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.
We’ve included these cuties in the yearbook 🐾🐾 pic.twitter.com/CZScvAhjCN— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 3, 2019
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.
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
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.
🐾🐾It’s happening this week. Ray and I get a girl...River, our MSD therapy puppy from Utah Bernedoodles 🧡pls Rt - share now and join us🐾🐾@PrincipalMSD @MSDlibrarymedia @MSD_MsKenny @msdclassof2021 @msdclassof2020 @msdclassof2019 @DouglasDrama @MSDculinary pic.twitter.com/Dsg7Kxb01U— Diana Haneski (@dhaneski) July 17, 2018
Doggy portrait day was last October, and the dogs were apparently instructed to place their paws on an image of human footprints.
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
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.
My stress level went down 100% just looking at this picture 🐶 🐾 ❤️— Raquel Cisneros (@RaquelCi5) May 15, 2019
They should all be valedogtorians.— Theo Wiles (@theo_wiles) May 15, 2019
Omg this is so beautiful. We just don’t deserve dogs. ❤️🐶— Melissa (@MelissaJoy83) May 16, 2019
I’m not crying. You’re crying.— Tonic 🍑 (@tonic516) May 16, 2019
At first, I thought this was cute.— «KIT♀» working on SDCC2019 cosplay (@FoxfireAnomaly) May 16, 2019
Then the reality of having multiple therapies dogs at a gun violence-hit school so common that they are in the yearbook hit me.
I had the identical reaction. Terrifying & heartbreaking.— Okay Fine (@okayfine19) May 16, 2019
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.