After the devastating Marjorie Stoneman High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, a number students and faculty experienced debilitating symptoms that often accompany a traumatic event.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can take many forms, affecting both the body and mind years after the inciting incident. There are several forms of therapy that have been proven helpful for those living with it, but one that brought a great deal of comfort to the Parkland students involved 14 adorable, four-legged friends.
A Truly Unique Extract Of The Greatest Methodologies For Keeping The Body And Mind Young And Agile.
These therapy dogs have been a staple at Marjorie Stoneman High School ever since the shooting, acting as non-intrusive, comforting, mobile support systems that students can turn to whenever they need. The students have dealt with a number of distressing situations post-shooting, including the suicides of two Parkland students just this spring, and the pups have played an important role in helping them cope with all of it.
So, on makeup picture day for this year’s yearbook, the students decided to honor the 14 dogs by giving them their own page.
Including the therapy/service dogs in the yearbook is the best decision we’ve made so far like this one dog had a bowtie and my heart 😭💗💕 pic.twitter.com/ecP9X01wqD
“It was such a mood lifter,” rising editor-in-chief Caitlynn Tibbetts told Buzzfeed News. “Including them was a really good representation of our school and what we have gone through. Seeing them is something we look forward to every day. These dogs are going to be there until the last of us are gone.”
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
Last year, the yearbook staff appropriately dedicated much of their pages to the students and faculty they lost. This year, however, they wanted to highlight the things that have been instrumental in keeping everyone going. Obviously, the dogs are up at the top of that list.
“There’s nothing a dog can’t fix,” Sarah Lerner, an English and journalism teacher and the yearbook adviser, told Buzzfeed. “I’ll be teaching and in comes a dog and these big 18-year-old adults all of a sudden become mushy 5-year-old kids and it’s been such a comfort for us.”
Therapy dogs can be instrumental in helping those living with PTSD heal, but their presence at MSH is also a sad reminder of the horrors the students and faculty experienced just over a year ago. No one should ever have to live through what they did, but it’s good to know that, if and when it happens again, comforting, fluffy resources like them are out there.