Therapy Dog Who Comforted Sandy Hook Survivors To Graduate With His High School Class Before Retiring

Prince brought a lot of comfort to people, many during a very difficult time. It seems only fitting he should be properly feted as he moves into retirement.  Image @NWITimes

Prince brought a lot of comfort to people, many during a very difficult time. It seems only fitting he should be properly feted as he moves into retirement. Image @NWITimes

They say dogs are man’s best friend. That’s certainly the case at Portage High School in Illinois, where Prince the Comfort Dog is retiring after four and a half years of loyal duty. To celebrate the occasion, Prince has had his photo placed in the yearbook along with his fellow high school seniors, with whom he¬†will be walking at Sunday’s graduation ceremony, dressed in his own cap and gown.

Prince, a golden retriever, is a therapy dog from Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog program. He worked alongside the school’s guidance counselor and was considered a loyal companion by the students, who would sit on the floor in the lunchroom and feed him until his owner became concerned about his weight. Prince had a number of jobs, including morning bus duty, hall monitor, lunchroom monitor, counselor, and overall all good boy.

But Prince’s duties have not been limited to Portage High School. Prince also traveled to Connecticut after the tragic Sandy Hook massacre to help comfort the children and get them adjusted at a new school. Prince and other therapy dogs were such a big hit there that the charity is now trying to raise money to provide permanent buddies. Therapy dogs have also been sent after other tragedies as well, such as the Boston bombing, and have been a source of great comfort and healing for those affected.

Just like any high school graduate might have, Prince was honored with a graduation/retirement party attended by his friends, family, and admirers. His ‘mom’ even made a photo collage of his happy high school memories. In the days since his story was published on Yahoo! Shine, Prince has seen his Facebook fans increase dramatically, from around 1,500 to over 3,000. His new fans have left many appreciative messages of “Good boy!” and “Congratulations on graduating!”

Indeed, Prince has been a very good boy; The kids at Portage High will miss him, and look forward to his replacement, Isaiah. My only question is: how many times did he eat his own homework?