The tradition of collecting and signing yearbooks before summer vacation has persisted throughout the decades. When senior Diana Bloom of Stafford High School in Virginia received hers, she couldn’t wait to flip through the pages.
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But as soon as Diana got her yearbook, she spotted something peculiar…
…a picture of her classmate Andrew Schalk and– next to him– a hilarious photograph of a 4-legged classmate, Alpha Schalk.
It turns out, Alpha is Andrew’s service dog. Andrew “AJ” Schalk, a 16-year-old junior– has Type 1 diabetes and Alpha stays with him to alert him when his blood sugar is too low or too high.
“The amazing thing about Alpha is that he knows 20 to 40 minutes before my blood sugar actually does go low or high due to his amazing sense of smell,” said AJ.
Diana took a photo of Alpha’s yearbook portrait to share with her underclassmen friends who hadn’t yet received their yearbooks. She posted the photo to Twitter where it quickly went viral.
they put his service dog in the yearbook i’m CRYING pic.twitter.com/yU47kpKnwA
– diana bloom (@nycstheplacetob) May 18, 2017
Alpha’s inclusion in the yearbook was AJ’s idea. After all, Alpha does attend all of AJ’s classes with him. When he spoke to the yearbook committee, they were definitely on board.
Alpha even has his own school ID!
– AJ (@t1dfighter_aj) May 24, 2017
But AJ didn’t just want to include Alpha because he’s man’s best friend. Alpha is more than a cute face; he’s AJ’s hero.
“He has saved my life multiple times already, by waking me up in the middle of the night to extremely low blood sugars, which are very dangerous,” he said.
AJ will bring Alpha with him when he goes to college, so he began taking Alpha to school with him a year ago to “get him acclimated to the school environment.”
Now, Alpha is not only comfortable at the school, the school has come to love him!
“He has been a great companion and added a lot of happiness to my school’s environment,” AJ said, “It brightens people’s days seeing him in the halls or in my class and I love being able to have that effect on people.”
What a good dog.
THIS IS TOO CUTE IM CRYIN https://t.co/i06tjJDpMp
– · â‹†Ëš · via * âœ§ .Ëš (@veeyuh) May 25, 2017
THE PUREST LITTLE BEAN?? https://t.co/hUM20j14Ck
– tori h. (@ga_tor_ade) May 19, 2017
THIS IS SO PRECIOUS ?â¤â¤â¤ https://t.co/sFkxH8omAz
– Noreen Wyna (@noriinwynd) May 25, 2017
Share Alpha’s adorable school picture to spread a smile!
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