When the students at Stafford High School in Virginia received their yearbooks this year there was one photo in the section of student photos that didn’t look like the others, and yet it belonged.
In the first slot of the last line of photos of juniors was an adorable photo of Alpha Schalk—and in the photo to the right of Alpha was his human (yes you read that right) A.J.
A.J., who is a 16-year-old junior at the Virginia high school, had been bringing his service dog Alpha to school for about a year. The otherwise normal teen has Type 1 diabetes and Alpha alerts A.J. when his blood sugar is either too high or too low.
“He has saved my life multiple times, especially at night, when low blood sugar can be super dangerous,” A.J. told HuffPost.
So it only felt right that someone so important to A.J. and someone who attended class every day just like every other student have their photo in the yearbook. A.J. went to school administrators and asked if his service dog’s photo could be included, and there was no question about it, the answer was yes.
Look at how stinkin’ cute Alpha’s school photo is!
they put his service dog in the yearbook i'm CRYING pic.twitter.com/yU47kpKnwA
— diana bloom Ⓥ (@nycstheplacetob) May 18, 2017
At first, A.J. brought Alpha to school one day a week, but then he started to do so more frequently. He became so well known around the high school that the dog was given a school I.D. card, which is arguably even cuter than the pooch’s yearbook photo.
— AJ (@t1dfighter_aj) May 24, 2017
A.J. told Fredricksburg.com that not only has Alpha had a positive impact on his life, but he’s seen how having a service dog in school has led to a more positive atmosphere at his school.
“Alpha brightens the school atmosphere for all of the students—not just me.”
This isn’t the first time a service dog has appeared in a school’s yearbook and it probably won’t be the last. Take a look at some of the other good boys and girls who made it into their school yearbooks.
Eddie was a straight-A student that year.
Delta was on the payroll, so it was only fair he appeared among his fellow staff members.
Our school legit put a dog as staff in our yearbook 😍😍 pic.twitter.com/tFZQ15bNsJ
— Katelyn🍍 (@KBullan) May 18, 2017
Toby looked dashing for his school photo.
They put the dog in the yearbook 🤣 pic.twitter.com/X1PnsqSQw1
— Megan (@meganmross3) May 18, 2017
Cheeto will be around all afternoon to sign yearbooks.
this girls service dog Cheeto made it into the yearbook pic.twitter.com/fxSXOT9LVP
— anna (@annaebock) April 21, 2017
For more on A.J. and Alpha check out the video below.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 25, 2017