Speed Reads

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Faithful service dog walks in deceased owner's place during graduation

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Josh Kelly suffered from epilepsy, a brain disorder that forced him to drop out of high school nine days before graduation. But Kelly was determined not to miss out on another educational milestone. For nearly a decade, Kelly attended Idaho State University working toward a degree in geology, with his faithful service dog, a black pit bull named Cletus, by his side. The pair would dutifully walk two miles both ways to catch the bus to campus.

Unfortunately, Kelly passed away in February just two classes shy of his degree. Nonetheless, ISU granted him a posthumous degree on May 10. In the young man's place, Kelly's tearful father, Terrell, walked across the stage with Cletus by his side, accepted the diploma, lifted it to the sky and said almost inaudibly, "This is for Josh."

In honor of Kelly's hard work and his service dog, who gained celebrity status among the students, the undergraduate study hall in the geosciences department has been officially named "Cletus' Corner." Watch the video below. --Lauren Hansen