Dogs really are a
man woman’s best friend!
And we all want to see ourselves graduating along with our best friends, and one student from New York actually got the chance to make it come true.
Brittany Hawley, 25, was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome when she was a teenager, and now uses a wheelchair and suffers from chronic pain. However, despite all her difficulties, Brittany managed to get her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Clarkson University in New York. And right along with her on the graduation ceremony was her dog, Griffin, who, decked in a graduation cap and gown, got a diploma of his own.
During Brittany’s studies, her four-year-old service dog kept at her side and helped her at all times, even during class and her internship where she assisted patients.
Some of the things Griffin helps Brittany with is getting her phone and other objects out of reach, opening doors for her, and turning on the lights. And most importantly, he’s a source of support and comfort for Brittany, who also suffers from depression and anxiety due to her pain.
So, she managed to convince Clarkson University to get Griffin a diploma too, explaining: “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.”
Griffin also got praise from the board of trustees, who said in a speech that he showed “extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success.”
Brittany went on to post a series of pictures from the graduation ceremony to her Facebook account, where she wrote:
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!
Well, we also can’t wait to see where this duo goes to next. I mean, having a furry sidekick can really help you out, but a furry sidekick with a diploma is on a whole other level!