Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year 14 therapy dogs were brought in to help students cope. The yearbook staff decided the therapy dogs have done such a remarkable job that they too deserved to be in the yearbook.
"The kids love having the dogs on campus, and honestly, do so we," yearbook adviser Sarah Lerner told CNN.
“They provide comfort for us. They just make it really happy,” Lerner TODAY. “They are on campus every day. The students can go pet them and spend time with them at lunch. Some of the dogs go into the classes. I sometimes have them come into my English class.”
The idea came about by accident. The school's media specialist had her dog's picture taken on picture day. That's when the yearbook staff realized every one of the therapy dogs should be featured in the yearbook too.
"The editors and I started talking, and we decided we wanted to have all the dogs in the book," Lerner said.
When make up picture day came, it was the dogs' turn to get their mugshots taken.
“When we had picture retakes and makeups, they all came into my classroom where we were doing the pictures and throughout the day I had 14-15 dogs in my room,” said Lerner. “It was the greatest day of my life.”
And while the students love seeing the dogs on campus, there's one important tidbit to remember: they're not just pets. They're trained animals that serve a purpose.
"They are trained therapy dogs," Lerner said. "They're never unattended, they're always on a leash and they're so good-natured and well-mannered. They bring a sense of comfort and calm and relaxation. It's wonderful."
We’ve included these cuties in the yearbook ???? pic.twitter.com/CZScvAhjCN— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 3, 2019
And what's better than the dogs being featured in the yearbook? They're ready to go around campus and sign – err, stamp – their paw prints.
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