The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, wanted to honor a special group who helped them cope with the effects of a horrific mass shooting on campus in 2018. The tragedy took the lives of 17 people and touched the lives of everyone at the school. In an effort to comfort the victims, a number of therapy dogs were brought onto campus for the students and staff.
Now, as the school year winds down, these adorable pups have a page in the high school yearbook dedicated just to them.
The yearbook staff posted a picture of the pups on social media, and it is almost too cute for words:
We’ve included these cuties in the yearbook 🐾🐾 pic.twitter.com/CZScvAhjCN
— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 3, 2019
With countless visits, cuddles, snuggles and hugs to their credit, the dogs have become part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas family. All 14 of the extraordinary dogs had their own photo shoot to make sure each one got the spotlight they deserved. Along the way, the yearbook staff shared a behind the scenes look at what it took to get the job done. These pups were perfectly poised for their yearbook photos:
Just a few of the puppies who took pictures today… Grace, Emma & Chief were so happy to be included in the yearbook. pic.twitter.com/GYeSgyhMcv
— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) October 3, 2018
Some of the dogs made an extra effort to look their best — we’re talking formal attire. One good boy, Chief, wore a bow tie to mark the special occasion. He looked pretty pleased with the final picture that got published in the yearbook:
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
The first of the therapy dogs to arrive at the high school was a Berendoodle named River. Marjory Stoneman Douglas librarian and media specialist Diane Haneski and her husband Ray adopted this sweet girl back in July 2017 and couldn’t wait to share her with the school community:
🐾🐾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
— JoyousLibrarian (@dhaneski) July 17, 2018
Creating the yearbook after such a traumatic time was a challenge for the staff, but one they knew they had to face.
“It’s a balancing act,” 17-year-old junior and rising editor-in-chief Caitlynn Tibbets told BuzzFeed News. “After the shooting we wanted that yearbook to be perfect and had to cover as much as possible. This year, we wanted to give proper representation of our school and who we are now without giving so much focus to what happened to us in the past. The therapy dogs are the one thing from last year that is permanent and positive.”
The yearbook was distributed to students in early May, and the title is, “It All Depends…”:
— Aerie Yearbook (@AerieYearbook) May 8, 2019
And, yes, the yearbook staff is encouraging students to get their favorite therapy dogs to sign their copy of the yearbook.