Not everyone is lucky enough to have a glorious yearbook photo. In fact, most of us take special pains to hide all evidence of School Picture Day forever, lest we get an unwelcome reminder of our ill-advised hair, fashion and makeup choices from adolescence.
However, one adorable service dog in Fort Worth, Texas, recently outshone everybody with the most incredible yearbook photo ever.
Soldier is a Golden Retriever service dog who stands faithfully by Timber Creek High School freshman, Kathryn Campbell. Recently, a photo of Soldier in the class yearbook went viral when the student newspaper, the Timber Creek Talon, shared a story about Soldier to their Facebook page.
The caption read, “Yes, there’s a dog in our Yearbook. Here’s why,” and was accompanied by a link to the student newspaper article.
Student reporter Samantha Sandusky explains how Kathryn’s days can be different from most of the other students at school:
On good days, (Kathryn) gets up and goes to school like everyone else, except that her school day is much shorter. She goes home, watches TV, naps and spends her time with her siblings and parents. However, bad days are “spent in a haze of seizures and rescue medication,” as described by (Kathryn’s mother) Kim Campbell. “She either stays in bed or on a bean bag or recliner, with oxygen close by. Seizures cause her to lose track of time, and can even cause memory loss.”
However, Soldier’s presence is a constant source of comfort for Kathryn, making the bad days feel a little but better. Sandusky told the Daily Dot that, over the past year, soldier has essentially become a member of the freshman class, beloved by everyone:
“Wherever Kathryn goes, Soldier goes also. He attends PE class, pep rallies, and even received a homecoming mum this year. So it was only natural that when the class lined up for pictures, Soldier got a turn, as well,” Timber Creek yearbook adviser Kathy Beers told the Daily Dot. “He’s as much a part of our school as any soul who enters our doors.”
So, Soldier’s yearbook photo is more than just a cute picture: it’s symbolic of what this service dog means to Kathryn, her family, and the school as a whole.
“For Soldier, Kathryn is his responsibility,” Kathryn’s mom told the Timber Creek Talon. “Due to her disabilities, there is not much that Kathryn can control about her life … but Soldier is always there.”
So, yes. In case you were wondering, dogs truly are too pure for this Earth — and they deserve all the professional-level portraits in the world.