HUNTLEY, Ill. — For the first time ever, a service dog is pictured side-by-side with students in Leggee Elementary School’s yearbook.
Loki is responsible for working with first grader Will Swanson, who has autism. He’s been taking Will to the Huntley school since the beginning of January.
“At first, we weren’t sure we were going to send Loki to school,” Will’s mom Jen Territo said. “Loki has been so much help.”
Loki has quickly become an asset to Will and his school, where here’s been fully incorporated into the classroom.
“He’s basically another student,” special education teacher Samantha Riesen said.
Will and Loki started attending class halfway through the school year and missed yearbook photos. Territo hadn’t even ordered a yearbook because she assumed he wouldn’t be in it.
Then, she received a photo via the school’s Homeroom app that showed Will AND Loki in the yearbook with the other students.
“I was shocked to see that he made the yearbook,” Territo said. “We were so happy.”
It’s thanks to the kindness of others that Loki is even helping Will in the first place. Many people helped the family fundraise so they could raise and train the dog.
The average cost of raising and training a service dog is about $22,000. With the help of the Territo’s Facebook page, “4 Paws For Will,” and local fundraising efforts, they were able to gather enough money after 8 months of fundraising.
Loki continues to help Will everyday and will be sure to keep track of him as he gets older.
For more information on Will and Loki, check out their Facebook page here: 4 Paws For Will.