17-year-old Kayla Wheeler and her service dog, Cadet / KING-TV
Hundreds of students accepted their diplomas Thursday night at Mountlake Terrace High School. Two graduates in particular caught our eye: 17-year-old Kayla Wheeler and her service dog, Cadet.
The pair has been together since Kayla was in the fourth grade.
She was born without both her legs and with only one arm, and leaned on the dog over the years to help get around. He could do everything from turning on lights to opening up doors.
"When I was younger, he did a lot more for me because I was less independent," said Kayla.
Now, Kayla is more comfortable in her wheelchair. Her loyal, reliable service dog also just turned 10 years old, which is usually retirement age for dogs like Cadet.
"He is the most amazing dog you'll ever meet," said Kayla's mother, Joyce Wheeler. "I've had many dogs and I've never met a dog with a personality like him. He was a godsend."
Both the school and the family thought it was only fitting that Cadet graduate from high school with Kayla.
He's been featured in almost every yearbook since she got him.
Thursday night, the crowd cheered as the Mountlake Terrace principal handed both Kayla and Cadet their diplomas.
The principal said it's the first time a dog has graduated from their school.
Kayla and her mother say it's an honor that was well-deserved.
"He's very calm and really awesome, and I love him," said Kayla.
Cadet will now get to relax at home with the family, as Kayla begins college at the University of Washington.
Read the original story: Student, service dog graduate from high school together