Kali, a Pit Bull and a service dog, has just made history at the Florida International University (FIU). The seven-year-old dog has received a notable distinction for her work supporting her guardian and friend, Worlds Ahead Graduate, Tiffany Ascanio. Kali was awarded at this year’s spring commencement and was the first dog in the university’s history to be recognized in this way!
During the first semester at FIU, Ascanio needed to figure out something that would help her cope with an ongoing medical condition, FIU News reports. She researched the subject thoroughly and finally decided that she would put her dog, Kali, through service dog certification training.
“I don’t think it’s for everyone, and I don’t think it should be abused,” Ascanio said about the experience. “But if people are willing to put in that dedication, it can give them a lot of freedom that they might not necessarily have in their life right now.”
From the time she became a certified service dog, Kali accompanied Ascanio during her mechanical engineering studies. As it turned out, college life really agreed with the pup who, according to her guardian, has more friends than she does!
Kali’s help proved to be invaluable. “I don’t think I could’ve been as successful here at FIU without her,” Ascanio said. “I’ve excelled so much further than I thought I could.”
Kali proves the wonderful worth of service animals who help their guardians achieve their dreams and support them faithfully every single day of their lives. And, being a Pit Bull, she also defies the harmful stereotypes about the breed – showing what an incredible friend a Pit Bull can be.
The new award was created especially for service animals who meet federal guidelines and attend all of a student’s classes since the student started using them as an aid. “She is the first service dog to be recognized by FIU’s Disability Resource Center with a certificate of completion,” President Mark B. Rosenberg said about Kali.
Ascanio and Kali are now headed to Seattle where the graduate was hired by Boeing commercial airplanes as a manufacturing engineer. But before that, the two are going on a road trip to enjoy some well-deserved rest!
All image source: Florida International University/Facebook