We’re loving these service pups who (deservedly!) got their own high school yearbook photos
For the fourth year in a row, a Minnesota high school decided to honor two unlikely members of the staff by including them in the yearbook — and we are totally on board with this decision. Dakota and Carmel are service dogs working with teachers at Blaine High School, and this year (as in years past) their adorable mugs were placed right alongside the staff they help every day.
These cute and helpful pups are most certainly deserving of a place on the staff roster and we absolutely love their yearbook pics. Carmel works with a hearing impaired teacher to teach students sign language, while Dakota helps out in a special education classroom. The head of the special education department at Blaine, Lynn Florman, feels their inclusion in the yearbook is a well-earned nod to their impact on students.
“I think it recognizes the important role that Dakota and her owner, Vicky, play in the lives of our students,” she told Yahoo Canada, which picked up the story after a student ran a picture of the yearbook on her Tumblr.
“There are also many students outside of the special education department that know Dakota and enjoy stopping to say hello to her,” Florman continued. “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.”
She goes on to share a few examples of the service Dakota provides for students, and it’s so important and heartwarming.
“I have seen distraught students battling traumatic memories cling to her in their darkest moments, and shy students learn to approach her only to be completely accepted and loved for who they are, giving them confidence to approach their own peers. I have watched her walk away from angry students who learned that their behavior was inappropriate when even someone as patient as Dakota wouldn’t tolerate it. In many ways, Dakota represents the best qualities we hope to teach our students: unconditional love and acceptance, patience, and tolerance for those who are different.”
We love that Dakota and Carmel are recognized for the treasures they are, and that the school is so proud of them! Keep up the good work, pups!