Virginia Tech honored its No. 1 therapy dog with an honorary Ph.D. in veterinary medicine.
Meet (Dr.) Moose—an eight-year-old Labrador Retriever and honorary Ph.D. recipient. For years, Moose has been serving students and staff at Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center as a mental health ambassador. Not only has he worked as a therapy dog for students, but he's done some serious emotional healing for patients who were going through cancer treatment—which is, unfortunately, an experience Dr. Moose knows quite a bit about.
"It was the right place at the right time because we wanted to honor his years of service," Moose's owner Trent Davis told Insider. "To honor him knowing that his life span has been shortened by cancer. It's not one of those where we say, 'Well, we will wait another year and give him a degree then.'"
Moose was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after his 64th (in human years) birthday in February. Since then, he's been undergoing radiation, chemotherapy, and a variety of other treatments.
"We're just trying to extend his life and quality of life, but right now he's happy, playful, and fully recovered from his treatments," Davis continued. "Enjoying life and not worried about a thing. I wish I was like him. He has a good prognosis but it's one of those things that just is."
Like most 2020 graduates, Moose was asked to attend a virtual commencement. When it went live, however, Davis and Moose's furry therapy buddies joined in to watch. How sweet is that?
"They got lots of treats, which is all they really care about," Davis told Insider. "Some friends brought me treats and flowers to commemorate. We are still enjoying those treats!"