This Guide Dog Goes Gets A Master’s Degree At Stellenbosch University. Michelle Nel and Donna both went to the stage wearing yellow graduation ribbons.
Michelle Nel went on stage with her retired Labrador dog, Donna, to receive her master’s degree in music. The retired guide dog helped guide her visually disabled friend for the last time before she hangs her guide coat. She helped guide her for the last time before her successor, Luna, starts guiding Michelle Nel while she’s doing her PHD in psychology.
Michelle Nel and Donna both went to the stage wearing yellow graduation ribbons. They both went to go collect Nel’s cum laude master’s degree in music. The owner started her courses in music in 2005, at that time Nel already started working towards her PHD in Psychology. She says that the event was special because it would be the last time that she was being guided by Donna.
“She was on this journey with me so it was only right that she got capped with me,” says Michelle Nel.
Nel says that Donna is invested in her owner. People would always pester her and Donna would show her teeth to flee them away from her. She says Donna was guiding her and protecting her at the same time. The guide dog was with Nel for eight years before she hanged her guide dog coat last year November.
Donna now lives with her owner’s parents in Helderberg, Western Cape. Luna was part of the audience when Donna went on stage with Michelle Nel. Michelle says that she had Glaucoma from when she was given birth and she can only see structures. Before she signed up to get a guide dog, she used a walking stick to move around. She received Donna in 2010 from the South African Guide Dog Association. She had to wait for two years before getting her guide dog.
by Alexandra Ramaite