Twitter | @AerieYearbook

Parkland Therapy Dogs Get Honored With Their Own Yearbook Page

It's been a little over a year since the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

While the nation mourned and then continued to argue about gun control, survivors needed to return to classes and try to find some sense of normalcy.

Imagine what it must have been like to go back.

Unsplash | Scott Webb

Imagine if one of the places you've always thought was safe, where you spend a huge portion of your time, became a giant reminder of the trauma you'd just been through. Where every empty desk is a gateway to reliving it again.

Now imagine you don't just have to go back there every day, but also stay focused enough to pass calculus.

When the students returned to classes for the first time after the shootings, councilors and therapy dogs were there to greet them.

The dogs came from around the country and throughout the rest of the school year, local volunteers continued to bring the dogs back to visit.

The dogs are specially trained to stay calm and quiet, while remaining alert for signs that someone is in need.

If they sense a student or teacher struggling, they will lay a paw or their head on the person's lap, giving quiet comfort.

The dogs were so popular and proved so helpful, that there were calls to bring them back for the next school year.

In the summer of 2018, a Bernese mountain dog-poodle mix named River became the first "official" school therapy dog. Only 3-months old, River was donated to Diana Haneski library media specialist who helped shelter 50 kids during the attack.

Technically, River was in training, but she recently passed all her certifications!

River joined her owner in the school library once classes began again.

Instagram | @chief.osceola

Plus, thirteen of the other therapy dogs returned and have been visiting regularly throughout the school year, providing comfort and cuteness to anyone who sees them.

So it makes perfect sense that their humans would want to include them in the yearbook.

Instagram | @aerieyearbook

Back in October 2018, the dogs posed for their very own photos, which were collected together into their very own page.

One of the doggos decided to get very dapper and showed up for photo day in a bowtie.

He definitely gets the award for best dressed, but they're all good dogs.

The puppers definitely became a part of the school's family.

Very good boi Chief even asked his crush, Molly, to prom!

14/15, would vote for as Prom King and Queen! For like, the rest of eternity.

Everyone agrees that the yearbook spread is the most heartwarming and adorable thing ever, but many also found it sad.

The need for such a spread in the first place is a stark reminder of how we live in a country where a school can be so traumatized by violence that multiple therapy dogs are needed to comfort them.

It's a sobering thought, isn't it?