Truly pawsome: the University of Reading welcomes four legged graduation guest

Boris the assistance dog had his own graduation cap!

The University of Reading welcomed a beloved family pet to graduation for a very wholesome reason. Art graduate Daisy Evans and her family contacted the university to ask if Boris, their much loved springer poodle cross, could come along to the event on July 7th.

This was because, as well as being a valued member of the family, he has been instrumental as an assistance dog. Daisy told us: "Hollie has Pervasive Arousal Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS for short) of which one of the symptoms is anxiety, and Boris helps with her anxiety".

Photo courtesy of Daisy Evans

Photo courtesy of Daisy Evans

To their surprise and delight, the university were only too happy to have an extra guest, and said Boris would be welcome. His presence meant that Hollie, whose anxiety at its worst affected her everyday life, including her speech, was able to come to her sister’s big day and celebrate with a family. Boris’ presence allowed them to attend their first family event in almost five years.

Due to the crowds and the soaring temperatures on the day, Boris’ parents decided it was best not to keep him cooped up in the Great Hall for the 45 minute ceremony, so he watched in style and comfort from the air-conditioned relay room on campus.

Photo courtesy of Daisy Evans

Photo courtesy of Daisy Evans

He was not left out though: his family had made him his very own University of Reading mortar board.

Hollie said: "It’s lovely to have Boris here. I get very nervous but he helps as he’s a bit of a distraction. He’s part of the family so he should be here."

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University of Reading