Labrador befriends toddler with Down syndrome, melts hearts

Scott Stump
TODAY contributor
Oct. 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM ET

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┬áposted 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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