Dogs give us so much, and they expect so little in return.
This fact is especially true of service dogs; these hardworking pets selflessly help people with disabilities lead more fulfilling lives every single day. They receive specialized training to teach them how to do things that some people cannot, from opening doors to calling for help when something goes wrong. Because they are trained to be highly focused on their jobs, it sometimes leaves little time to just be dogs.
But underneath their hardworking exteriors, they’re still big softies at heart.
He’s a service dog for 22-year-old Julian Gavino of Sarasota, Florida. Julian has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a condition that causes an extreme loosening of the joints, and skin that bruises easily. Because of his disease, Julian is confined to a wheelchair, but Atlas helps him live his best life every day.
“He’s amazing,” Julian said. “He’s also a forever companion! So I’m never alone through anything.”
Atlas works all day and night to make sure Julian’s needs are met, but when he’s on his “time off,” he is seldom without his favorite toy, a plush stuffed Pluto. Atlas sleeps with the toy and carries it around. He gets so excited when he sees Pluto that Julian decided it was time Atlas got to meet the “real deal.”
During a recent trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Julian brought Atlas along to meet Pluto. The resulting visit is melting hearts all over the internet!
Just look at that tail wag!
“I love to see Atlas have fun,” Julian said. “He deserves it after working so hard. Some days he works really long hours so he needs that type of downtime. It’s so important.”
“He’s given me back my independence. He gets my clothes in the morning, helps me get dressed/undressed, opens/closes drawers, opens/closes doors, pulls my wheelchair, wakes me up if I pass out, and retrieves items for me.”
What a truly magical moment in the “Magic Kingdom”! The look of joy on Atlas’s sweet face is one we’ll always remember. It’s so wonderful to see service dogs being praised like this for all of the work they put in to make our lives better!
Watch their happy meeting in the video below, and be sure to share it to spread the love!
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