Dog immortalised in high school yearbook

  • 25/05/2017
Alpha and AJ in the yearbook
Alpha and AJ in the yearbook (AJ / Twitter)

A proud pooch has been honoured in a US high school yearbook after becoming one of the most popular members of class.

Alpha, a male labrador retriever, is a service dog for Andrew 'AJ' Schalk - a 16-year-old student at Stafford High School in Virginia who has Type 1 diabetes.

The pair have been attending school together for about a year, so AJ asked the school yearbook-makers if Alpha could be photographed as an honorary student.

The result is very endearing.

"I started by bringing him once a week, then twice, and so on and so forth until he was fully acclimated," AJ told Mashable.

The dog is now in classes every day, where he sniffs AJ's breath and can alert him if his blood sugar levels are too low or too high.

"The decision to get a service dog came about just to have greater control over my blood sugar and A1C, and Alpha has even saved my life on multiple occasions," AJ said.

"Alpha is not a distraction at all! He lays under my desk during class, and even though everyone knows he is there, everyone still pays attention to class and loves having him there."

Alpha is so popular at the school that AJ's yearbook request was quickly welcomed. He even got an ID card.

Alpha's ID
Alpha's ID (AJ / Twitter)

"All the teachers and administration were 100 percent supportive," AJ said.

"All my classmates loved seeing Alpha in the yearbook, and people that I didn't know loved the surprise of having a service dog in the yearbook."

AJ, who has one more year at high school, says he plans to get another photo of Alpha in the yearbook again in 2018.