Service dogs are extremely important for many people. Not every one of us is privileged to have a fully-functional body. There are many people who might be born blind or paralyzed. They require extra help in any form to get through the day. Yes, many of us sympathize with these people. Life or nature has not been fair to them. We try to help them when we can, but then, we can’t always be with them, right?
Service dogs, on the other hand, are angels on Earth. They are always there for these people and try to help them out. Yes, their service may be for a limited period in a day but for that length, they remain a constant companion to the needy. However, while we sympathize with the people who have some form of disability, service dogs tend to pass through our blind spot. They are not respected as such – and neither do people sing praises for them.
However, the yearbook of Stafford High School carried such a praise for AJ’s service dog, Alpha. Stafford High School is located in Falmouth, Virginia and they have a picture of a service dog in their yearbook. Andrew ‘AJ’ Schalk has Type 1 diabetes. At this young age, Type 1 diabetes poses a serious risk. The sugar level in his blood can rise and drop any time and that means, it can lead to sudden shock for AJ.
But that’s when the dog comes to the rescue. Alpha is trained to detect fluctuations in the blood sugar level. If it gets too high or too low, Alpha will immediately alert AJ. He was able to save AJ’s life a number of times. But that’s not all. Alpha is quite a lively service dog too. Whenever he came around in school or the park, he would run around and make everyone feel so positive about everything. He is a burst of joy and positivity.
Alpha has been a constant companion to AJ, from the time he visits the school to the time when he is in the park. He never leaves his side. That’s why AJ came up with the idea to commemorate Alpha in some way. People needed to recognize him, remember him and also, respect service dogs through his symbol. And so, he decided to include Alpha in the yearbook. Well, it was a strange idea but there was a lot of thought that went into it. The teachers loved AJ’s idea and they agreed.
And so, when a senior, Diana Bloom, was going through the yearbook, she was astounded to see the photo of the dog. The service dog was included with all the students in the yearbook. She tweeted about it and the post went viral within seconds. Everybody loved it. Alpha is actually a student of the school with a separate ID!
The post brought in a lot of positive responses. Many people found it hilarious while others were left teary-eyed.
It was such a beautiful initiative by AJ and Stafford High School.