Service dog gets Sesame Street debut

This photo of Brandeis the muppet with real-world service dog Hercules quickly got voted to the front page of social networking site Reddit.com.
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Trish Anderton

A new muppet — Brandeis, the service dog — joins the cast of the iconic PBS children's show Sesame Street today.

According to the show's website, the yellow labrador shows up in the neighborhood looking for work. After unsuccessful stints folding laundry and sweeping floors, he learns about how service dogs help people with special needs. He embarks on intensive training and becomes a canine companion to a girl named Liliana. 

A photo of Brandeis with a real service dog has quickly climbed Reddit's most-read list while inspiring a flood of awwwws in the comments.

"This brought me to the verge of tears with how awesome and adorable it is," writes Electric_Warrior_. "And I'm in my mid twenties. And a dude. But I loves me some dogs, puppets and PBS so I aint even mad."

"My service dog in training is going to be so excited!" adds JimmyKeepCool.

"I love this show," comments Big_Blaidd_Drwg. "I loved it when I was young and learned about death from Mr. Hooper's passing and love from Maria and Luis's wedding. And I continue to love it for teaching generation after generation about life."

PBS is partially funded by the federal government through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Sesame Street was launched in 1969 after a PBS producer began wondering how to use TV to educate children in a way that "went down more like ice cream than spinach." The show has featured more than 1,000 muppet characters over the years.