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Labrador befriends toddler with Down syndrome, melts hearts

Oct. 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM ET

Video: A gentle Labrador retriever named Himalaya wouldn’t take no for an answer when the 3-year-old boy, whose mother says is often shy about physical contact, wasn’t so sure about the pup’s advances. The dog’s rolling on her back and placing a paw on the boy’s shoulder finally broke the ice, and he appears to hug her.

In a video that is warming hearts worldwide, a playful Labrador retriever gradually wins over a toddler with Down syndrome to earn a hug from a boy who usually shies away from physical contact. 

In a 4-minute YouTube video posted by the child's mother, who notes that her son's condition means he usually avoids contact, a toddler from Buenos Aires named Hernan initially keeps his distance from a golden Lab named Himalaya. The dog then gently reaches out a paw and nuzzles Hernan's leg playfully before licking his left hand. 

Himalaya then sits up on her hind legs and tenderly places a paw on Hernan's shoulder. The dog continues to interact with the boy until Hernan finally leans over around the 3:15 mark of the video and appears to give the dog a hug in a heartwarming moment that has received more than 1.2 million views. 


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