Grab your tissues, folks. This is about to tug on your heartstrings like nothing else ever has.
Like most of us, YouTube user James Joseph Stenson likes browsing online and watching interesting videos. The ones he finds moving inspire him to create edits of the original video, which he eagerly shares with his followers. One of his edited videos featuring a Labrador Retriever and a three-year-old with Down Syndrome earned a whopping 35 million views. It was that beautiful.
And because we need to learn more to end discrimination against people with Down Syndrome, the CDC offers a brief definition that will make it easier for us to understand the condition:
“Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small ‘packages’ of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.”
Children with Down Syndrome have just as much potential and hold the same ability to thrive.
In the video description, Stenson writes:
“Life is full of special moments, open your eyes, open your mind and most of all, open your heart, you will see. I found this video online, I did not film it but I thought it was so special I had to put a song behind it.”
The toddler, sitting across the dog, can be seen eyeing the Labrador curiously. Then very slowly, inched closer to the friendly dog.
That was an invitation enough for the dog who moved closer and rested its head and a paw on the child’s leg.
The Labrador and the toddler definitely looked as though they wanted to be friends. With both showing eagerness and caution in equal measure, the interaction was such a sight to behold.
The heart melting interaction between the two shows just how gentle Labrador Retrievers can be, and how truly innocent and curious children are.
Stenson also shares that the owner of the original video got in touch with him in January of 2013.
“She is the mom. Her name is Ana, her son’s name is Hernan, and the dog’s name is Himalaya.”
Himalaya’s gestures seem to be of reassurance: that Hernan will always have a friend, and that he’ll never feel alone or unsafe as long as she’s around.
If you’re wondering about the captions on the video, Stenson says the written content was inspired by a little girl who also has Down Syndrome.
She once said to him, “God didn’t make a mistake when he made me.”
The little girl’s profound declaration is a truth that needs to be heard time and again. Even Hernan’s mother shares the same sentiment.
Shortly after getting in touch with Stenson, she once again reached out to offer more detail on the beautiful friendship of her son and Himalayan.
“Hernan, is a bit withdrawn and flees from physical contact. He does not like to be touched, but Himalayan (the dog) insisted so patiently, and she was so soft that’s why it is so moving, she is left to do anything. I do not think that Dios commit errors, (God doesn’t make mistakes) everything happens for a reason.”
Here’s a light in the form of a video, one we all need in these confusing times.
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Source: James Joseph Stenson