Dog Gets His Picture In A Texas High School Yearbook For The Greatest Reason
HeartEternal Staff 6/7/2017
Who amongst us hasn't sat down periodically to flip through our high school year-book and reminisce about the good old days! The friends, the clubs, the handwritten notes, all make up a past that thankfully always seems more perfect than it probably was!
At Timber Creek High School in Keller, Texas, something the student editors added to their yearbook is making the news round and more importantly, is sure to make the perfect memory for one very special student years down the road!
Kathryn Campbell is one of 7 children and will be part of the graduating class of 2020 at Timber Creek where two of her other siblings also attend school. Kathryn has a medical condition which restricts her to a wheelchair; she also cannot speak and often has multiple seizures a day.
According to Kim Campbell, Kathryn's mom, what makes Kathryn's life much easier and relatively normal is the company of her service dog Soldier who is always by her side, even at school. Soldier who is specially trained by the 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio, not only helps guide Kathryn throughout the day, but is also trained to predict her seizures so that others around her can be ready to help her!
According to Kim, who considers Soldier to be like her 8th child:
"[Soldier] provides consistency and stability for her. [Soldier and Kathryn] spend almost 24 hours a day together..[they] are a team ... On the rare occasions when she is in an unfamiliar place without him, you can definitely tell she is more anxious. He provides her with comfort, and I don’t know what she would do without him.”
So given that students rarely ever see Kathryn and Soldier without each other, it only made sense that the service dog get a very special shout out in the yearbook for making it possible for Kathryn to experience high school just like any other kid! According to Amanda Barber, the student yearbook editor:
"Our theme of this year's year book was 'Shine Brighter Together', and so Soldier helps Kathryn shine her brightest."
They accomplished this by adding a headshot photo of Soldier to the student list of the 2020 class. Proudly posing between Kathryn, Kitana, and Stormy, the other three Campbell siblings, Soldier looks like he belongs there without a doubt.
This is the first time that a dog has made an appearance in a yearbook in this fashion at Timber Creek, but according to Kathy Beers, who is the staff yearbook advisor, the whole thing seems so natural and a no brainer:
"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. He’s as much a part of our school as any soul who enters our doors."
Here is the heartwarming video of Soldier and Kathryn, hanging out at Timber Creek High!
There are so many people who count on the companionship and expertise of service dogs everyday. It really is amazing to see that an animal can make it possible for a human to survive and experience daily life despite of health limitations.
So while, Kathryn has three more years as a Timber Creek Talon, we have a feeling that Soldier will be right along with her, helping her out. Who knows, the duo might even make the news again for walking down the stage together in their matching graduation robes!
To Soldier, and to all other service dogs, we hope that they continue to bring happiness to families.