It certainly was The Happiest Place on Earth for this adorable two-year-old golden retriever who snuggled into Donald Duck’s lap at Disney World, Epcot. Wearing an expression of pure love, she enjoys a moment of affection from Donald Duck, who seems equally as smitten.
The sweet pup is an autism service dog and obviously deserves a moment of special attention for all the hard work and devotion she lavishes on her owner.
Autism service dogs are trained to assist and calm people with autism. They improve social skills, act as medical alert dogs, assist those with mobility issues, and their presence can reduce anxiety.
Some autism service dogs are trained to recognize and gently interrupt self-harming behaviors and may de-escalate an emotional meltdown. They can respond to signs of anxiety, agitation, and be a calming influence by performing trained acts such as leaning against a person or gently laying across a lap.
All service dogs are devoted, highly trained, and allowed to accompany their owners into places like Disney World.
The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that service dogs be allowed in all public areas such as theme parks, doctor appointments, hospitals, restaurants, shopping centers, and much more.
They are specially trained to help the person they will eventually assist and typically wear a cape or harness that identifies them as a working dog.
To see such a hard working cutie get to stop and enjoy such a special moment is heartwarming. What a special girl!
For more information about autism and how a service dog can help, please visit Autism Speaks.
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