The New York Law School graduation at Radio City Music Hall became acutely adorable when Ellis, an 80-pound black lab, sashayed merrily across the stage to get his honorary degree, which, because Ellis is a service dog, he had the good manners not to eat.
Amy Sacks of the New York Daily News writes that Amanda Davis, a 24-year-old freshly-minted law school graduate, sought the help of a service dog when she decided to leave her home in Florida for dauntingly crowded Manhattan. Without the benefit of a constant guardian, Amanda's mother Sonja fretted over her daughter's living in the city alone, but eventually relented when Amanda was matched with a puppy from the Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ. New York Law School accommodated Ellis's inclusion in all of Amanda's classes and help arrange her schedule so that Ellis would have enough breaks and not pee all over some uptight law student's expensive textbooks.
While it costs about $35,000 to train a service dog not to do normal dog things like bark at the vacuum cleaner or sprint into puddles, students pay only $150 for their first dog from the Seeing Eye, and $50 for all "successor" dogs. That's how they reel you in. Davis explained that, while Ellis greatly improved her quality of life in Manhattan, she still had trouble hailing cabs or sitting in restaurants because so many people are still ignorant of the fact that service dogs are allowed in all private and public spaces.
Davis hopes for a career in financial arbitration, but has so far been mum on what Ellis plans to do with his degree. He sounds like a sweet dog, so let's hope he doesn't get lured to Memphis by a big, fancy law firm only to gradually realize that his new dream employers work for the Chicago mob.
Image via Matt Hayward/Shutterstock.