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Video Showing A Service Dog Receiving A Diploma Alongside Owner With Disability Wins The Internet’s Hearts
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Video Showing A Service Dog Receiving A Diploma Alongside Owner With Disability Wins The Internet’s Hearts

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Humans and dogs have an unwavering bond that formed more than 30,000 years ago. Since then they’ve been our loyal companions, offering us their unconditional love, serving and protecting, and following us along on this crazy journey called life. While most dogs are rewarded with belly rubs and treats, some of the four-legged friends get special recognition. Service dog Justin received his very own college diploma after attending all his wheelchair-using owner’s classes.

Graduation is a big celebration for everyone: students, family, friends and… dogs? Meet Justin, the service dog who just got his very own diploma

Image credits: Seton Hall

It’s not every day you get to see a dog getting a diploma, but Justin has certainly earned it. The service dog accompanied his owner Grace Mariani to all of her lectures. Now that’s a well-educated pooch!

Service dogs change people’s lives – it’s about time they received awards for their love and dedication

Image credits: Seton Hall

No person should miss out the opportunity to earn a degree just because of their disability. Service dogs can be life changers, supporting their owners throughout their academic journey. Grace Mariani, 22, with the help of her four-legged companion, earned a Bachelor of Science in education. Look at her proud smile!

Image credits: Seton Hall

Service dogs are excellent companions that help turn dreams into reality. In a CNN interview, Jeanine Konopelski, Canine Companion for Independence vice president of marketing and advocacy, said: “When Grace was matched with Canine Companions service dog Justin, she said her dream was to go away to college and become a teacher.”

Justin has undergone lengthy training and mastered over 45 tasks to be able to assist Grace. With Justin by her side, she was able to make her dream a reality. Grace expressed her gratitude: ”With Justin by her side, she has the best chance for a successful, independent life.”

Now that’s a good boy!

Seton Hall, a university in New Jersey, recognized Justin’s exceptional devotion in assisting his owner and decided to award him with his very own degree

Image credits: Seton Hall

It is great to see institutions acknowledging the importance of service dogs. Of course, Justin won’t be applying for jobs with his new diploma, but it will certainly help to raise awareness.

Justin is not the only dog to have earned an honorary degree – back in 2018, a service dog named Griffin collected his Masters diploma from Clarkson University alongside his owner, Brittany Hawley.

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Grace and Justin’s appearance on the stage sent the crowd into a frenzy. Perhaps it will inspire other universities to follow Seton Hall’s example?

Image credits: Seton Hall

Grace Mariani and her Labrador-golden retriever mix sported Seton Hall’s signature blue colors.
Justin looked dashing in his Class of 2023 bandana as he accompanied his owner who crossed the stage in a motorized wheelchair.

Now, Seton Hall has a golden – literally – alumnus

Image credits: Seton Hall

We’re sure that Grace and Justin will go on and fulfill many more dreams in the future – they have already proved that they are an excellent team.

What do you think of Justin receiving a diploma? Should service dogs get more recognition or is it completely unnecessary?

Watch as Grace and Justin receive their diplomas

Image credits: Seton Hall

Canine Companions were happy to congratulate Grace and Justin on their big day

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Image credits: Canine Companions

We fully agree – we don’t deserve dogs

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Who doesn’t love a good dog pun?

Image credits: minnesotahiker

Facebook exploded with positive comments and admiration for Justin’s dedication

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lsaizul avatar
Lsai Aeon
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Justin is a Canine Companions dog. His breeding, puppy raising, and professional training cost $50,000. The dogs are always free to recipients. I have one too. Go check them out https://canine.org/ Please help if you are able, we recipients are eternally grateful Attach3752...138035.jpg Attach37528_20230317_181342-647a6db138035.jpg

snowfoxrox avatar
lipinyte avatar
Evelina
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When even a dog gets a diploma while you're struggling to finish first year... just waiting for my bff to marry Toto

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lsaizul avatar
Lsai Aeon
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Justin is a Canine Companions dog. His breeding, puppy raising, and professional training cost $50,000. The dogs are always free to recipients. I have one too. Go check them out https://canine.org/ Please help if you are able, we recipients are eternally grateful Attach3752...138035.jpg Attach37528_20230317_181342-647a6db138035.jpg

snowfoxrox avatar
lipinyte avatar
Evelina
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When even a dog gets a diploma while you're struggling to finish first year... just waiting for my bff to marry Toto

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