Service dog wears cap and gown for student’s high school graduation

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HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — As students across West Michigan celebrate graduation, one high school senior is crediting her sidekick, a golden retriever, for helping her get her diploma.

We first met Desi and her service dog, Walton, last month. But Monday was the big night: graduation. As some 35 graduates filed into Freedom Christian High School in Hudsonville, among them was Desi’s four-legged companion.

Desi has cerebral palsy and got Walton just four years ago. “I really, really couldn’t be where I am right now in this stage of my life without him,” she said. “Before him, I would come to school in a wheelchair.”

Their bond is easy to see but so much deeper than most could understand. It’s why, Desi says, it was so important to have Walton at graduation, dressed in a cap and gown, to accept that diploma with her.
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