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Service Dog Walks In Deceased Owner’s Place at Graduation

By Talan Torriero
May 14, 2014

It must’ve been awfully dusty inside this weekend’s graduation ceremony at Idaho State University. Dusty with a side of chopping onions.

On Saturday, more than 2,000 ISU graduates walked the stage to receive their diplomas. They were all humans, except for Cletus, a faithful service pit bull that ISU allowed to walk on behalf of his deceased companion.

Joshua Kelly lost a brave battle with epilepsy in mid-February. “This was Josh’s last semester,” his father told Local News 8. “He was taking his final two classes when he ended up in intensive care in February.”

Kelly and Cletus would walk two miles each way to catch the bus to school, where Kelly was working toward a bachelor of science in geology. In his owner’s graduation ceremony absence, Terrell Kelly, Josh’s father, walked with Cletus across the stage. Quite a moment.

Josh received his bachelor of science in geology posthumously.