Student, four-legged best friend graduate college - WNEM TV 5

Student, four-legged best friend graduate college

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Alan Reno and his service dog, Roxie. Alan Reno and his service dog, Roxie.

Delta College held its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, and two unique individuals crossed the stage and received special recognition of their accomplishments.

About 400 graduates participated in the event at Pioneer Gymnasium on Delta's main campus.

A highlight of the ceremony was the acknowledgment of Alan M. Reno and his service dog, Roxie.

Reno, who has cerebral palsy, was paired with Roxie in 2011. Reno earned an Associate of Arts and is graduating as a member of Phi Theta Kappa with high honors.

Roxie has accompanied Reno through 62 credit hours of instruction at Delta and traveled across the stage with Reno on Friday evening to receive recognition for her supporting role in his achievement.

Roxie is a 3-year-old black lab-golden retriever mix. She can open doors with a pull rope or by pressing a door switch. She will retrieve anything that is dropped, can turn lights on and off, retrieve a beverage from the refrigerator and assist with removing clothes.

Roxie was born into a litter of eight pups. Five of those canines went on to become working dogs, including one that works at Comerica Park and another that is a seeing-eye dog in Chile. Roxie was professionally trained at PAWS® with a Cause, located near Grand Rapids.

Reno and Roxie currently live in Midland. Reno plans to transfer to a four-year school, possibly Saginaw Valley State University, to earn a degree in business. From there he plans to attend law school to become a disability rights attorney. According to Reno's family, Roxie has been and will continue to be at his side, everywhere he goes.

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