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This Golden Retriever is Giving Out Free Hugs in Chelsea

By Maya Rajamani | February 10, 2017 8:24am | Updated on February 10, 2017 2:51pm
 Loubie the Hugging Dog.
Loubie the Hugging Dog.
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Cesar Fernandez-Chavez

This Big Apple celeb won’t mind if you give her a hug on the street.

A 5 1/2-year-old golden retriever has been garnering media attention — and Instagram fame — for the hugs she gives out as she and her owner walk around Chelsea.


And the first #hug of #2017 goes to....my chubby daddy!!! 🐶❤️👴🏽

A photo posted by Louboutina (Loubie) (@louboutinanyc) on

Loubie, short for Louboutina, first started “hugging” passersby a few years ago, after learning how to shake hands and stand on her hind legs, her owner Cesar Fernandez-Chavez said.


Rise Up and Shine like a 💎!!! 💗💪🏼💗

A photo posted by Louboutina (Loubie) (@louboutinanyc) on

Fernandez-Chavez started an Instagram account after a photo he took of her hugging actor Gerard Butler blew up on his Facebook page, he said.


Loubie with actor Gerard Butler. (Courtesy of Cesar Fernandez-Chavez)

“[Loubie] just happened to be holding hands with me… and [Butler] just happened to see us, and he was like, ‘No, this is not for real,’” Fernandez-Chavez recalled. “[My friends] said, ‘You need to start her an Instagram.’”

Since then, Fernandez-Chavez has been posting and re-posting photos of Loubie hugging passersby, standing on her hind legs and holding hands with people she meets on their walks.


Repost from @ljs_on_my_feet I messaged a hugging dog on insta just so we could meet up with her after she filmed a tv segment for fox

A photo posted by Louboutina (Loubie) (@louboutinanyc) on

The dog, who has more than 11,000 followers on Instagram, was recently profiled by Time Out New York and the dog-centric blog Rover.

She’s even been able to get tech-obsessed New Yorkers to look up from their phones, Fernandez-Chavez said.

“We’re so glued to our phones, but then [passersby] take a second to admire her and talk to us,” he said. “She’s making random people happy on the street, and that makes me happy too.”