It’s the time of year where we celebrate all the students graduating and receiving their diplomas. While most graduation ceremonies this year have been canceled or held virtually, it didn’t stop one university from awarding an honorary degree to one of their most dedicated faculty members.
Meet Moose, an 8-year-old golden retriever who is one of the loyal therapy dogs serving Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center.
According to Virginia Tech, Moose has been part of the team since 2014, and has become a beloved member of the faculty.
As an official therapy animal and an ambassador for mental health awareness, Moose has participated in 7,500 counseling sessions and over 500 outreach events.
Everyone loves Moose, and he loves them all in return, never discriminating or judging anyone.
“Moose loves you if you’re super smart, and he loves you if you got an F. He loves you if you’ve been in the hospital, and he loves you if you’re a sports star,” said Moose’s owner Trent Davis, counselor and coordinator of Virginia Tech’s Animal Assisted Therapy at Cook Counseling Center.
“Knowing that Moose wakes up every day and provides stress-relief and emotional support to his community makes him a true animal hero,” said said Talya George, associate director of VVMA.
Moose has had a challenging year: in February, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Luckily, he was in good hands: he received radiation and chemotherapy treatments from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and was cared for by a Virginia Tech veterinary student.
He’s continuing to receive treatment, but is doing well… and recently, he got some good news to make everything better.
He received an honorary doctorate from the university!
You can call him “Doctor Moose” now. Even with graduation ceremonies canceled, they university gave Moose a special ceremony, complete with a cap and gown… and even made him his own diploma:
Congratulations, Moose! You deserve it!
Therapy dogs do so much good for people, and it’s inspiring to see a university recognize one of their dogs with such an honor. Share this heartwarming story!