“Paws of Prestige: Service Dog Receives Honorary Degree for Dedication”

During a warm holiday in Potsdam, New York, Brittany Hawley witnessed an emotional moment alongside her loyal companion, Griffin. This special event took place during the “December Recognition Ceremony” at Clarkson University on December 15, 2018. Griffin, a Golden Retriever service dog, was honored with an honorary degree, planting seeds of hope. Unexpected joy and happiness for Brittany.
Brittany, a doctoral specialist in Occupational Therapy, couldn’t claim this as a greater achievement from her furry friend. Since starting their journey together at Clarkson University, Brittany and Griffin have been not only friends, but also a team, overcoming all challenges and difficulties.
When the ceremony ended, Brittany hugged Griffin tightly, giving him her most sincere congratulations. This remarkable moment, filled with love and gratitude, is a testament to the special bond between a loving owner and a resilient furry friend.
Griffin, Brittany Hawley’s charming friend, not only attends classes with her, but is also always available to assist. From helping patients during internships to attending lectures, Griffin is always by Brittany’s side. Therefore, it was no surprise that Griffin also appeared at Brittany’s graduation ceremony, proudly receiving an honorary degree with her, celebrating the journey they went through together.

“From day one, my struggle to help him graduate began. Every task I took on, he was always by my side,” Brittany recalls. To honor this special relationship and Griffin’s tireless dedication, the school’s board of trustees organized a special recognition event.
Living in Wilson, North Carolina, Hawley, who uses a wheelchair, constantly praises Griffin for his support in every situation. From opening doors to turning on lights and carrying furniture, Griffin’s help is indispensable. In particular, Griffin also brought mental comfort to Brittany, helping her overcome the mental difficulties she often encountered.

Brittany adopted Griffin through the “paws4prisons” initiative, a program that educates prisoners in West Virginia about the training and use of special service dogs. Brittany emphasized that the meetings with the prisoners were interesting and meaningful, as Griffin quickly became a source of comfort and hope for them.
Finally, Brittany shares, “My clients often say, ‘Today, I have a therapy session with Brittany and Griffin.'” Hawley emphasizes that she and Griffin come as a package deal. “I rely on him in everything,” she said, expressing her great familiarity and trust in her charming companion.

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