Therapy Dog Honored at College Graduation

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Zoey, a freckled pit-bull mix and rescue dog, joined the 2014 Motorcycle Mechanics Institute graduating class at the ceremony in Orlando this past May 30. If Zoey had turned in assignments and taken finals, she too would have received a diploma, but instead she was honored with a “Paw of Fame” award, for accompanying her owner, retired U.S. Army sergeant Paul Aragon, to all classes.

Zoey and Paul Aragon and the graduation ceremony
Zoey and Paul Aragon and the graduation ceremony


If it wasn’t for the therapy dog, Aragon would have not graduated. The ARMY veteran suffers from PTSD and it was Zoey who helped him get through the dark days, giving him a new and positive perspective in life.

“Zoey is a lifesaver,” Aragon told The Orlando Sentinel. Thanks to the pet, the war veteran remained focused on his studies whenever his post-traumatic stress disorder, derived from three tours in Iraq, were triggered.

Aragon adopted the pet in 2011 and they both received training, preparing the canine to respond to cues set off by her owner’s PTSD.

Now, the veteran and his therapy dog have plans to move to Texas. His dream is to get a job with a Harley-Davidson dealership as a motorcycle technician and have Zoey  working along him too. We might see Zoey riding on a motorcycle soon.

Good luck to you both and congratulations!


1 thought on “Therapy Dog Honored at College Graduation”

  1. This is a service dog, not a therapy dog. A service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that help a disabled individual. A therapy dog is trained to provide comfort in a school, hospital or other setting such as a nursing home or natural disaster. A pet is a pet, and does not have special training or a special designation. The only type of dog that can accompany their handler at all times with public access is a service dog.


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