While school shootings are becoming horrifically commonplace in the United States the 2018 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was one of the most shocking in recent memory, with the shooter leaving 17 of his fellow students dead and many injured.
Survivors of the shooting like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg have since turned into leading advocates for gun control.
Now current students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are taking a moment to thank some unsung heroes: the therapy dogs who helped them recover from the traumatic event and who have stayed on to remain a beloved and calming presence at the school ever since.
Those service dogs have now gotten their own yearbook page complete with smiling, tongue-wagging photos of the helpful canines in fancy dress.
We’ve included these cuties in the yearbook ?? pic.twitter.com/CZScvAhjCN
— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 3, 2019
According to yearbook editor-in-chief Caitlynn Tibbetts, who spoke with BuzzFeed News, it was about honoring the animals for their positive contribution, saying:
“The therapy dogs are the one thing from last year that is permanent and positive.”
This is beautiful.
How did students at Parkland High School honor their therapy dogs, who helped them get through their difficult year after the devastating shooting?
By giving them their own yearbook page.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) May 17, 2019
According to BuzzFeed the dogs have become “an unwavering, consoling, integral part of the school” since the shooting and, among other things, they “go to class, give handshakes in the hallways, and wag tails in the courtyard outside the cafeteria as teens flood in and out for lunch.”
We love that Chief loves his yearbook! Make sure to find him to sign it. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/JHw0gjtptH
— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 14, 2019
A doggo photo shoot is also apparently a blast. According to yearbook advisor and English teacher Sarah Lerner, who had the idea to include photos of the dogs in the yearbook:
“We sat them up on chairs, they were smiling for the camera. It was the greatest day of my life.”
Including the therapy/service dogs in the yearbook is the best decision we’ve made so far like this one dog had a bowtie and my heart ??? pic.twitter.com/ecP9X01wqD
— natasha (@sighnatasha) October 4, 2018
I mean just look at all these very good boys and very good girls.