Graduating from college is undoubtedly a remarkable accomplishment, but a heartwarming moment made the experience even more unforgettable when a service dog named Justin was given a diploma by the president of Seton Hall University at a graduation ceremony in New Jersey, US, making him the centre of attention.
During the graduation ceremony, the dog accompanied his owner, Grace Mariani, who graduated on May 22. Apparently, the dog was given a college diploma for attending all of Mariani's classes in the University. Mariani, who relies on a wheelchair, beamed with pride while Justin, her service dog, hopped joyfully by her side.
During Mariani's commencement ceremony at the Prudential Center on Monday, the pup celebrated along with his owner as she earned a Bachelor's degree and then was gifted with some paperwork of his own. Seton Hall has shared a video clip which has gone viral on Twitter.
The post captioned: 'Seton Hall President Joseph E. Nyre, PhD presents Justin, the service dog for Grace Mariani, of Mahwah, NJ, with a diploma for attending all of Grace's classes at Seton Hall.'
Justin, who accompanied Mariani to her classes during college, is a yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever mix.
According to local reports, Mariani graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Her goal is to teach elementary and special education. Justin has been by her side ever since she received him through the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence in Long Island.
In the video, Justin grabs his diploma with his mouth while the crowd cheers on the canine and Mariani. Nyre throws up his hands to celebrate the dog, Mariani, and the pair's achievements.
After the video began to spread on social media, the duo quickly gained a lot of love and support. The clip was shared online, and fans joined in with their congratulations. The video gathered around 290,000 views and thousands of comments.
A Twitter user Maria Mccorkle who goes by the handle @MariaMccorkle12, wrote: "This was the best video ever of that beautiful dog with her owner; congratulations to the student and the beautiful pup!"
Another user, @AlandMe1725, commented on the post: "Yeah! Grace and Justin! Service dogs give people the independence they couldn't have: such special dogs and those they serve. We don't deserve dogs."
People of determination greatly rely on service dogs for their well-being.