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a dog which received a diploma

On Saturday, Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, awarded a degree to a service dog named Griffin. Brittany Hawley, his owner, who had recently obtained her master’s degree in occupational therapy, was also present to receive the degree. Griffin was by her side throughout her time at Clarkson, according to Hawley, and even accompanied her to a North Carolina internship. Griffin showed “exceptional effort, unshakable commitment, and rigorous dedication to the well-being and student success” of Hawley, according to the school’s board of trustees. When his owner received her master’s degree over the weekend, a college in upstate New York presented a service dog with an honorary degree. Brittany Hawley went everywhere with her devoted service dog, Griffin, while pursuing her master’s degree in occupational therapy at Clarkson University in Potsdam. Griffin was by her side in a cap and gown to receive his own degree when she eventually obtained hers over the weekend. “I pushed for him to graduate from Day One,” said Hawley, who uses a wheelchair and suffers from chronic pain. “Everything I did was done by him.” During a recognition ceremony on Saturday, the school’s board of trustees recognized the 4-year-old golden retriever. Griffin showed “extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment, and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success” of Hawley, according to the board. Griffin, according to Hawley, performs a variety of tasks for her, including opening doors, turning on lights, and assisting her with items that are out of her reach. According to The Wilson Times, Hawley was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, or CRPS/RSD, when she was a teenager. Prolonged and severe pain, as well as changes in skin temperature and color, are all symptoms of chronic neurological disease. After an injury, the disease frequently manifests. Hawley met Griffen through Paws4Prisons, a West Virginia-based nonprofit that trains offenders how to train and place service dogs.

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