“There is beauty in the world.”
Over the weekend, 26-year-old Katie was sent a photo from her parents while they were at Disneyland. They had spotted a dog sitting at a touristy caricature portrait station, patiently waiting to get his done.
Katie told BuzzFeed News her parents have Disneyland passes “so they go a lot and send me pics.”
Her caption was fairly simple, but people immediately fell in love with the photo.
Both with the dog — who is a service dog — and with the dog’s owner.
The pupper is a service-dog-in-training named Yahoo who lives with a volunteer in San Marcos, California. The volunteer has been teaching Yahoo basic obedience and socialization tricks before he graduates on to professional training to one day help a person with disabilities.
Yahoo is a part of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that helps breed and train assistance dogs, who are then offered to people with disabilities for no cost.
“Yahoo is living with a volunteer who is raising him for the first couple of years,” Jeanine Konopelski, a spokesperson for CCI, told BuzzFeed News.
Konopelski suspects Yahoo’s volunteer took him to Disneyland to help him socialize with others, and then got his caricature done to have him practice being patient.
“Based on that photo, Yahoo is practicing basic obedience commands as he waits for his photo [to be] taken,” she said. “That’s a perfect training and socialization for one of our dogs to get used to waiting and sitting at attention.”
Yahoo’s volunteer confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she and a friend took their two service pups to a place where there were “high levels of distractions” but would also be “a fun trip” for them.
“This type of socialization gives them the confidence to go to such places with their graduate partners in the future,” Yahoo’s volunteer said.
Yahoo will be professionally trained to “open a door, turn on a light switch, [and] pull a wheelchair” by February 2017.
“Disney is a good place to get a dog familiar” with basic training, Konopelski said.