From Plato to Pluto

June 28, 1996

Golden Labrador Alf this week gained his Dundee University philosophy department attendance certificate, conferred by university principal Ian Graham-Bryce.

Alf has been coming to philosophy classes for the past five years, acting as the eyes of mature student Derek Vaughan who graduates next month.

After losing his eyesight in a car accident, Mr Vaughan took an access course and four-year degree at Dundee, which has a special unit to support visually impaired students. Alf has proved a useful means of quality assessment.

"When Alf starts to snore, you know it's a good lecture and everyone is quiet and listening attentively," said Mr Vaughan.

Dr Graham-Bryce praised Alf's record of attending every lecture, and said: "We will probably never know how much philosophy Alf has absorbed in the course of his duties. But no doubt a general familiarity with dogma will stand him in good stead."

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