Alpha Schalk is in current edition of Stafford High School’s yearbook. If you’re a student at the school, and you have a copy too, you can see him, posing — albeit somewhat reluctantly — in the bottom lefthand corner of the page.
You can congratulate him about it. Tell him he looks great. Give him a high-five (sorta).
What you can’t do, however, is ask him to sign it.
Because … he’s a dog.
“Seeing a picture of a dog caught my eye pretty quick,” said one student at the school, Diana Bloom, to BuzzFeed News recently. “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.”
they put his service dog in the yearbook i'm CRYING pic.twitter.com/yU47kpKnwA
— diana bloom (@nycstheplacetob) May 18, 2017
The pooch is actually a service dog — a helpful companion to a student at the Virginia school, 16-year-old Andrew “AJ” Schalk. According to BuzzFeed News, Alpha alerts the teenager when his blood sugar is too low (he has Type 1 diabetes).
AJ said the incredible canine can alert him 20 or 40 minutes before his level reaches a critical stage. He’s even woken him up in the middle of the night and saved his life.
“Yes, 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.”