Golden Retriever Service Dog Shares Sweet Reunion with His Favorite Character on Disney Cruise

"There were cast members fully tearing up," the golden retriever's owner tells PEOPLE

A service dog named Forest had an unforgettable reunion with his favorite character on a recent Disney cruise.

In a video shared on TikTok by Forest's owner, Ashton McGrady, the affectionate golden retriever exudes joy as he rolls around on the floor and snuggles with a costumed performer dressed as Pluto, all while holding a miniature plush version of the famous pooch in his mouth.

"Proof that distance won't keep the very best of friends apart ❤️🚢✨ we love you pluto!!!" McGrady captioned the video, which has been viewed more than 2 million times since March 7.

The Nashville resident, who's had Forest since March 2020, tells PEOPLE the canine is an "absolute goofball."

<p>radiantlygolden/Tiktok</p> Forest and Pluto


Forest and Pluto

"I've always said that I've never had a dog like him," she says. "I don't know if I'll ever have a dog like him in the future. He is just a very silly, happy-go-lucky kind of dog. And so, so loyal and loving."

Forest's enthusiasm for Pluto began in 2021 when he first met the character at Disney World. The duo have since had "many encounters."

"Either we will intentionally go seek Pluto out to say hello, or Pluto has sought us out," McGrady says. "Pluto stepped out of the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World to say hello to Forest because we were right there in front, and he stopped to wave and blow kisses at Forest. It was adorable."

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McGrady and Forest's recent excursion came after she was selected for the Disney Creators Lab, which included a four-day Disney Parks trip and a three-night cruise.

<p>radiantlygolden/Tiktok</p> Forest and Pluto


Forest and Pluto

"We had a great time," she says. "They were so accommodating, and Forest loved it. He got to play in the water a little bit at their private island, Castaway Cay. Obviously, we got to greet some characters. And he was a very good boy."

When Forest interacted with Pluto on the cruise, McGrady says people came out of nearby shops to witness the heartwarming meeting.

"There were cast members fully tearing up," she says.

Forest, who now has five stuffed Pluto toys, had received the latest addition to his collection — a Pluto dressed as a sailor — shortly before he reunited with the character.

"He carried it over to the greeting, and Pluto actually took the toy from him, stuck it in his mouth, and was fully on the floor playing with him. It was just the most wholesome, sweet moment."

<p>radiantlygolden/Tiktok</p> Forest and Pluto


Forest and Pluto

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McGrady says she's gotten a "really good response" since posting the video on TikTok and Instagram.

"My whole platform is to both entertain and educate about service dogs and people with disabilities," McGrady says. "It was a great opportunity to give them that cute moment. But also, naturally, people are going to ask questions."

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McGrady answered various commenter queries, such as where dogs relieve themselves on a cruise.

Cruises typically have a spot on one of the decks set up for service animals, she notes. Because her room had a veranda, she could request a potty box for Forest, which she says was much more convenient since she uses a wheelchair.

McGrady says her cruise with Forest was an opportunity to address "all these things surrounding service animals and just how they provide independence to their handlers."

"I was able to have a bunch of great educational moments and conversations," she adds.

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