My Dog Has PhDs

The following is an article from Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.

These true stories of accredited canines show that you really can get anything online- even a college degree for your dog.


Applicant: Wally.

Story: In 2004 Peter Brancato, a reporter with the Schenectady, New York, television station WRGB, filled out an application for a degree from Almeda University for his dog, Wally. Brancato wrote that Wally "plays with the kids every day" and "teaches them responsibilities, like feeding the dog."

Result: Wally received an associates degree in Childhood Development …and a transcript certifying that he’d completed courses in European culture, algebra, and public speaking. (Ruff!) After WRGB aired the story, Almeda University issued a press release accusing the station of weaving a "smear campaign" against them. The "university," which is still in operation, gives its location as Boise, Idaho,  but its headquarters are actually on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

Update:  In 2008 Wally was featured in a political cartoon showing him with a thought bubble that read, "I graduated with Bill Chesen." Chesen, a candidate for mayor of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, had listed a degree from Alameda University on his resume. Chesen accused his opponent of defamation, but the district attorney took no action. (And Chesen won the election.)


Applicant: Chester Ludlow, a pug.

(Image credit: Chester Pug Ludlow at Facebook)

Story: is an organization that monitors online universities. In 2009 the company decided to test one of its subjects, and had "Chester Ludlow" -a pug belonging to one of its employees- apply to Rochville University.

Result: Just days later, Chester received his MBA. It came from Dubai with a letter stating he’d graduated with a 3.19 grad-point average and passed "with distinction" in Finance. It also congratulated Chester for having been a member of the Rochville University student council. made a video about it.

(YouTube link)


Applicant: Sonny, a golden Labrador retriever.

Story: On a 2007 episode of the hit Australian TV show The Chaser’s War on Everything, co-host Chas Licciardello announced that he’d submitted an application for a medical degree to the online Ashwood University, which offered degrees for "what you already know," meaning you can graduate without actually taking classes. The application wasn’t for Licciardello -it was for Sonny, his golden Labrador retriever (no last name, just "Sonny"). Under "work experience," he wrote that Sonny "has eaten out of hospital rubbish bins for five years" and "has significant proctology experience sniffing other dogs’ bums." Licciardello submitted the application -with the $450 fee- and waited.

Result: A week later, Sonny received a framed certificate proclaiming him the recipient of a medical degree. Not only that, according to his transcript he’d earned As in Immunology and Oral Communication and Presentation Skills. So where is Ashwood University? An investigation failed to determine its exact location, but noted that Sonny’s degree was mailed from Pakistan.

(YouTube link)


Applicant: Molly, a Basset hound.

Story: In 2012, KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas, began investigating companies that use a state law meant to prevent discrimination against homeschooled kids to hand out high school diplomas to just about anyone who pays the hefty fee. KHOU sent one such company, Lincoln Academy, an application in the name of Molly -a dog belonging to one of their cameraman- and found that in addition to the fee, Lincoln required all applicants to pass a test. Sample questions: A triangle has how many sides? and The president lives in the White House- true or false?

Result: Molly got an email that read: "Dear Molly, you have truly reached a milestone in your educational career. Sit back and enjoy your new life of being a high school graduate from Lincoln Academy." KHOU aired their report, along with the story of a young lady who got a similar diploma -for $600- believing it would allow her to fulfill her dream of joining the U.S. Navy, only to have a Navy recruiter tell her the diploma was no good. [Ed. note: Lincoln Academy was ordered to shut down in 2014.]

(Title image credit: Flickr user annie:malahus)


This article is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.

Get ready to be thoroughly entertained while occupied on the throne. Uncle John has ruled the world of information and humor for 25 years, and the anniversary edition is the Fully Loaded Bathroom Reader.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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