Teen’s Service Dog Gets His Very Own Spot In High School Yearbook

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“He has saved my life multiple times, especially at night, when low blood sugar can be super dangerous,” A.J. Schalk said of his dog.

Yearbooks are a great remembrance of the school year that was, immortalizing the big and everyday moments in students' lives, as well as featuring all students at the school.

So it's only fitting one very special four-legged student also got his pic in the yearbook.

Alpha, a 4-year-old service dog, attended classes at Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, every day with Andrew “A.J.” Schalk, who has Type 1 diabetes. The service dog, who was even given his own ID card by the school, is able to identify when his A.J.'s blood sugar levels get too low or high, and alerts A.J. way before he can realize it himself.

“Alpha alerts me through smell, 20 to 40 minutes sooner than I know anything is wrong. He has saved my life multiple times, especially at night, when low blood sugar can be super dangerous,” the 16-year-old said of his dog.

A.J. was the one who initially came up with the idea of including Alpha in the 2017 yearbook and discussed it with his teachers. “They were 100 percent supportive,” he said.

“All they had to do was lower the camera and took the picture just like for anyone else!” he said of how the dog had his photo taken.

“I thought it was super cute that they put Alpha in the yearbook. He does such a good job and he really deserved it!” said Diana Bloom, a senior at the school.

She even posted a photo of the yearbook on Twitter.

The tweet has received more than 8,000 likes and 3,000 retweets. Many social media users also thought the dog was cute and that the school’s act was heartwarming.

 

 

 

“He will be with me whatever step I decide to take after high school and he will be there until he retires,” said Schalk of the dog’s future.

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