The security camera in Louisiana's Hollie Mallet's garage was set up to record any intruders onto her property. And it worked: she noticed that sometimes a little boy would stop at the end of her driveway and throw a ball to her dog Dutchess, who spends the days in her open garage behind an invisible fence. "One day, we were going through the footage, and I told my husband, 'You’ve got to see this,' and he [the little boy] came in and gave her a quick hug, and we wanted to find out who he was. We live in small town, so everyone pretty much knows everyone, but we don’t know all the neighborhood kids because we don’t have small children anymore," Mallet told ABC News. So she turned to social media to help her figure out the identity of the hug bandit.
Mallet posted the security footage on Facebook, as well as some text:
Attn Neighbors! Anyone know who this sweet little boy is? Every now and then when he rides his bike he will quickly come and love on my dog or play fetch real quick, but always leaves quick like he doesn't know if he should be here! I'd like to tell him he's welcome to stay and play, she loves the attention!
Facebook worked its magic when the footage made it its way to Ginger Breaux, who recognized her nine-year-old son Josh as the hug stealer.
Breaux commented on Mallet's post:
Josh talks about your dog all the time! Every time we pass he looks to see if she was sitting where he could see her. Just didn’t know he was doing things like this. Last night when I first saw it, I was torn as a momma being happy and upset because he knows he shouldn’t be on someone’s property, but I wake up this morning more happy that he just absolutely adores dogs so much.
Turns out that the Breaux family lost their dog Bella last year, and Josh took it upon himself to find a way to fill the current dog void in his life. Mallet told Josh's mom that her son was welcome to come by any time and that Dutchess loved the attention. "He’s the sweetest little boy," she told ABC. "It's a win-win. They both get a friend."
And luckily one of those friends has an iThing he can use to take selfies (Josh. It's Josh).