This gorgeous two-year-old golden retriever snuggling into Donald Duck’s lap at Disney World’s Epcot was undoubtedly The Happiest Place on Earth. She enjoys a moment of adoration from Donald Duck, who appears to be similarly charmed while wearing an expression of genuine love.
The adorable puppy is an autism service dog who clearly deserves special recognition for all of her hard work and commitment to her owner.
Autism service canines are specially trained to assist and soothe autistic persons. They help people with social skills, medical alert dogs, and mobility challenges, and their presence can relieve anxiety.
Some autistic service dogs are taught to detect and gently interrupt self-harming activities, which can help to de-escalate an emotional outburst. By performing trained acts such as leaning against a person or softly laying across a lap, they can respond to signals of worry, and agitation, and provide a calming effect.
All service dogs are loyal, well-trained, and permitted to accompany their owners to attractions such as Disney World.
Service dogs must be allowed in all public places, including theme parks, doctor’s offices, hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls, and more, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
They’ve been particularly trained to aid the person they’ll eventually support, and they usually wear a cape or harness to identify themselves as working dogs.
It’s great to watch such a hardworking cutie get to enjoy such a special time. What a unique little lady!
Visit Autism Speaks for more information about autism and how a service dog can help.