After his owner received her degree, one service dog was given an honorary diploma and let’s just say — it will be the cutest thing you see all day.
Griffin, a golden dog, assists Brittany Hawley, 25, who suffers from chronic pain and uses a wheel chair to get around. She was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome when she was just a teen.
According to WebMD, RSD or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome “is a disorder that causes lasting pain, usually in an arm or leg, and it shows up after an injury, stroke or even heart attack. But the severity of pain is typically worse than the original injury itself. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but they are able to treat many cases.”
Brittany received her masters in occupational therapy from Clarkson University in New York — and this past weekend, celebrated the huge milestone at her graduation ceremony.
Throughout the entire time at school, the four-year-old service dog was right by the student’s side — attending class with her as well as assisting Brittany while she helped patients as part of an internship.
The dog is able to fetch his owner’s phone for her when she needs it, as well as open doors, turn off lights and help Brittany grab out of reach items. He also gives lots of love and comfort to Brittany who experiences anxiety and depression.
The 25-year-old wanted to recognize the dog’s hard work and pushed for him to receive a Clarkson University diploma as well.
She went on to say:
“I couldn’t participate in anything without him. I’m so used to him being there. I pushed for him to graduate from Day One. He did everything I did.”
So when Brittany went up on stage to accept her degree, Griffin walked right beside her in a gown of his own.
And as you can imagine, the dog was very proud and held the diploma in his mouth.
The school’s board of trustees even gave the dog a speech, saying he demonstrated, ‘extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success’.
Both Brittany and Griffin took many graduation day pictures which Brittany then shared to Facebook, along with a post about her time at Clarkson University, saying:
“Two and half years ago me and my “man” GRIFFIN, moved to Potsdam, NY to start grad school! We were moving to a new place, learning how to become a working handler/service dog team, learning how to take care of each other, and starting a new adventure together!”
“Today we finished this crazy, fun, and exciting experience and achieved my dream of graduating with a Master’s of Occupational Therapy! We got to see our family, aka roommates, and classmates!
I can’t wait to see where we go next GRIFFIN! I am blessed that God allowed you to be by my side through the last two and half years. Excited for the adventures ahead of us!”
And that my friends, is one very good doggo.
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