Service Dog Walks in Owner's Place at College Graduation

This story is so touching, sad and lovely all at the same time that your emotions may not know what hit them.

By | Posted: May 14, 2014, 12 p.m. PST

Please excuse me while I take a moment to wipe the tears off my laptop and use the time to grab yourself some tissues.

It's extremely common to see stories of service dogs walking with their owners in graduation ceremonies. And why wouldn't they?

Dog Plans to Attend Owner's High School Graduation Dressed to Impress>>  

After all, these amazing dogs help make accomplishments like graduation possible and for many owner's their dog is there supporting them every step of the way. But this story is not quite like the others.

Meet Cletus, a black Pit Bull and faithful service dog who walked at his owner’s graduation this past weekend, alone.

The service dog, lost his companion Joshua Kelly in February, only three months before the two would have celebrated their commencement together.

"Josh had epilepsy," Joshua’s father Terrell Kelly told local news. "This was Josh's last semester. He was taking his final two classes when he ended up in intensive care in February."

More than 2,000 graduates took part in Idaho State University’s graduation ceremony last weekend and while Kelly would have been amongst them receiving the degree he worked so hard for, his best friend Cletus was there to walk in his place.

Cletus, service dog. Pit Bull

Kelly explains to ABC, that Cletus had always been there for his son.  EMS crews in Idaho Falls found Josh collapsed numerous times along the route of Josh and Cletus’s two-mile walk to school, but Cletus was always there standing over him, protecting him.

And once again Cletus was there for Josh in an emotional walk across the stage. Josh received his bachelor of science in geology posthumously.

More Amazing Dogs

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Missing 3-Year-Old is Safe at Home Thanks to the Family Dog 

Blind Dog Uses Other Senses to Play Fetch





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Melian and Tiny   Etna, CA

5/22/2014 11:29:21 PM

Oh, that is so very sad.

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carol   greencastle, Pennsylvania

5/20/2014 5:22:51 PM

I am so sorry josh passed. It is so very hard on everyone even cletis. And I hope and pray that people will take a better look at this breed of dog as with rottweilers. They are not born mean people make them mean so please remember that when he walked across the stage Josh was looking down smiling for his beloved dog. And he is missing his beloved Josh. ONE beautiful story and yet so sad. Thank You for showing people who hate this breed. Sorry for your loss Carol

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