By Britt Moreno

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The sky is no limit for Bernard Dime. He’s the first paraplegic to study veterinary medicine at Colorado State University.

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While Dime was a competitive “swooper” — or parachuter — and spent time as a skydiving videographer, this is perhaps the biggest risk he’s taken to date.

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

Dime was weeks away from enlisting in the Army before his zeal for adrenaline nearly cost him his life. A parachute crash shattered his back and paralyzed him.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Dime was airlifted to the hospital and doctors immediately performed surgery.

He lost his legs, but found a new purpose. Shortly after doctors saved his life, a Labrador retriever service dog named Corky saved his soul.

“He’s such a joy and really makes my life amazing,” Dime told CBS4.

It was then that Dime refocused his passions and remembered a childhood dream of wanting to be a veterinarian.

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“Being the first person to come through the program in a wheelchair takes adaption,” Dime said.

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

Nowadays, Corky guides him through his day on campus and in the classroom.

Dime says he has no regrets about his past, but he admits he feels a wave of emotion when he considers how he was so close to joining the armed forces.

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

Bernard Dime (credit: CBS)

“Skydiving is an amazing sport. I still love it. The only thing is that I didn’t serve my country the way I wanted to. When I see someone in uniform it gets me sad that I didn’t get to do that,” he said.

Dime calls it the highest honor.

In the future, Dime hopes to one day give back to nonprofit service dog organizations like the one that helped him find Corky.

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Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday’s Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.