There wasn’t a dry eye in the room at the spring commencement ceremonies for Idaho State University, as Cletus the service dog made his way across the stage. The Pit Bull was there to accept a diploma for his late guardian, Joshua Kelly, who died from complications related to epilepsy. Josh died in February just shy from picking up his diploma.
Cletus and Joshua were often seen on campus. The two walked 2 miles every morning to catch the bus and go to classes. Whenever Joshua suffered grand map seizures Cletus would get help.
“During that last semester, he was having a difficult time with his memory because of the seizures, which made it especially hard for math classes. He had brain surgery, nerve stimulations, and he was on medications, but nothing stopped the seizures,” Lyne Kelly, Joshua’s mother told the Journal.
Joshua’s father and Cletus walked across the stage and picked up Joshua’s diploma.
“I’ll be honest,” said Joshua’s father, Terrell told ABC 8. “I was one of them that was giving (pit bulls) a bad rep until I met Cletus. And he allows our little grandchildren to climb on him, pull his ears, pull his tail. He’s just great.”
Joshua and Cletus made a strong impression on many of his colleagues at ISU, including faculty. The two were mainstays in the ISU geosciences department, where the department’s kitchen facility will be named Josh Kelly Kitchen and its undergraduate study room will be named Cletus’s Corner.
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