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US: Dog awarded with honorary diploma for helping challenged woman graduate


New York, Jan 7: Dogs are known to be human beings' best friends but what if we tell you that the camaraderie between human beings and the animal can be so deep that both can end up graduating from a university? Yes, you heard it right. Twenty-five-year-old Brittany Hawley graduated from New York's Clarkson University on December 15 and she was not the only one to get awarded for her feat. Even her service dog Griffin received his own honorary programme, wearing robes and hat. The social media was overwhelmed by the occasion and praises kept pouring in.

US: Dog awarded with honorary diploma for helping challenged woman graduate

Hawley is wheelchair-bound since she was 16 after she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It was then when Griffin was brought in as her service dog for two-and-half years during when the canine, besides helping Hawley with items, opened doors for her, turned on the lights and also kept her guarded. The dog also attended all the classes, study sessions, faculty appointments and research projects with Hawley to be present there to extend her emotional support.

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The school therefore decided to felicitate the four-year-old golden retriever too for doing what it did for Hawley and help her be successful. The university said in a statement that the two "pursued 100% together a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy."

Hawley wrote in a Facebook post:

"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!"

Here are some reactions that Hawley and Griffin got on social media:


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