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    This Artist Reimagined Disney Princesses With Service Dogs And It's Totally Heartwarming

    "Having a disability is not tragic or shameful or problematic — it's a part of being human and something many of us do or will experience."

    New York-based artist Arien Smith is fighting the stigma around invisible disabilities — how, you may ask? — with Disney princesses and service dogs, that's how!!!

    Arien Smith

    Smith, who suffers from PTSD, a chronic physical illness, and a dissociative disorder, sees his art as a way to raise awareness for invisible disabilities and the importance of service dogs.

    Arien Smith

    "A lot of service dog handlers with psychiatric and other unseen conditions face extra stigma," Smith told BuzzFeed. "People don't believe we need service dogs, think that we're just faking, or other various situations like that. Describing some invisible disabilities and the tasks service dogs do for them is something I hoped would raise awareness!"

    Since each of the princesses has her own unique story, Smith found it easy to think of disabilities that matched each of their experiences:


    Arien Smith

    "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

    "Here’s Sleeping Beauty with Narcolepsy and her service pup is supporting her head after a daytime 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! PS, her service dog's name is Spindle!"


    Arien Smith

    "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."

    Snow White

    Arien Smith

    "Here’s Snow White, having her service dog alert her to an allergen in her food. (In this case, referencing her story, apples). Fun fact, 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."


    Arien Smith

    "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."


    Arien Smith

    "Here’s the lovely re-imagined autistic Tiana. 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!"


    Arien Smith

    "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."

    "I'm also hoping that, with these images and posts being shared, people will start to understand the diverse roles service dogs can have," Smith said. "And in addition to that, not judging people for having 'fake' service dogs, just because their disability isn't visible."

    Smith is currently fundraising to get a service dog of his own.

    He's also working on a line of service dog-inspired tarot cards which you can back on Kickstarter here!

    Learn more about his work here!