Guide dog gets an honorary degree for accompanying his owner to class

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Guide dog attended all the classes with his owner and obtained a masters degree

Guide dogs have an important role in society. Most people might think of them as animals who help the disabled people with everyday tasks. However, they are much more kind than that. Given dogs are considered man’s best friend, guide dog also offers his owner lots of emotional support.

Brittany Hawley, a resident of Wilson, suffers from a rare condition. The condition causes extreme pain in Brittany’s limbs. This is the reason why she gets around with a wheelchair. She received a guide dog a few years ago. When Brittany met Griffin for the first time, she knew that he was made especially for her. Brittany stated, “A few of the dogs were afraid of my wheelchair. However, Griffin jumped right on top of me.”

Griffin entered Brittany’s world when she was about to start a new chapter in her life. She wanted to obtain a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. For anyone who has obtained a master’s degree, they know just how much pressure grad school can be. Many graduate students have depression. So having a supportive figure in their life can really make difference. Griffin was that one in Brittany’s life. He attended every class with her. Also, he offered her emotional support when she was feeling nervous.

By 2018, Brittany successfully completed all her coursework and was ready to graduate. It’s customary to walk down the hall alone. However, Brittany knew that attending her graduation ceremony without Griffin was not an option. He had attended every class with her and so it only made sense that he would accompany her down the hall when she received her degree.

Already well aware of who Griffin was, Brittany’s university decided that he deserved to receive a degree, too. In a letter the university stated, “The head of this university recognizes Griffin for his dedication to his owner. The two of them together have succeeded in obtaining a degree, attending all the necessary classes. It is our pleasure to welcome Griffin as a member of our university.”

Now she has a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Brittany hopes to work with veterans and other former military members. Also she said that she plans to take Griffin with her to work with her. She stated, “Every time I find a new job, he’ll be right there with me every single day.”


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