A group of teenagers at Clements High School in Alabama knew their history teacher, Troy Rogers, was going through a rough time. With no children of their own, Rogers and his wife doted on their senior dog. The 11-year-old Golden Retriever was blind, and one day the dog disappeared. After weeks of desperate searching, Rogers was forced to face an unwelcome truth. It was presumed the ailing dog wandered off to find a quiet place to take his last breath, and Rogers couldn’t hide his devastation.
The students at Clements High School have always loved and respected their teacher. Senior Haleigh Moss told WGN9,
“He does so much for his students like we’re his own. So we wanted to do something special for him.”
While in general pets should not be given as “surprise” gifts, the students made sure that Rogers and his wife were ready to accept another pup into their home and hearts. The teens knew their teacher was coping with the loss of his best friend, and they joined together to offer the best kind of comfort. In secret, the senior class raised hundreds of dollars. They found a puppy in need of a good home, and the last piece of their plan was to stage the surprise.
A fellow teacher laid the bait, and Rogers’ wife, friends, and students waited for him to arrive. When Rogers walked into the room, he was shocked to be surrounded by people who care for him. He was even more surprised to be handed an eight-week-old puppy.
I cannot brag on my students and the Clements family enough. As all of you know, my 11.5 year old Golden, Chip, ran off…
The students named the Golden Retriever Clementine, after the school’s mascot, and they told Rogers she was his to keep. Overwhelmed with emotion, Rogers said he never expected such a thoughtful gift, but the generosity shown by the students at Clements High is no surprise.
He wrote on Facebook saying,
“I love these kids. There are no words. I’m completely floored and blindsided by their kindness.”
Rogers is insisting on paying his students back for the wonderful gift and plans to make a sizable donation to the school’s senior fund. He said the surprise is the highlight of his 20-year career and thanks his students for making him feel loved and appreciated.