People who need them often find it very helpful to have a service dog as a friend. They can help with mental and physical health and make great pets that you can count on to be there for you when you need them.
The university decided that a specific service dog who had stayed by his owner’s side while in graduate school deserved a significant award.
Brittany Hawley, from Wilson, North Carolina, has a complex regional pain syndrome disorder. She needs a wheelchair because of this illness. She was a great candidate for a service dog, and thanks to the Paws4Prisons program, she was able to get one a few years ago.
She didn’t know he was the right dog for her until she met Griffin. “Some dogs were afraid of the wheelchair,” Brittany told the Associated Press. Griffin jumped right up onto my lap and started licking my face all over.
Griffin entered her life just as she was starting something new.: going to Clarkson University to get her master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Brittany’s dog showed how useful he was by going with her to all her classes and helping her in different ways, like opening doors and getting things. He was taught how to do this, so he was able to do it. He has also shown that he can be a friend when things are hard.
Brittany told CBS News that she felt more independent, social, and outgoing after spending time with him.
Brittany and Griffin did well at Clarkson, and by the end of 2018, Brittany was ready to get her diploma.
But she knew she couldn’t have done well without her service dog… She realized that without him, she couldn’t have the party.
Brittany said, “We went to New York together, started school together, and graduated from school together.”
However, it wasn’t enough for her to have him at her side. She also wanted him to do well for himself and get a degree.
Griffin said, “Right from the start, I made it clear that I wanted Griffin to finish his education with me.”
Griffin could walk across the stage and get an honorary degree for “exceptional contributions to student achievement” because the school surprisingly agreed with him.
“The Board of Trustees recognized that Griffin has shown extraordinary effort, consistent commitment, and careful dedication to his owner Brittany’s well-being and student success,” Clarkson said in a statement. “The Board of Trustees acknowledged that Griffin has worked hard, stayed committed, and worked hard to help his owner’s students succeed.”
“The two have worked together to get a master’s degree in occupational therapy. They have taken the same classes, listened to all of the same lectures, and met with all of the same professors,” which “makes Griffin an equal member of the Clarkson Golden Knights family.”
@dog_rates This is Griffin the Service Doggo. He received an honorary diploma this weekend for attending every single Occupational Therapy Class with his owner at @ClarksonUniv pic.twitter.com/VgK4ZbTt1E— Clarkson University (@ClarksonUniv) December 17, 2018
Brittany didn’t stop trying to become an occupational therapist after she graduated. She wants to work with veterans and other members of the military one day.
And, of course, her loyal service dog will be right there with her the whole time.
Brittany said that once she got a job, her boyfriend would go to work with her every single day.
What a great reward for this service dog’s hard work! He has every right to get that degree.
This shows how much of an impact working dogs can have on their communities. Tell other people about this inspiring event!