The University Awarded a Service Dog a Degree for Helping His Owner Complete Graduate School.

Service canines can be indispensable companions for individuals who require them. Not only can they provide medical and emotional support, but they also make wonderful, loyal companions that will be by your side whenever you need them.

After one service dog remained by his master’s student’s side throughout graduate school, the university deemed him deserving of a substantial award.

Brittany Hawley, a resident of Wilson, North Carolina, utilizes a wheelchair and has complex regional pain syndrome. She was the ideal candidate for a service dog and acquired one through the paws4prisons program a few years ago.

When she encountered Griffin, she knew he was the perfect companion: “Some dogs were afraid of the wheelchair,” Brittany explained. Griffin leapt onto my lap and licked my face.

Griffin entered her life just before she began a thrilling new journey: attending Clarkson University to earn her master’s degree in occupational therapy.

The dog proved his worth by accompanying Brittany to all of her courses and assisting her by opening doors and retrieving supplies. He was also a reassuring companion during times of anxiety and depression.

Brittany told CBS News: “I felt more independent, more gregarious, and more outgoing with him.”


Brittany and Griffin continued to flourish at Clarkson, and Brittany was prepared to graduate in late 2018.

She knew she could not have completed the task without her service dog… and realized that she could not celebrate without him.

Brittany stated, “We moved to New York together, began education together, and graduated together.”

She desired that he earn his own degree in addition to standing by her side.

“I have fought since day one for Griffin to graduate alongside me.”


Griffin was able to stroll across the stage and receive his own honorary degree for his “extraordinary contributions to student success.”

Clarkson said in a statement, “The Board of Trustees recognized Griffin’s extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment, and vigilant dedication to Brittany’s well-being and academic success.”

“The pair pursued a master’s degree in occupational therapy together, attending all the same courses, lectures, and faculty appointments… making Griffin an equal member of the Clarkson Golden Knights.”


Brittany pursued her dream of becoming an occupational therapist after graduation, expecting to work with veterans and military personnel.

And naturally, she will keep her loyal service dog close by.

Brittany stated, “When I get a position, he will be with me every single day.”

What an appropriate tribute for this devoted service dog! He earned that degree without question!

It demonstrates the extraordinary impact that service canines can have. Share this uplifting tale!


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