Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Service Dog's Yearbook Photo Appears Alongside Student Owner

Alpha the service dog gets a place in Stafford High School's yearbook Alpha the service dog gets a place in Stafford High School's yearbook
Johnnie Parks | 26 May, 2017, 10:11

After Alpha gained popularity with his classmates, A.J. asked to the yearbook editors to see if his pup could be included in the yearbook, to which they agreed.

Schalk recalled the students "loved the idea of having him in there because he's been such a big part of the Stafford community".

"Seeing a picture of a dog caught my eye pretty quickly", Bloom, 18, told BuzzFeed News.

The human Schalk told BuzzFeed, "The wonderful thing about Alpha is that he knows 20 to 40 minutes before my blood sugar actually does go low or high due to his awesome sense of smell". As A.J. has Type 1 diabetes, Alpha helps to monitor his blood sugar levels.

"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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"He can predict 20 to 40 minutes before my blood sugar goes low or high, and that saves me from huge blood sugar spikes and drops and also benefits my health overall", he added.

Stafford High School students in Stafford, Virgina saw a small surprise when they opened their yearbooks: Alpha, a service dog, received his own photo. Many social media users also thought the dog was cute and that the school's act was heartwarming. "I contacted a friend of mine who is in yearbook, and we brought it up to the teachers and they were 100% supportive", Schalk told HuffPost.

Alpha's presence has improved Schalk's life. The Tweet went viral and was written up on Buzzfeed.

After graduating high school, Schalk and his furry companion look forward to brightening everyone's day in college.

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