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Loving dog introduces himself to child with Down Syndrome (VIDEO)

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | August 13, 2012 | Comments (38)

This is a touching scene between Hernán, a toddler with Down Syndrome, and a gentle Labrador Retriever named Himalaya. Hernán lives in Buenos Aires. His mom, Ana, has commented that because of his Down's Syndrome, her son shies away from physical contact. But Himalaya lays down sweetly in front of the boy several times almost to introduce herself and have the boy get familiar with her, as if to say, "I am your friend and will always be here for you".



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Comments on this Article

This is adorable, and everyone is focusing on the end and middle, but if you look at the beginning, the little fellow wiggles close to the dog, almost as though to see what she is. She took that as an invitation, and he became shy, nervous, and wiggled away, and, well, she proceeded to gently follow and insist she was his friend. So what if the child didn't laugh or giggle. DO your children laugh and giggle when discovering something new? No their quiet and observant. I know, raising my nephew, who though does not have down syndrome, acted the same way with our dogs when he first met them. And after he got used to her, she was with him all the time. Eventually, when he turned four, I ended up rescuing a dog and that dog would let him climb onto his back. Sadly, one night their house got broken into, and the dog got loose, and ended up disappearing, they searched everywhere, even i searched. We couldn't find the poor guy. But it just shows, you are over analyzing EVERYTHING. Stop analyzing, we are not born scientist. And I am pretty sure, the mom would have been out there if she thought her son was in danger. But its pretty obvious, that is not going to happen. Look at the way the dog was lightly touching the child. She likely has had pups. Shes an older dog but you can tell, she is not going to hurt him.
The dog knows EXACTLY what she's doing. Dogs are a LOT more in tune with kids that communicate differently, and I can sense she is "pressuring" him and she'll win him over. I wish Ana, the mom, would post follow-ups. This is truly great IMO.
Sandra, I didn't say negative was bad, just pointing out that a well respected 141 yr old publication decided comments didn't benefit their publication online. And if you have noticed, in the last few years, commenting has become a haven for slanderous people with shallow ideals.
Mike, so you think only positive comments should be allowed? That is also skewing and swinging the public. If someone posts an article and has comments open, both sides should be able to air their opinions. They should not pick sides. If they're going to pick sides they should just remove the comments altogether. The fact is there are dog behaviorists, including people that work with children, that see that video in a different light. But it appears that most of those comments have been deleted. Very unfortunate.
***OFF TOPIC*** I noticed several people slamming others for saying anything even mildly critical of this video. It may interest those who are "judging the judging" that recently Popular Science turned off commenting on their web version of their magazine--why? Because they felt too much negativity was slanting the importance of the articles. Also it was sited that a University did a study that proved when too many negative comments were made on test articles online, then it swayed the general consensus toward the negative side. So hey, it's just human nature. (article here: http://bit.ly/1f3Z9aA )
It's interesting that some of the comments just happened to disappear, including some of mine. And they've also recently started blocking people from their Facebook page. Not very ethical!
I wouldn't read too much into this. All dogs are opportunists, as opposed to cats. If they can figure a way to get a scratch on the head, back, or stomach, they will.
It may be the child's new service dog which will be helping him for the rest of the dogs life! The child was not put in harm, I'm sure the video person new the dog would not hurt the child, the child who is a little withdraw needs the interaction from friendly animals and society to get thru the many challenges he will have to face as he grows older.
How PRECIOUS and how PRICELESS! God's gifts....BOTH of them. SO patient, cautious, alert, caring and loving......Dogs RULE! Sandra, Robert and Sue, you live seeing the cup half empty and have probably never seen an animal interact and are ALWAYS thinking about the WORST that can happen. You all need to chill out. Carol, you are DEAD on! Carry on all, and don't forget to ENJOY God's wonders, AND be forever grateful and thankful.
This is not a sweet cute video at all. It's a child who is clearly disturbed by how close this dog is. It's very obvious if you watch the interaction. The child keeps pushing the dog away and moving himself away from the direct vicinity of the dog. A lot of videos on this website are deemed cute or sweet, when they are usually not cute and sweet. I don't know who is screening them..it's disappointing.
if the kid usually shies away from physical contact, he is not trying very hard by the end of the video. looks to me that these two are pretty much on the way to being inseparable.
This was incredible....
Of all the DogHeirs videos I've watched this was the first to make me create an account to comment. I just don't get the naysayers. What makes someone thing the dog is doomed because the boy didn't react the way you perceive he should have. We know NOTHING about him other than he has DS. And that dog looks pretty darned loved to me - she's in excellent condition (looks like she may have even had a litter of pups). I got the distinct impression that she was mothering him. That's what a mom does - it's her job - to keep at you, to make sure you are as ok as you can be. This video moved me - I am never NOT amazed at the brains and instincts of dogs!!
Why can't people just see the beauty of this video and stop assuming the worst. I myself feel this little boy had never encountered this close contact with a dog before. Yes he is leery but I like to think this turned out ending in a beautiful friendship. Why always find the negative in a situation? I loved it and this dog is very special!
The video is very touching and the dog is very gentle, and yes it may take some time for the child to feel comfortable with the dog. It always worries me to see a gentle animal with a small child, not just one with Down Syndrome, because I fear that the child will hurt the animal.
Although, the dog's attempts at friendship are touching, the child clearly wants to get away from the dog. He moves away repeatedly, and pushes the dogs legs and face away from him. This does not seem to be the best way to get him comfortable; leave him alone with a dog while you film it and giggle. Would be much better for the adult to be part of the interaction, and to introduce the dog in smaller doses.
i am a grandmother of a down syndrome granddaughter that is 4 and grandmother to 9 other grandchildren and i own 2 dogs that adore all my grandchildren and everyone of them took there own cautious time getting to know the dogs of mine. i find it perfectly normal for any child to be wary of an animal getting too close and all children including down syndrome children have there moments of not smiling. everyone judges down syndrome saying they are so happy all the time and yes my granddaughter is very happy but not all the time and in that aspect she is very normal. i absolutely adored this video and cried watching
I have to clarify something. I realize the child has Downs Syndrome, and it might me the first time he has encountered a dog...however, the pup is trying his best to interact with the boy and he shows no interest, not a giggle nor even a smile. He pulls the dog away and there is a moment where he appears to be irritated or angry with the dog. I was just making that observation because I have never witnessed a child with Down Syndrome react that way before. I have worked with children that have Down Syndrome in the past. Perhaps in time he will come around, I hope so for both of them.
I think the video is adorable. To the people posting negative comments, there are many unknowns in this situation. The boy is young, possibly only 3 or 4 years old. This may have been his first encounter with a dog & wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Also, the video was only 4 minutes long, so we don't know what happened after the recording stopped. We don't know how long ago this video was taken, so the boy & dog may be best friends by now.
just adorable
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