Johns Hopkins Awards Honorary Masters Degree To Guide Dog Who Sat Through All Of Owners Classes

Johns Hopkins University issued an Honorary Masters Degree to Kirsch a guide dog who faithfully attended all the classes with his owner Carlos Mora who received a Masters of Science in Counseling. The dog was appropriately dressed for the graduation ceremony.

During the Graduation as the pair received their degrees the university read this statement

Our last counseling degree graduate to walk across the stage tonight is Carlos Mora and his service dog Kirsch. Since Kirsch sat through every class with Carlos, both will be receiving a master’s degree in mental health counseling. We want everyone to know that Kirsch was not charged for his degree.

39 Replies to “Johns Hopkins Awards Honorary Masters Degree To Guide Dog Who Sat Through All Of Owners Classes”

  1. I hadn’t really checked this site out until I saw this story. I follow a lot of news in the area of disabilities because my brother is severely developmentally disabled. This is a great platform. I will try to share as much as I can. Thank you for these stories!

  2. This is the most heart warming story I have ever read. What a wonderful and devoted dog Kirsch truly is. I cannot tell you how touched I am about this devoted dog. These loving animals are so loyal to their owners and take their job so seriously. When you see the love and devotion in their eyes for their owners your stomach has so many butterflies you are literly floating . God Bless you Mr Mora and Kirsch. He is a true service dog and devoted friend.

  3. What a lovely story. Thank you for making me smile! Nothing less than Kirsch deserves. What a special dog and a special relationship between Kirsch and Mr Mora. Enjoy your achievements! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. This is a touching story about two individuals. Some pets have also been acknowledged for their bravery in the service too. It is important to give them some praise too. The Zachary did a wonderful job at publishing it. He is talented as my some who has mild autism.

  5. Congratulations !!!!! I love readin
    stories about my favorite friends ( who of course are canines) .
    You are fortunate to have such a nice service dog and your dog is most fortunate to be a part of your life. Wishing you a future filled with happiness ….

  6. As a guide/service dog I would like to think he was already a master of mental health counseling 😊very classy nonetheless!!

  7. This is more sensitivity and good humor than I’ve ever expected from an academic institution. Maybe because the degree is in mental health counseling? I hope it’s catching.

  8. A wonderful heartwarming story and perhaps Kirsch can be involved when Carlos works with people in the field of counseling.. Nothing makes many humans feel better than a sweet dog nearby. I applaud the dog, Carlos and Johns Hopkins .

  9. Thank you for sharing such an awesome story!!!!! I don’t even know how to put into words, the feelings of love, delight, joy…..etc. that this story has awakened in my heart!! Keep on posting BEAUTIFUL stories like this one!!!!!

  10. Kirsch did his thesis on Endorphin Secretion and hormonal changes, comparing belly rubs, ear scratches and tummy tickles. I hear he’s in the running for a Fulbright.

  11. What a wonderful story! The dedication of service dogs has always amazed me. Although there was no formal degree involved, only a first-jump certificate, I taught Harry Charalesworth, a blind man, to skydive. It took me about eight hours–roughly twice as long to cover the material as with a sighted student–and his dog was there for all of training. Because I was in the plane as the jumpmaster I never saw the responses of his guide dog. People on the ground said the dog whined and “cried” until until he saw Harry walking back from the jump. The bond between Harry and his dog was something very special.

  12. I have had some what similar experiences. I raised several Guide Dog Puppies. My daughter is a veterinarian and the puppies visited her at Vet School. More than one professor got on his hands and knees to pet and play with the puppies.

    If you have ever been around a Guide Dog Puppy you realize how smart they are.

  13. …this is amazing. I want to believe the guidedog has more qualities and attributes even before the honorary degree. Being in attendance with his owner throughout his masters degree mean the dog too might added and become more. Kudos to John Hopkins University for this innovation.

  14. So this is the value of their degree? Can the dog read it? Did the dog learn anything? What is the point of this or this lame article except more brainless dog worship?

