Michael J. Fox says his pup Gus is his “wonder dog.”

The actor, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, is sharing why pets are so important to people with chronic illnessnesses for CBS News’ upcoming primetime special, “The Pet Project”.

Chatting with the network’s Lee Cowan, Fox explained, “You know that no matter your situation, no matter what you feel, this animal is with you and is connected to you, and you feel. It’s a force multiplier.”

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For Fox, Gus helps fight the feelings of isolation.

Photo: Michael J. Fox
Photo: Michael J. Fox

“Your instinct when you have a chronic illness is to sometimes isolate and make your world as small as possible so you don’t have much to deal with, but a dog will open you up,” he said.

And Gus is super special. Recalling the time he came home from having a tumour removed from his spinal cord two years ago, forcing him to relearn how to walk, Gus was there waiting for him.

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Fox said: “He kind of circles the wheelchair with this low kind of woof woof, woof woof, and sat in front of the wheelchair right in front of me, and looked at me, and I said, ‘It’s going to be okay.'”

“The Pet Project” airs Friday, Nov. 27.