A therapy dog was honored at a high school graduation for being an extra good boy.
On June 21, Spiffy was among the high school graduates at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School (SPFHS) in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
Last spring, the three-year-old golden retriever passed his obedience classes and advanced training to become a certified therapy dog.
To honor all of his hard work and celebrate a year of service, the four-legged friend became an honorary graduate of the Class of 2023.
Spiffy, whose name is inspired by the SPF school district, is known to greet students each morning before heading off to scheduled class visits and club meetings. He also helps calm stressed-out students.
“Due to COVID, a lot of people’s mental health declined,” Ethan Filler, an SPFHS graduate, said. “Especially when we came back, it was definitely a light in the hallway to see Spiffy. It was happy.”
Recently, Spiffy was the star of the show at the Mental Health Awareness Club high school festival.
“All the students just flocked to him. They were smiling, they were petting him. He was playing with them. It was really awesome to see,” Georgia Williamson, an SPHS graduate, said.
Although the school year has come to an end, Dr. Joan Mast, Spiffy's owner and the superintendent of the school district, said the golden retriever will continue his duties over the summer with students participating in extended school year programs.
Filler said Spiffy is the ultimate study buddy.
“After you took a test for an hour and a half, it’s definitely nice to get just a mental breather and just relax,” Filler said. “And even pet a dog.”