The therapy dogs that helped the Parkland survivors got their own yearbook page, and yes, we're crying.

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.


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.

"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."

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."

Some have even acted as prom dates.

After the initial yearbook photoshoot with the dogs went viral last October, some have gotten quite the following. Chief, for example, has almost 1,900 followers on Instagram.

Grace Goodwill, aka "therapydogprincess" can also be seen wagging and snuggling up to students as MSH on the 'Gram.

But it's not about fame and fortune for these dogs — they're just happy to get some good scratches from the students who seem to get just as much of a high from the experience.

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.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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