Henry the service dog is living his best life. Aside from taking care of his mom, Jessica Paulsen, the pair often goes on Disney World adventures together!
Henry went to live with Jessica in early 2017 to be her service dog. Jessica has a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and Henry is there for her to practice deep pressure therapy, where he uses his body weight to increase Jessica’s blood pressure which helps shorten the duration of her fainting and nausea episodes.
Henry is also trained to retrieve her husband during emergencies, pick things up, help out in the house, and even help pull Jessica forward so she doesn’t have to spend as much energy.
Having Henry by her side definitely brought wonderful changes in Jessica’s life. They’ve become inseparable best friends, and one of their favorite places to go is Disney World.
In fact, the pair have been there six times already, with four of those done for Henry’s service dog training. They certainly love going to Disney World, and on their most recent visit, Jessica decided to do something extra fun by doing an adorable photo shoot with Henry!
They took a mandatory castle shot.
They posed with one of the floating lights from the movie “Tangled”.
Henry even dressed up as Dumbo in one of the pictures. Just look at his happy face!
Aside from the enjoyment that they get from going to Disney World, Jessica makes sure that every trip also serves as a teaching moment for their fellow park goers. Of course, not every person knows how to behave around a service dog, and Jessica and Henry are more than happy to educate them.
“I try to correct people when they say ‘You can bring dogs here?’ Because for a regular dog, Disney World would be a stressful environment. It’s tough for me to have to tell kids that Henry cannot be pet while he is working. Every once in awhile we do allow pets, and it’s a good chance for us to educate kids and their parents about how to interact with working dogs and to never pet without asking,” Jessica told The Dodo.
Since their first trip to Disney World, Henry has come a long way in his training, and Jessica couldn’t be any prouder with the progress he’s made.
“When we first came to Disney over a year ago, Henry was way too excited to meet characters; it was cute but it didn’t bode well for his training,” Jessica said. “He is still not perfect, but seeing how far he has come when he meets characters makes me so proud.”
Their favorite thing to do after the end of a long Disney day is to watch the fireworks show – it reminds Jessica of how lucky she is to have Henry in her life.
“The show at Magic Kingdom is probably what I look forward to the most because I get to sit there with my best friend laying on my lap and really appreciate what he has given me,” she said.
“It probably sounds silly but that show is all about following your dreams and having Henry gave me back the dreams I thought were lost forever. I always cry!”
Keep up with Jessica and Henry’s adventures by following them on Instagram.