Students in Parkland, Florida, created a yearbook page of furry portraits to honor the 14 therapy and service dogs that helped them get through the aftermath of last year’s horrific mass shooting.
The eclectic mix of dogs highlighted in the Aerie yearbook for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School included Gail Policella, Sophie Levy, Annie Sultenfuss, River Haneski and Grace Goodwill, also known as “therapydogprincess.” Schooner Davis wore a dapper bow(wow) tie for picture day.
The yearbook crew quipped on Twitter that Chief McAlpin — a yellow lab — “loves his yearbook,” and encouraged students to seek him out so they could sign it.
Therapy dogs were initially brought to the school to help teens cope with the overwhelming trauma after a gunman fatally shot 17 people on campus on Feb. 14 last year. The suspected shooter, a former student, has confessed to the attack on video and could face the death penalty.
The first official therapy dog at the school was a Bernese mountain mix named River. School library media specialist Diana Haneski, who helped shelter 50 students during the attack, adopted River and introduced him at a “Yappy Hour” last summer.
Doggy portrait day was last October, and the dogs were apparently instructed to place their paws on an image of human footprints.
People responding to a Sun Sentinel tweet about the dogs were touched — but also saddened that they were even needed in the first place as the number of shootings in U.S. schools continues to climb.