A high school in Virginia has done something truly awesome. Alpha, a 4-year-old service dog who attends school every day with his human, Andrew “A.J.” Schalk, had his own photo in Stafford High School’s yearbook.
Alpha’s job is to detect when AJ’s blood sugar is getting too low or too high and to instantly alert him, because he is diabetic
"Alpha alerts me through smell, 20 to 40 minutes sooner than I know anything is wrong,” the 16-year-old said. “He has saved my life multiple times, especially at night, when low blood sugar can be super dangerous.”
Last year, A.J. began bringing Alpha to school with him. It became such a regular thing that the school issued the Labrador retriever his own ID.
This school year, Alpha accompanied A.J. to school every day. Because of this, A.J. felt his pup deserved a spot in the high school year book.
“I contacted a friend of mine who is in yearbook, and we brought it up to the teachers and they were 100 percent supportive,” A.J. said.
“I just brought him with me when I got my yearbook picture taken,” Schalk recalled. “The only thing they changed was the camera height. They just had to lower it a little.”
Diana Bloom, one of the seniors at Stafford High School, was browsing through her yearbook when she discovered that AJ’s service dog was included in the roster of students. She tweeted about it, and needless to say, the story went instantly viral.