Over the past few years, some service dogs who accompany students and teachers to school have rightfully gotten their own photos in the yearbook, and I really hope this commendable trend continues.
This year a photo of Presley, a 5-year-old Goldendoodle, appears next to that of Seph Ware in the 2016 yearbook for Good Hope Middle School in West Monroe, La.
Ware, 14, has had Duchenne muscular dystrophy since he was 3 years old and is confined to a wheelchair. For the past four years, Presley has helped him by picking up things he drops, turning on lights, opening drawers and performing other tasks, both at home and at school.
School officials came up with the idea of including Presley’s photo in the yearbook.
“Seph says that it took about 10 minutes to get Presley to look at the camera — and who knows how many shots,” his mom, Lori Ware, told AL.com.
After Presley’s yearbook photo was shared on Facebook this week, it went viral.
“We’re kind of stunned at all the attention,” Lori Ware told FoxNews.com today. “It’s humbling. I’m glad Presley is making the world happy.”
Last year, the hundreds of photos in the 2015 yearbook for Minnesota’s Blaine High School included those of Caramel Thomas and Dakota Comancho.
Caramel is a service dog belonging to Rebecca Thomas, who is hearing impaired and teaches American sign language at Blaine High. For the past 10 years, Caramel has joined her in class.
Dakota, a certified therapy dog, belongs to Vicky Camancho, who teaches a special education class at the school and brings in Dakota once a week.
“The students love seeing the service dogs in the yearbook,” Thomas told Yahoo Canada.
Including the two dogs in the yearbook started a couple of years ago, when Dakota’s photo was taken for an identification badge on class picture day.
“When we got the disc of student and staff photos, we automatically flowed the pictures into the yearbook page sections,” Faculty Adviser Jill Farrell told the Star Tribune. “The editors and I giggled like mad when we saw that a picture of Dakota was included in the images.”
Lynn Florman, head of the special education department, told Yahoo Canada the photos send a positive message.
“Sometimes the unique services they provide are not understood or valued by others, so seeing them recognized in such a public and memorable way as a yearbook sends a strong message to all that they are an integral part of the team that supports our students,” Florman said.