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Service dogs graduate with top honors

Service dogs graduate with top honors
Service dogs graduate with top honors 02:03

DALLAS ( – A different kind of graduation was held at the Canine Companions at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus on Friday.

There were no textbooks or final exams to pass ahead of this graduation ceremony.

But these new grads are about to change lives.

"I am very excited, I have been waiting it seems like forever," said Alex Mercy, who graduated with his service dog today.

On Friday, nine service dogs who have been training with the Canine Companions program for over two years walked across the stage to begin their new lives with their new companions.

"I can't believe they give the dogs away for free to people like me," said Mercy.

"It just progressed real rapid and I have been looking for a dog that will listen and will obey," said Mercy.

He's waited for this day for over two years, and now it's here. The day he finally gets to go home with his service dog Nilla.

These pups are trained by their puppy raiser volunteers to open doors, pick up items, and comfort their companions in an emergency.

Mercy says Nilla will give him the independence that MS took from him.

"She can open doors, she can open the refrigerator door, for me she will be there as a companion basically as a friend when I need one," said Mercy.

Living with a disability can be lonely. But from today on, he'll never have to struggle alone again.

"I can't even describe how much I appreciate and how much I actually owe," said Mercy. "If I could repay it I don't know if I could."

He's got a friend by his side from here on out. 

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