By Amy Sinatra Ayres
With a little pomp and circumstance, Hero the service dog graduated alongside his best pal last weekend. The canine, who we think deserves an honorary degree, donned a mortarboard and blue gown to match his owner, Bridget Evans.
"This is my service dog, Hero, after we graduated with our Master's degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign," Evans wrote in a caption with the Imgur photo.
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Hero got a warm welcome during the ceremony - and this photo of him at his owner's side quickly went viral. "The girl and the dog received the loudest applause hands down. Very adorable," Reddit user tcjones54 wrote in the caption. Some Redditors suggested that Hero should have received a "dogtorate" or been the "valedogtorian."
When the picture of Hero became popular on Reddit, Evans signed on to explain how he's helped her.
"Hero knows over forty commands to assist me! He loves to retrieve objects for [me] like envelopes, pens, my crutches, etc. He also turns off the lights, opens doors, and he pulls me in my wheelchair up ramps! I couldn't have gone to college without him!" Evans wrote on the site on Monday.
She's also the founder of Illini Service Dogs, a campus organization that allows college students to train service dogs before their placement.
"He's been with me through all my classes," Evans told Today.com. "He deserved a cap and gown as much as I did."
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