School yearbook photo of student’s service dog goes viral

FALMOUTH, Va. (WSVN) — Students at a Virginia high school were used to seeing Andrew Schalk and his service dog, Alpha, around campus. But they didn’t expect to see the pup in their yearbook.

Stafford High School student Diana Bloom snapped a photo of the page and posted it to Twitter, where it quickly went viral.

“Seeing a picture of a dog caught my eye pretty quickly,” Bloom told Buzzfeed News. “I thought it was so cute.”

Schalk, 16, has Type 1 diabetes, and says Alpha alerts him when his blood sugar fluctuates too much.

“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,” Schalk told Buzzfeed.

Schalk asked the school’s yearbook staff if Alpha could be included, and says they were “100 percent supportive.”

“The only thing they changed was the camera height,” he said. “They just had to lower it a little.”

Schalk says Alpha has become quite the popular pup at school.

“He has been a great companion and added a lot of happiness to my school’s environment,” Schalk 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.”