One of the hardest parts about helping a dog overcome abuse is to rebuild trust, as veterinarian Andy Mathis clearly understands.

Mathis took in a stray pit bull who was severely emaciated and in need of medical attention. He wasn't sure if she was so far gone that he might need to euthanize her. Fortunately, both his heart and his friends told him to give her a second chance at life. In the course of getting her the care she needed, he wanted to make sure she received not only physical but emotional help.

When he noticed that she would only eat when he was out of the room, he came up with an idea to help build up trust and confidence: He crawled into her cage with her to share breakfast.

The video, which shows the simple act of sitting next to a shy dog and showing her that there is nothing to fear, has since gone viral. The popularity of the video reminds us how small acts of kindness can have a big impact — and it may also help the dog, now named Graycie, find a home. She still needs a bit of work before she's ready to be adopted, but considering the video of the two of them sharing a breakfast has already been viewed by millions of people, it will probably be easy to place her in the perfect home when she's ready.

Her full story can be found on Mathis's Facebook page.

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.