Precious Pups Get Their Degrees From Penn - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Precious Pups Get Their Degrees From Penn

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PHILADELPHIA -

Graduation day at the University of Pennsylvania brought plenty of tear and a fair amount of slobbering!

The veterinary school celebrated its first year as a training center for service dogs. These precious pups may someday put their Ivy League education to work, saving your life!

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon was on hand for the ceremony.

As is so often the case at school graduations, the current students showed their stuff for an appreciative audience of friends and supporters.

At Penn's Working Dog Center, that meant precocious pups, put through their paces exhibiting the skills they'll someday need for the real world after college.

"It's been an ongoing joy and amazement to watch them develop. They are genius dogs with genius humans connected to them," Joan Hendricks of Penn Veterinary said.

Of course, the real show was the ceremony itself. Graduates like Socks, a 14-month-old Labrador retriever galloped onto the stage.

With her proud foster father beaming from the audience, Craig Carnaroli provided a home for Socks while she trained.

"It's a very exciting day for Socks, to be graduating from the program, and for us, to have contributed to her development,"Carmaroli said.

Come December, Socks will trade the college life for bomb detection duty at the university. She will have a new partner, officer Westley, with Penn Police.

"Oh, it was very emotional, very challenging. You really form a bond with the animal. She was part of our routine and part of our family."

"The training here at Penn goes beyond the traditional bomb sniffing and search and rescue, to areas of medical assistance that, frankly, sound too bizarre to be true."

"Brittany" is early in her training, but she's looking to be a specialist. It turns out dogs can be trained to pick up the faint scent given off when a diabetic's blood sugar levels get too high or too low.

Just as in real life, only some these soon-to-be Penn graduates will have jobs waiting for them when they leave college.

And just as in real life, saying good bye to the parent who nurtured them during their school years is full of emotion.

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