School yearbook photo of student’s service dog goes viral

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. -- Students at a Virginia high school got a big surprise when they opened their yearbooks this year.

"Seeing a picture of a dog caught my eye pretty quickly," Diana Bloom told Buzzfeed News after her tweet with a photo of the yearbook page went viral. "I thought it was so cute.”

The photo shows student Andrew Schalk and his service dog Alpha.

(Courtesy: Diana Bloom)

The 16-year-old junior has Type 1 diabetes and Alpha helps alert him when his blood sugar is getting too low or high.

"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.

The Labrador retriever has been going to school with Schalk for the past year and has been a big hit among classmates.

Schalk said he approached the school yearbook about including Alpha and they were “100 percent behind it.”

"The only thing they changed was the camera height. They just had to lower it a little," he told the site.

Schalk was even able to get Alpha his own school ID.

Alpha (Courtesy: AJ Schalk)

Alpha’s inclusion has been an instant sensation with students such as  Bloom, who tweeted “they put his service dog in the yearbook I’m CRYING.”

Her tweet has since gone viral and been retweeted more than 8,000 times.

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