It’s never an average walk for Cesar Fernandez-Chavez and his dog Louboutina in Manhattan. Louboutina (or Loubie for short) likes to stop, meet people, and hug them, wrapping her forelegs around their knees, within minutes of hitting the pavements.
The Dodo quotes Fernandez-Chavez as saying, “It’s just not a usual walk.” “It’s a hugging stroll. As a result, we don’t get to move very far.”
Loubie was never taught how to do this, according to Fernandez-Chavez, who claims she is self-taught.
Loubie wanted to hold hands before she started hugging. This ritual began around Valentine’s Day, shortly after Fernandez-Chavez had broken up with a long-term partner.
“She sat up and grabbed both of my hands with both of her paws, then crossed the other paw over her paw,” Fernandez-Chavez recalled. “At least I have someone to hold hands with for Valentine’s Day,” I joked with my buddies.
Loubie’s favorite pastime rapidly became holding hands, and she did it frequently when out walking in New York.
“Every stroll after that, she wanted to hold hands,” Fernandez-Chavez recalls. “She would just sit up and cross one paw over the other, as if she were a lady, and gaze about. ‘Oh my gosh, she’s so lovely,’ others passing by exclaimed.”
Loubie began to express her adoration in a new way a few years later: with embraces.
“Instead of asking me to do the holding hands thing,” Fernandez-Chavez recounts, “she just sat up, very near to my legs, and she’d wrap her legs over my knees.” “‘This is strange,’ I thought. ‘What the hell is going on?’ But I let her go ahead and do it.”
Loubie continued to embrace. And there’s embracing. And there’s embracing. She didn’t always want to leave the house.
“Depending on where I’m standing, she gets a really good grasp,” Fernandez-Chavez explains. “I have to maintain a healthy level of balance.”
It’s a good thing Fernandez-Chavez isn’t a jealous person, since Loubie soon began embracing other individuals as well.
“We’d run into neighbors she recognized, and instead of simply leaning on them, she started hugging them, and then random individuals who would come to us,” Fernandez-Chavez recalled.
Loubie swiftly rose to fame on social media, with fans adoring her and her embraces. “It started with pictures on the internet,” Fernandez-Chavez explained.
According to Fernandez-Chavez, Loubie is generous with her embraces, but she doesn’t hug just anybody; she only hugs those with whom she has a relationship. “Sometimes people come up to me and beg for a hug, and I tell them, ‘I don’t believe it’ll happen,’ because she needs to bond with that person first,” he explained. “However, when she sits next to someone, I tell her, ‘You’re going to get a hug.'”