  15. Kirsch got a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

    Bow, wow, wow !

    No doubt he will be a great assistant to his human, Carlos Mora, in his future work in counseling.
    I wonder if Mora’s employer will hire Kirsch as well, or just pay his consult fees?

  16. My wife picked up a plaque that has a picture of a Black Lab and says,”My Therapist has a Wet Nose”. That says it all.

  17. Wonderful story that represents the bond between those two, which I totally understand. My Yellow Lab and I are a Therapy Dog International team. We serve and brighten people’s lives.

  18. My wife and I raised a Yellow Lab for SEGI and he ended up being dropped due to front elbows. We ended up keeping him and having the surgery. I now use him as a therapy dog. This dog has such a great personality I can’t imagine not having him with me. We believe in paying it forward and my wife will be getting a Golden Reteiver puppy from New Horizon Service Dogs to begin its training. I also volunteer there two days a week doing maintance. These animals give so much more than they take that it’s hard for the nonbeliever to understand.

  19. Great writeup and sweet acknowledgement. But it’s not the first guide dog to sit through all his/her master’s classes – the story I know the best is from the 1980’s when a blind man and his canine assistant went through Purdue’s electrical engineering program at the same time as me and the man who later became my husband. Joe’s black lab (alas, I’ve forgotten her name) faithfully guided him all over campus every day and lay under his chair near the door of each lecture hall. The three of us (well, actually the four of us!) became good friends, and my husband and I were thrilled to have Joe as best man at our wedding. (Yes, Joe graduated and went on to a career in engineering in spite of his blindness; but no, Purdue did not award his dog a degree.)

  20. How sick @KaD, this is something very special, this shows compassion to an animal who may be smarter than you, I hate leaving negative comments but I myself work in the field of psychology & to see someone with a disability achieve a master’s especially at such a great school & have the school do something so sweet for him (not the dog) is amazing … YOU are the only one who left a negative comment , wonder why? What school did u go to & what degree do you have? Be honest…

  21. I think that this was a very cool thing to do
    Probably the dog is a lot smarter than some that left negative comments
    It was nice to see a little levity in a ceremony that is usually so dry

  22. Congratulations! and KUDOS to John’s Hopkins for awarding Kirsch also. We support Southeastern Guide Dogs in Bradenton Florida. We Love to see and hear about stories like this. Thanks for sharing. Best of Luck!

  23. What a heart warming story. I work in the mental health field and truly do believe the human-animal bond is one of devotion, loyalty, and yes, love. The healing that a therapy dog can bring is amazing.
    The person who left the negative comment has probably never felt true compassion or connection to anyone – human or canine- and for this, I feel sorry for you. But, please don’t spread your hate.

  24. I appreciate the article and the lovely bond between human and dog. Each caring for the other is h ow it should be and, thank goodness, often is. So much today is negative when being and sharing positive interactions, kindness, and tolerance builds a much happier and more healthy society for ALL on Earth.

    Please keep up with the good articles….and send best wishes to both of our new graduates!

  25. What a nice story, and how nice of the University to recognize the dog for sitting for all those hours of classes with his master. Congratulations to Carlos and Kirsch! It’s a shame that someone would have something so negative to say about something that is so heartwarming. Oh well, we can’t all think alike; thank goodness Ka D is in the minority.

  26. congrats to Carlos and Kirsch I am a person with M.S. might need a dog someday to help me walk.

  27. Great!! Well done to Carlo, Kirsch and John Hopkins. Lovely to hear such good things!!
    On a personal note: When I was at Cape Town University I lived in res. One of my friends, Herbie, (also in res) was blind and had a wonderful guide dog who stayed with him in his room. Her (the dog’s) name was Tessa. She knew the way up to the campus and also to the faculty buildings where Herbie attended lectures. Unfortunately Tessa was not awarded any degrees – but was awarded much love (and edible “goodies”) by all of us in res.

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