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 Post subject: SERVICE DOG EARNS SPOT in high school yearbook
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:56 pm 
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SERVICE DOG EARNS SPOT along high school students
Diabetic student’s service dog makes Stafford High’s yearbook
By AMANDA VICINANZO THE FREE LANCE–STAR 21 hrs ago (32)
Alpha the service dog
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Stafford High junior Andrew ‘AJ’ Schalk, who has Type 1 diabetes, has been attending class with his service dog Alpha for the past year. Alpha can tell when Schalk’s blood sugar is off by scent and gives Schalk a paw to warn him.
Alpha the service dog
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Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star
Andrew ‘AJ’ Schalk walks through a Stafford High hallway with his service dog Alpha, who helps monitor Schalk’s blood sugar. ‘He is part of this school now,’ yearbook staff member Grace Fuller says of Alpha.
Alpha the service dog
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Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star
Service Dogs of Warren Retrievers trained Alpha to use his sense of smell to detect when Shalk’s blood sugar is off.
Alpha the service dog
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Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star
Andrew “AJ” Schalk walks through Stafford High’s hallways with his service dog Alpha.
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When Stafford High School students flip through the yearbook for the first time, they get to page 220 and gasp with surprise, “It’s Alpha!”

Although Alpha goes to school every day like all the other students featured in the recently released yearbook, he is also a little different: Alpha is a service dog.

Alpha belongs to Andrew “AJ” Schalk, a 16-year-old junior at Stafford High who has Type 1 diabetes. The service dog alerts him when his blood sugar levels are too high or low by giving Schalk his paw.

“He lets me know my blood sugar is fluctuating through smell anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes before I even know anything is wrong,” Schalk said.

Grace Fuller, a 17-year-old junior who is on the yearbook staff, featured Alpha in a small profile in last year’s annual. As she sorted through this year’s student headshots, a photo of Alpha popped up and she knew it needed to be included.

“AJ has always talked about how much he liked having Alpha at school, and he is here all the time—we see him in class and in the hallways,” she said. “He is a part of this school now.”

A Stafford student tweeted about Alpha’s inclusion in the yearbook, and that post was shared thousands of times and prompted a Buzzfeed story on Wednesday that has been shared widely on social media.
(Continued)
http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/loca ... dce13.html
Good on 'em.

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