CYPRESS, Texas - A Texas high school senior spent the past year side-by-side with man's best friend.
Julia Smith of Cy-Fair High School decided she wanted to train a guide dog for the blind. After much research and work, she took on the project last year. The dog named Nyland even went with her to classes.
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"As soon as the bell rings, he jumps up because he knows it's time to go. During actual class time, he's not a disturbance. He just sleeps under my desk," said Smith. "As soon as his vest comes off and he's back to being a normal dog, he's a wild child."
Nyland was welcomed by campus staff and students. There's a picture of him alongside classmates in the school yearbook.
Thomas Veenstra is a sophomore at the school. He said everyone loved Nyland.
"(Nyland) is pretty popular and he shows up to the football games with us sometimes," said Veenstra. "He'll go to our band contests. He gets a lot of attention in the hallways."
Smith graduates Friday and Nylan will stay with her until July before he's fully trained. It's a reality which Julia's mother, Michelle Smith, said will be difficult on the whole family.
"We've all grown really attached to him so parting ways is going to be really hard," she said.