We like to think our pets love us, but do they love us for us, or do they just love the belly rubs and food we provide? Do they even notice when we're gone?
It turns out we may not be giving animals the credit their strong memory and emotions deserve. As you'll see in these stories, animals don't forget us as easily as we might think.
1. Chuck and his veteran owner
Chuck and his human hadn't seen each other in eight months, since he had been serving away from home. Needless to say, he was glad to have his owner back.
2. The world's most excited puppy
Once this dog sees its owner approaching the door, it knows it's time to show off its latest choreography. Watch the complete happy dance here.
3. Anita and the wolves
When this woman returned to see the wolves she had socialized with for two years at a Norwegian zoo, they were glad to have her back. Don't worry, we promise they are not mauling her.
4. Christian the Lion
A year after the men who raised this lion released him into the wild, they were amazed to see it remembered them. Don't worry, this man is also not being mauled.
5. This boy and his returned cat
This boy was devastated when his cat ran away, but two weeks later he got a wonderful surprise. We can only hope his cat was at least excited on the inside.
6. This elephant, excited for this human and a snack
The human is not the snack. In fact, this man was the elephants trainer, whom the animal hadn't seen in over fifteen years.
7. This soldier and a very excitable pup
When this dog's human got home from deployment, she had way too much joy for her body.
8. Post-tsunami reunion
After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, this dog and its owner were thrilled to find each other. Watch the whole reunion here.
9. Cici and Tyrone
Tyrone and his family were devastated when they couldn't fit their pets in their boat as they escaped Hurricane Katrina. When Tyrone found his favorite dog in a shelter, the joy was overwhelming.