They said Disney World is one of the happiest places on earth, and for this adorable service dog, she did had the happiest time of her life after meeting her favorite Disney character.

Nala has been a service dog for two years now to her mom and handler Megan Leigh, who has autism. Nala and Megan’s favorite place to go to together is Disney, and Nala loves to meet all the Disney characters, especially her favorite Donald Duck!

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Something I feel very strongly about….trusting in my service dog. Not just in her tasks because they are solid and perfect, but in her ability to be an all around, stable, well balanced dog. • There is not one aspect of Nala that I do not 100% fully and completely trust. I see people needing to muzzle their service dogs while doing their nails, fearful that their dog is going to run away if they’re off leash for 5 minutes to use the bathroom, not trusting your dog to off leash heel (if your disability warrants that) heck, even being nervous leaving your dog in a down stay if you needed to drop the leash and do something. Those would all be deal breaker qualities if my service dog was like that. • Trusting my service dog is a huge weight off my shoulders. Some people who aren’t familiar with service dog laws things it’s appalling I work Nala off leash. “What if someone gets in between you while she’s doing crowd control and you get separated?” Uh, Nala doesn’t leave my side unless I give her permission to greet someone, and I also she does NOT want to leave me ever. I never have any fear that she’d take off running, or do anything stupid. She doesn’t ever stop to sniff or greet anyone while doing crowd control, she just nudges right through with every intention of returning back to a heel position. • I also trust her in her ability to be a “normal” dog. She is very stable, with an amazing temperament. There has never been a dog she didn’t get along with to play, and she even adapts her play style to the style the other dog plays in. She takes corrections well and won’t challenge them, but also will let another dog know if she’s had enough by communicating using her voice! She goes in crates with other dogs at Disney, and is all around an amazing dog. I could never imagine NOT trusting her 100%. If you don’t trust your service dog, it’s time to take a good hard look at the bond you have and maybe even revamp your training method. That being said, there are ways to work on building a better bond and trusting in your dog. I personally just don’t settle when it comes to always having a dog I can trust.

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“Nala and I have been to Disney more days than I can count,” Megan told The Dodo in an interview. “She has stepped foot (or paw) into a Disney park at least 50 separate times. The moment Nala walked up to meet Donald, crowds surrounded and watched in awe.”

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All about ESA’s and why bringing them and pets into non pet friendly public places puts real service dog teams in danger: ⁂ What is an ESA? ⁂ An ESA is an animal (not just limited to dogs) that is there to provide comfort. All that you need is a doctors note, there is no such thing as a registration. The handler must have an emotional disability to qualify. ESA’s can go into pet friendly places, live in non pet friendly housing if it falls under the FHA, and ride on airplanes if your type of animal is allowed to fly. ⁂ Service dogs go through years of training. Service dogs also know specific trained tasks that mitigate the handlers disability. They are required to be under control, potty trained, and task trained. ⁂ Why can’t ESA’s go into non pet friendly places? ⁂ ESA’s don’t require any formal training. Their main job (and not to discount it!) is providing their handler comfort. ESA’s can be extremely beneficial to someone with mental health struggles. ESA’s don’t have any requirements, and unfortunately, comfort is not a task because that is not something that is trained. ⁂ The difference between ESA’s and psychiatric service dogs: ⁂ ESA’s don’t have tasks. Psychiatric service dogs are taught tasks mitigate the handlers mental health conditions. (So someone with PTSD may have a dog trained to get their medicine when they start to have a panic attack). ⁂ How does bringing an ESA into public affect real service dog teams? ⁂ You don’t know how an ESA is going to react around different kinds of things you might see. Whether that be service dogs, people who reach out and pet without permission. Bringing an ESA into a store that has no training also sets a poor image for service dog handlers that depend on their depend on their dogs tasks to be able to function. ⁂ All that to say, not all ESA’s are poorly trained. Not all ESA’s bark. But since there is no standard, and they don’t have tasks that help the handler, they are not allowed in non pet friendly places, typically. (Some store locations such as TJ Maxx, etc, may be pet friendly, but it depends on location!) And any store that sells food cannot allow ESA’s or pets in for public health code reasons.

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In a video posted by Megan, it showed how much Donald and Nala pretty smitten with each other. “Nala did not want to leave Donald at all! She loves him a lot!” said Megan as the two could be seen in the video snuggling and giving each other plenty of kisses.

Nala is a regular at the park as a medical response service dog, too.

As Nala becomes Instagram famous, she is known as Disney’s Favorite Dog, a lot of people surely loves to pet her, but Megan wanted to remind everyone that there are actually some guidelines when approaching service dogs.

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As you all know, I bring Nala to Disney fairly often! Bringing a service dog to Disney isn’t easy! But it is an amazing experience to have your dog be ready and able to help you at a place like this. Disney can be a very overwhelming place for any dog, even a well trained service dog. There’s lots going on including random fireworks at magic kingdom, the crowds, the smells, etc. She grew up training at Disney, so she became very easily desensitized to the environment. I would recommend going to local theme parks to train if you are planning a Disney trip! You also have to make sure you pack properly! Luckily, Disney supplies free cups of water at all the quick service locations. I don’t pack water bottles as it weighs my backpack down too much. What I do pack for Nala: water bowl, treats, cooling coat, boots, a rain jacket, and of course her ears! Something else to consider is the general public can be overwhelming. Everyone points out that you have a dog and you get a lot of drive by pets. But for the amount of people that I come into contact with at disney, I’d say only about 5% of people are disrespectful of her/her job. At Disney, the crowds are big. You are surrounded by people a lot of the time, and most people are VERY excited to see a dog at Disney. I have gotten very used to the “omg it’s a puppy!” comments. It took a while, but it’s just how Disney is. At Disney, service dogs can ride any ride their human goes on as long as they don’t have a height requirement, with the exception being Peter Pan’s flight. For the rides that service dogs can’t ride, such as Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, etc, there are crates specifically for service dogs. You just let the cast member know you’ll need the crate when you get in line. I started training Nala to be comfortable around fireworks during her first trip to Disney, which was when she was 5 months old! We used a lot of treats. Every time a boom happened, I would praise and reward. Nala loves fireworks now! Nala has never reacted negatively towards any characters, full body costumes or not. She pretty much falls in love with anyone and everyone she meets even if they don’t look “human!” Cont in comments:

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“Don’t [pet] service dogs without asking. I have no problem telling people they can’t touch Nala when I didn’t give permission. I do not tolerate unsolicited pets where people come up and start fluffling her head or grab her tail. Not ok,” Megan wrote in an Instagram post.

Check out some of Nala’s best photos here!

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