Dog Sits Outside His Mom's Shop Every Day To Shake Hands With Customers

"He knows how to steal their hearts" ❤️️

Taking your dog to work with you can be great for business, especially when he wants to shake paws with every potential customer walking by. At least, that’s what Conny Steyaert learned after just a few days of bringing her 8-year-old English bulldog, Nelson, to work with her.

Steyaert, who works as a women’s clothing vendor in outdoor markets and street festivals in Belgium, started bringing Nelson along with her to keep his anxiety at bay when he was just a puppy.

english bulldog sitting on a blanket on a sidewalk
Conny Steyaert

“[He’s] a very sensitive dog,” Steyaert told The Dodo. “[He] is a mellow and very chill dog at home, but he does not like to be left alone.”

“He is happiest [when] outdoors,” she added.

Instead of leaving him at home during the day, Steyaert decided to set Nelson up with his own blanket in front of her stand while she worked. There, he could sit comfortably and take in his surroundings.

It didn’t take long for Nelson to learn that sitting patiently on this spot would grab the attention of shoppers walking by. “What touches me the most is when he lifts his paw to [shake] with people,” Steyaert said. “He knows how to steal their hearts.”

Watch Nelson steal strangers' hearts here:

And steal their hearts, he does daily — more so than Steyaert ever expected.

Woman petting an english bulldog outside
Conny Steyaert

“I was surprised [by] what a good, loving and chill dog Nelson was with people at work,” Steyaert said. “But I was more surprised by the behavior from people. I never thought pedestrians would pet a stranger’s dog so often.”

Conny Steyaert

The attention Nelson gets from strangers passing by his mom’s work varies from simple head-turning to being fully doted on. “So many people would take pictures of him and say what a beautiful and sweet dog he [was],” Steyaert said. “Some would even bring a treat for him.”

two women petting an english bulldog outside
Conny Steyaert

Although most of the people Nelson meets while at work are strangers, the stoic bulldog has gained quite a few “best friends” over the years. His mom, in turn, has gained more notoriety within her community.

“It happens often that people recognize me through Nelson,” Steyaert said.

women shaking hands with an english bulldog outside
Conny Steyaert

Aside from bringing a smile to unsuspecting shoppers’ faces, Nelson has also been a source of healing for some of the people he's interacted with while at work with his mom.

“One day, a girl was passing by [our stand] and stopped to ask me if she could pet Nelson,” Steyaert said. But, when Steyaert agreed, the girl started to cry. She shared with Steyaert that her bulldog had recently passed away and that seeing Nelson made her happy.

women petting an english bulldog outside
Conny Steyaert

And while Nelson’s presence is good for drawing in customers, it’s his relationship with his mom that thrives the most. “He is my best friend, always by my side,” Steyaert said. “[He has] changed my life.”

To keep up with Nelson, follow him on Instagram and TikTok.