Norbert is a very special little dog. The tiny mixed-breed pooch stands at only seven inches tall, but the impact he has had on others’ lives is anything but small. Norbert is a therapy dog who was specifically trained to help people in hospitals, senior living centers, and anywhere else a loving face might bring comfort and delight.
Therapy dogs, like service dogs, receive months of special behavior training, such as how to react to loud noises and unfamiliar situations. But service dogs help individuals with specific needs, such as people who are blind or physically disabled. Therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort to people in a variety of medical and other environments.
Three-pound Norbert is one of the internet’s most popular therapy dogs.
One of Norbert’s favorite tricks is his high-five, photos of which have been gone viral on social media. The dog has over 100k followers on Instagram, and currently has 175k followers on Facebook. In 2003, Norbert’s owner Julie Freyermuth has used her dog’s popularity to create a children’s book focusing on Norbert’s fictional adventures, titled “Norbert: What Can Little Me Do?”
Recently, Norbert’s popularity has spread to YouTube. In a video uploaded in August 2015, Freyermuth feeds the small pup cheese in their Boston, MA home and the little ball of fluff’s reaction is too precious. In only a week’s time, the video has accumulated over 1 million views. Commenters of the video were quick to point out that it appears that Norbert smiles near the end of the clip.