This golden retriever loves giving people free hugs in NYC

Instagram | louboutinanyc

A little over a decade ago, a YouTube video went viral of a man who doled out free hugs to strangers on the street. That seemed to have triggered a hugging movement, and one person even started a Free Hugs Project to spread love via hugs while bringing awareness to social issues.

Now, a cute dog might be poised to steal their jobs.

Louboutina (nicknamed”Loubie”), named after famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin, is a 5-year-old Golden Retriever who gives out hugs and handshakes to New Yorkers who pass her on the street.

“Hugging and holding hands is her thing,” Cesar Fernandez-Chavez, Loubie’s owner, told “That’s her personality.”

Whenever Fernandez-Chavez takes her out around their Chelsea neighborhood, she’ll usually end up sitting down next to a stranger at some point. Then, as “she leans, I know she’s going to hug that person,” Fernandez-Chavez said.

Loubie has been doing this ever since she was about 6 months old, when Fernandez-Chavez received her as a gift after a traumatic break-up. Every day, he would hug her like a human.

“Maybe she picked it up from me,” he said.

If you want to see her yourself, you are most likely to find her at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 17th Street in Union Square. When she’s not there, Loubie is at the hospital where Fernandez-Chavez works. All he has to do is open his office door, “and she goes and does her rounds for half an hour, hugging everyone.”

With all this cuteness comes a little bit of fame. Back in August, the Today show ran a story on her hugs. She also has more than 165,000 followers on her Instagram account (@LouboutinaNYC).

As you can tell from the pictures, she’s a photogenic dog.

“She’s always looking at the camera. She knows when people are taking a picture of her. She’s a little actress,” Fernandez-Chavez said.

Repost via @wchcsxe Besties. #everybodystreet #streetphotography #streetphotographers

A post shared by Louboutina (Loubie) (@louboutinanyc) on

Even with all the fame, she still makes her owner feel blessed to have her in his life.

“She makes me happy,” he told Inside Edition. “I have a simple life, but she makes it feel very rich.”

Article originally published on The Delite


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