A precious 2-year-old Chihuahua named Oliver has been rescued after photos of him "praying" for love went viral.
John Hwang, who photographed Oliver, told BuzzFeed News that he heard about the dog after a friend described rescuing him from a busy highway.
His friend told him that the dog had been taken to California's Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, and Hwang, who is an occupational therapist and photographs rescue animals as a hobby, went to meet the pup on Jan. 11.
"I spent quite a bit of time with the dog," Hwang told BuzzFeed News about the visit. "That's usually what I do when I want to photograph a dog... to connect with the dog in some way."
Hwang said he sat on the floor — "to be eye level" — with Oliver for about an hour in order to gain his trust.
"I would give him some treats," Hwang said. "Let him smell my camera."
He said Oliver wasn't that interested in the treats and described him as restless. "He kept pacing back and forth as if he's looking for a way to get out of the kennel."
"Then all of sudden he got up on his hind legs and put his paws together," Hwang said. "I've never seen any dog do that — it really touched me."
Hwang said he posted the photos later that day and the response has been "unreal."
"People really fell in love with this dog," he said, adding that people from all over the world have messaged him about adopting the dog.
The good news is that Oliver has now been taken in by the group Doggy Smiles Rescue!
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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