GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — When the photographer asked, Taffy Hulse lengthened his neck, dropped his chin and smiled with his eyes. He was just one of over a thousand Northern Guilford High School students taking their photos for the yearbook.
Except Taffy is a service dog. He belongs to Harry Hulse, 15, who has type 1 diabetes. Taffy alerts Harry when his blood sugar gets out of whack.
“And he paws me, so I can treat myself with either insulin or food. He does this 12-13 times a day,” says Harry.
The duo is together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In this North Carolina high school, Taffy is “basically one of the kids,” says yearbook editor Stephanie Hicks.
When Hicks discovered that the studio hired to take the yearbook photos in September had snapped a quick shot of Taffy, she knew he “obviously has to be next to Harry in the yearbook, he always is.”
The yearbook staff kept their plan a secret so it would be a fun surprise when the yearbooks were handed out as the school year came to an end.
“Everyone was telling me, ‘Your dog is in the yearbook!’ and I was like, what?” recalls Harry.
For him, having Taffy next to him in the yearbook means a lot.
“It’s a surreal feeling; the feeling of having my best friend next to me. He’s always right there, right next to me.”