Baylor Law Commencement Includes Honorary Juris 'Dog'tor' Degree For Grad's Service Dog

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    Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben congratulates Amy Jones on receiving her law degree. At right is her faithful service dog, Skeeter.
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    Amy Jones earned her law degree on Nov. 8 from Baylor Law School. At right is Skeeter, who served as her faithful companion and service dog during Jones' three years of law school.
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    Baylor Law Professor Gerald Powell presents Skeeter, faithful companion and service dog to Baylor Law graduate Amy Jones, with an honorary juris "dog"tor degree, as well as a purple collar and golden dog tag in the shape of a bone.
Nov. 11, 2008

Baylor Law School's fall commencement ceremony on Nov. 8 was an exciting and proud day for 16 law graduates, as they received their juris doctor degrees and heard from distinguished Baylor graduate and former FBI director William Sessions. But an additional highlight that has caught the nation's attention was the presentation of an honorary juris "dog"tor degree to "Skeeter," a Labrador retriever and faithful service dog to Baylor Law grad Amy Jones.

Jones, who earned her law degree on Saturday, was paralyzed in 2002 as the result of a skiing accident. The setback did not keep Jones from returning to school, along with Skeeter, to California State University at Chico, where in 2005, she earned her degree in construction management. As she attended three years of classes at Baylor Law School, Jones again was faithfully attended to by Skeeter, who was well-known and well-cared for by Jones' fellow Baylor Law students, faculty and staff.

As Jones was presented with her law degree, Skeeter, too, also was honored with a diploma bearing the following tribute:

    WHEREAS Skeeter Jones, good and gentle Labrador, attended faithfully with Ms. Amy Jones all prescribed Baylor Law School classes, dog-day in and dog-day out, until completion;

    WHEREAS he showed uncommon bravery in yawning loudly in abject dog-boredom during a certain lecture of Professor Jeremy Counseller, caring but little for the intricacies of removal and remand;

    WHEREAS he successfully begged for donuts from Professor David Guinn, having been unfairly tempted by the hi-jinks of the latter;

    WHEREAS Good Dog Skeeter completed the Practice Court program without being called upon once or reading nary a case, all knowing that a snarl would rebuff any such intrusion;

    WHEREAS he is now an older, wiser and even a bit fatter dog;

    WHEREAS those who survive Baylor Law School are entitled to all barking rights, entitlements and appurtenances thereto;

    THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY DECREED that Baylor University School of Law confers upon Skeeter the Labrador this HONORARY JURIS 'DOG'TOR DEGREE

But the law school wasn't finished. Instead of the traditional hood that is given to law graduates, Baylor Law Professor Gerald Powell presented Skeeter with a purple collar and golden dog tag in the shape of a bone.

Read more Amy Jones and Skeeter:

Baylor Law blog

The Waco Tribune-Herald, Nov. 9. 2008, Service dog receives degree from Baylor Law School alongside owner

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 9, 2008 A class act: Service dog gets honorary Baylor degree

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