This video (below) compilation of soldiers coming home to their overjoyed dogs will warm your heart.
For most dogs, nothing makes them happier than being with their humans. Sure, digging in the dirt on a sunny day, begging for food and barking at rival animals is a lot of fun, but even running through the mud after a bath can't compare to the excitement pups feel when their favorite person comes home after being gone for a long while.
It's hard enough to leave your canine best friend for a few days when you go out of town, and it's nearly impossibly to imagine how much members of the armed forces give up every day to serve their country, which makes witnessing their priceless reunions with loved ones that much sweeter.
Studies show that pups recognize humans based on their smells, sights and sounds, and that they hold those memories in a special place in their heart for life, according to NextGen Dog. If their owners are gone for a long period of time, then they will even mourn them.
"There's no doubt that dogs have very specific memories," explained Marc Bekoff, co-founder of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, according to NextGen Dog. "They recognize individuals. There's a lot wrapped up in that relationship of care, love and affection. If a dog’s caretaker leaves for a long period of time, it will likely go through a grieving period. It’s a loss -- an unpredictable loss -- because the person can't say, 'I will be back in two weeks.'"
Fortunately, there is a happy ending for the soldiers and their furry family members shown in the video. Whether they were gone for a few months or a few years, their pups not only immediately recognize their humans, but also completely lose it with excitement, with some whining and barking and others rolling around and jumping on their favorite soldier.
"To us, they are a part of our lives, to them, we are their whole lives," one person commented under the viral video that has more than 971,400 views, as of the afternoon of May 1. "Amazing."
Though dogs seem to have short memories and tend to quickly forget anything from the trick you taught them yesterday to how sad they were when you got mad at them, this video is proof that they never forget the special bond they share with their people, no matter how long they are apart.
Sources: Shareably, NextGen Dog / Photo Credit: Christopher R. Morales/Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson