Disney Princesses With Service Dogs: Advocacy And Art

“Here’s Cinderella, having her service pup help her out by removing her shoes. Cinderella lives with fibromyalgia in this picture, which is an invisible condition but can be disabling for many people.”

Arien Smith of Royal Service Dogs: Advocacy and Art and The Major Barkana is an artist, coach, motivational speaker, and advocate for disability rights and mental health. He drew this wonderful fan art series of Disney Princesses with service dogs to raise awareness and acceptance for people with disabilities and service dogs! It’s both a critique on the lack of disabled characters and advocacy for disability rights. Enjoy the art and the Princess’ stories below…

More: The Major Barkana, Facebook h/t: geekxgirls

“Here’s Rapunzel with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her service dog is helping her snap out of a very strong dissociative state, then providing tactile stimulation for comfort and grounding! C-PTSD is a type of response to prolonged trauma (frequently in childhood). DID is a creative and adaptive response to severe trauma, where an individual’s brain compartmentalizes experiences into two or more identities. It’s a pretty incredible way of the mind coping with trauma.”

“Here’s the lovely and ever so gorgeous Tiana with Autism. Her service dog isn’t performing a task in this picture, but tasks for autistic people can include tactile stimulation, interruption of physically harmful behavior, guiding during overstimulation episodes, and anxiety calming techniques. Small breeds can be great service dogs too!”

“Here’s Belle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Her service dog is demonstrating a blocking posture, so she can be alerted if anyone approaches her from behind (which can cause a startle response or anxiety)! Any breed can be a service dog, including pit bulls! Service dogs are also exempt from breed-related bans.”

“Here’s Snow White, having her service dog alert to an allergen in her food. (In this case, referencing her story, apples). Fun facts, too! Allergen alert dogs are legitimate service dogs and are lifesaving for many people. Things like peanuts, gluten, dairy, and many other things are common allergens that service dogs help their handlers with. Like any service dog, they can be any breed, and some dogs with “smushed” noses are still fantastic allergen alert dogs. That’s why I chose to draw Snow White with a pug.”

“Here’s Sleeping Beauty with Narcolepsy and her service pup is supporting her head after a daytime sleepiness episode. Narcolepsy itself is a neurological condition that affects sleep and awakeness, and is often characterized by episodes of sleep in a variety of daytime situations. Thought this would be suited for Sleeping Beauty! P.S. Her service dog’s name is Spindle~”

“Here’s the wonderful Pocahontas, reimagined with diabetes. Her service dog is a medical alert dog, which tells her through pawing or nudging if her blood sugar is too high or too low.”

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