Imagine 15-year-old Harry Hulse's surprise when he opened his yearbook to find a picture of his beloved service dog, Taffy, right next to his own.
Taffy is Hulse's diabetes service dog. Hulse, a student at Northern Guilford High School in North Carolina, has type 1 diabetes. Taffy's job is to alert Hulse when his blood sugar level requires attention. According to Hulse, Taffy paws him 12-13 times a day, "so I can treat myself with either insulin or food."
Hulse and Taffy are joined at the hip; one is never without the other. Yearbook editor Stephanie Hicks sees Taffy as just another student, like any other. So, when Hicks learned that the photography studio that had taken yearbook photos in the fall had also photographed Taffy, she knew right away that he "obviously has to be next to Harry in the yearbook, he always is."
Hicks and the rest of the yearbook staff wanted the pooch's appearance in the yearbook to be a fun surprise for the end of the school year, so they kept their plans secret.
When the time came and yearbooks went out, it was indeed a surprise - and one with a heart. "Everyone was telling me, 'Your dog is in the yearbook! And I was like, what?" says Hulse. "It's a surreal feeling; the feeling of having my best friend next to me. He's always right there, right next to me."
And it's pretty clear from Taffy's photo which superlative he earned: Most Likely to Make Everyone Say, "Awwwww!"