him and who want to ask questions and meet him,” Jim says. “He is a real rock star.”

On Saturday, he — and the Pendergasts — rock a national audience.