The Dog in the Yearbook

This month’s co-hosts for WATWB are Emerald BarnesEric Lahti, Inderpreet UppalLynn HallbrooksPeter Nena, Roshan Radhakrishnan. Please visit their sites too.

For this month’s We Are the World Blogfest, consider how much help our service dog companions offer to those of us who need them. Everyone’s familiar with drug and bomb sniffing dogs. But service dogs use their eyes, ears and noses for much more than security or law enforcement. They provide much-needed assistance to humans with disabilities or diseases. Read this item from WTOP News, a TV station that serves the DC Metropolitan area, including Northern Virginia, where this story comes from about a high school in Stafford, Virginia.


A junior with type 1 diabetes has a service dog that accompanies him to school. The dog lets him know when his blood sugar is getting off–too high or too low, 30 minutes or more before it becomes a medical issue. Amazing what dog’s noses can detect–upcoming seizures, cancer, and now the chemical clues that the person he serves needs to take action on his diabetes.

In addition to serving as Schalk’s primary spotter, Alpha has been a joy for his classmates.

 “There’s a lot of people you can tell they are having a rough day, but just seeing a dog in the hallway really brightens up their day. Alpha’s become such a big part of the school environment.”
Naturally, service dog “Alpha” accompanied 17-year old  A. J. Schaik to the photo shoot for his high school yearbook. The yearbook staff was happy to include a headshot of Alpha in the yearbook too. For more on the story, check out this news item.

HS student and his service dog in the yearbook


20 thoughts on “The Dog in the Yearbook

    1. Thanks, Emerald. Fortunately I easily found this on the WTOP site–which I seldom visit anymore now that we live in the Southwest. It’s the kind of story that I can imagine being picked up by lots of sites around the country.

  1. Hi John – the ‘special dogs’ seem to be making their way into healing therapy for many … this is a wonderful story showing us the help Alpha gives Andrew, yet his class mates love him too … I met a girl in Philadelphia, who couldn’t handle crowds, travelling etc … (she was with her mother) … and they had a little pomeranian in a carrier, which was allowed aboard the aircraft – and kept the girl calm – I learn a little that day over 8 years ago … thanks for sharing with us … cheers Hilary

  2. A colleague of mine heard a dog bark vigorously at her while visiting the dog owner’s house. A short time later my colleague was diagnosed with breast cancer and she’s now in remission. Our canine four-legged friends are truly wonderful. Thanks for this, John Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

    1. Thanks, Simon. Indeed, dogs do wonderful things with their noses. Sorry for the delayed response. For some odd reason your comment wound up in the spam filter where I wasn’t looking for it. 🙂

      1. Thanks, John. I have needed to fish other people’s comments out of spam too. No offence taken whatsoever. See you again on the blogsphere.

    1. Dogs are indeed our friends. Living in a small town in the Southwest of America, we see people bringing their laid back dogs shopping with them. That’s something that NEVER happens in the big cities elsewhere.

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