Hernan Vegas from Buenos Aires, Argentina is a young boy with Down syndrome who tends to avoid close contact with other people. Enter Himalaya, a comforting Labrador Retriever who refuses to let Hernan keep to himself.
In a video that recently went viral on YouTube, we see a persistent Himalaya trying to get the attention of a clearly shy Hernan. In spite of Himalaya’s determination to nestle his head into the boy’s lap, Hernan refuses the dog’s affection at first.
"Hernan, is a bit withdrawn and flees from physical contact,” Hernan’s mother, Ana Marta Vegas, said on her YouTube account. “He does not like be touched, but Himalaya insisted so patiently, and she was so soft that's why it is so moving, she is left to do anything."
Even though Hernan is interested in Himalaya, he is reluctant to let the dog near him. After repeated attempts to back away from the dog, a breakthrough occurs when Hernan opens up and gives Himalaya a hug. He even allows Himalaya to lick him and sticks his hand in his mouth.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition, affecting one in every 691 newborns in the United States. People with Down syndrome experience a delay in cognitive development, including speech, memory, and behavior. They are also at an increased risk of depression, which can result in vegetative symptoms of disinterest like withdrawal, mutism, psychomotor retardation, decreased appetite, weight loss, and insomnia.