Whenever Brittany Hawley went to class, her loyal service dog Griffin was there. If she wanted her cellular phone, Griffin would fetch it. Even when she assisted sufferers as a part of an internship, Griffin was there serving to out as effectively.
So it’s solely becoming that when Hawley was honoured for receiving her grasp’s diploma in occupational remedy from Clarkson University over the weekend, Griffin was as soon as once more at her aspect — with an honorary diploma of his personal.
“I pushed for him to graduate from Day One,” Hawley mentioned Monday. “He did everything I did.”
The board of trustees of the Potsdam, New York, college honoured the 4-year-old golden retriever at a recognition ceremony Saturday, saying he demonstrated “extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success” of Hawley.
Hawley, 25, of Wilson, North Carolina, makes use of a wheelchair and has persistent ache.
She mentioned Griffin does a variety of bodily duties for her together with opening doorways, turning on lights and bringing her gadgets she signifies with a laser pointer. But maybe extra essential is the consolation the dog offers amid her relentless, extreme ache that causes anxiousness and despair.
Hawley received Griffin by “paws4prisons,” a program that teaches inmates at West Virginia prisons to coach and place high-level help canine.
“The inmates allow many dogs to come up to you and let the dog choose you,” Hawley mentioned.
“Some dogs were scared of the wheelchair. Griffin jumped right into my lap and licked me across the face.”
Hawley and Griffin labored at Fort Bragg in North Carolina throughout an internship, serving to troopers with mobility impairments in addition to psycho-social problems. Brushing a dog may help enhance a affected person’s vary of movement, and stroking him helps ease anxiousness, Hawley mentioned.
“My patients would say, ‘My therapist today is Brittany and Griffin,’” she mentioned.
When she applies for jobs, she and Griffin can be a package deal deal, Hawley mentioned.
“I couldn’t participate in anything without him,” she mentioned. “I’m so used to him being there.”