Flicking through the pages of the recently-released yearbook at Stafford High School in Falmouth, Virginia, there’s no doubting who the alpha dog is.
Because it’s clearly Alpha, the dog.
Alpha is a labrador who accompanies Andrew Schalk everywhere he goes – including school.
The 16-year-old Andrew has Type 1 diabetes and needs Alpha to alert him when his blood sugar reaches a dangerous level.
“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 News.
Alpha has been attending school with Andrew for the past year and thoroughly deserves his place in the yearbook – an inclusion that was Andrew’s idea and which the school agreed with 100%.
“He has been a great companion and added a lot of happiness to my school’s environment,” Schalk added.
The school certainly seems to love Alpha as much as the students do, even giving him his own doggy ID card.
Alpha’s starring turn in the yearbook hit the news when senior Diana Bloom saw his adorable face and tweeted it out.
“Seeing a picture of a dog caught my eye pretty quickly,” Bloom told BuzzFeed News.
“I thought it was so cute, and I knew that some of my underclassmen friends hadn’t seen it yet because they didn’t have their yearbooks so I took a picture and tweeted it.”
That tweet has now been retweeted almost 3,500 times.
Of his canine companion, Andrew added, “Alpha is really an amazing animal. He makes a disability, such as my diabetes, such a positive experience for me and my life overall, and really turns it into a blessing rather than a negative part of my life.”
via Buzzfeed News | Images via AJ Schalk / Diana Bloom
they put his service dog in the yearbook i’m CRYING pic.twitter.com/yU47kpKnwA
— diana bloom (@nycstheplacetob) May 18, 2017
Just a boy and his (service) dog pic.twitter.com/uM5f9P9X3V
— AJ (@t1dfighter_aj) May 18, 2017