“When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.” —Bruce Cameron.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” —Josh Billings.
Attention all animal lovers! This article is about to induce a smitten feeling that may be hard to shake. Some people, namely those without pets, think that pets stay with their owners out of Stockholm Syndrome, but for those of us who have ever lived with an animal, we know that it is mutual love. There is always a moment, a precious moment, when that love is made clear—and it can make even the toughest person melt. Here are some of the most adorable, and sometimes hilarious, moments that pet owners realized their animals loved them.
42. Love Juice
When we come back from a long trip, my cat drools a little when she’s hugging my wife.
41. Holding Paws
My Weimaraner likes to hold hands on the couch while I watch TV. He will take his big meaty paw and pull my arm over to him and put his paw in my hand. We just sit like that. Nothing I am making him do.
40. I’ll Be Watching You
My big puppy is really well-attuned to people’s emotions, such that he will always come over to someone who’s in a bad mood and hang out with them to cheer them up.
Also, he pokes his head into everyone’s bedroom each morning to make sure they are okay, and then lies down at the door to my bedroom to wait for me to wake up. It’s all very adorable.
39. Cuddling Relief
My cat, TubeSock, likes “making biscuits” whenever I’m on my period. Normally she does this wherever; but when I’m cramping, she goes right to my uterus & doesn’t stray.
38. Doggy Got Your Back
My last dog was the sweetest, most submissive thing ever. Every time she met a new dog or person, she instantly rolled over. It wasn’t uncommon for her to roll over when we happened upon litter on the sidewalk.
One night she and I had gone to bed and my boyfriend came in. He lived with us, so she was certainly comfortable with him. For some reason, she didn’t recognize him and she stood over me growling, all her hair on end, snapping. I was shocked that she would try and defend me, that so wasn’t like her! Then my boyfriend flipped on the light, she saw who it was, and she peed all over me in submission. Awesome.
37. Big Brother Cat
My mom had a cat when I was a kid. He was my older brother. My parents were kinda awful and abusive. This cat would wake me from night terrors and nightmares, walk me to and from the school bus, attack wild and stray animals that seemed aggressive towards me, and steal me individually wrapped snacks from the pantry when I hadn’t been fed. When I had my first boyfriend, he’d follow us on walks, and if he got too touchy he’d run up, hiss/growl, and take a swipe at his leg.
He was in every way the best big brother you could imagine, but as a cat.
36. Turtle Jealousy
My turtle is jealous.
We have the turtle in a big tank in the living room. At one point we also got a frog, and we’re all excited with the new pet, getting the tank set up and looking to see what it would do, etc.
TURTLE GOES NUTS, bashes herself against the side of her tank, pees on her hot rock (she never does this) until we get her out, show her the frog, tell her we love her, get her a treat, and finally put her back.
Lots more intelligence and personality than we give them credit for.
35. Cuddle Me, Now!
My cat will shove his way into my arms in the middle of the night when he decides he wants cuddles.
34. The Empathy of Forgiveness
My one dog was very nervous with my husband, which lead to some bad incidents (special needs dog with a history of fear biting).
After an incident, my husband reprimanded him, but also calmly forgave him. Since then, our dog has been more open and affectionate with my husband.
I got my boy as a puppy, and when I first went to go pick one, I was drawn to him because he gave me a little kiss on my nose.
Went to go see him again the next week, and the little guy recognized me. Got all excited and as soon as I picked him up, he gave me another little kiss!
Going on three years, and that piece of work will always give me a kiss. Currently pinned down by him and our other dog because I’m having a terrible mental health day.
32. Spoken Love
I have a red-bellied parrot. I went to a pet store to buy food for my lovebird. This little grey parrot saw me, let out an enthusiastic cry, and flew over. She landed on my chest, gripping onto my shirt with her nails. I started to pet her and she made ecstatic noises, rubbing her head into the pet as hard as she could.
After 15 minutes I needed to go, but she refused to let go. I tried to get her off for 10 minutes and could not. The staff could not get her off either. The staff said, “I think you broke our bird, you have to buy her now.” I agreed. She was four months old when I brought her home.
Within a month, she stared deeply in my eyes and said “I love you.” It was the first thing she said apart from her name that they gave her at the pet store. She tells me “I love you” at least once a day. She likes to sit on my shoulder and press her beak into my ear and whisper it to me. She knows hundreds of words and speaks in short sentences, so she understands and chooses what she says. I’ve gotten an “I love you” every day now for almost 18 years.
31. Help With Nightmares
Once when I was a kid, I had a nightmare and woke up crying. My pet rabbit saw I was upset and then went and brought me a mouthful of her breakfast.
30. A Moment of Appreciation
Dog came inside after running around with other neighborhood dogs. Dog wanted water. Gave dog water. Dog runs back out, stops, turns around, runs back in and puts his forepaws on me and starts licking me. Runs back outside to play.
I’ve had many pet rats in my life. I once bought a new, bigger cage along with four baby rats I saved from being feeders. The bars of the cage held the bigger three rats, but one of them, Loki, was small enough to get free. He could’ve gone anywhere in the house at night those first few weeks—no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t keep him locked up—but every morning without fail I’d find him curled up on my pillow right next to my head, sometimes nestled into my hair. Smartest and most loving rat I ever owned, I was so sad when he passed.
28. Cat Care
My cat comes when I call to him, cries when I shut him out of the bathroom or when I take a shower. Is ecstatic when I come home. Engages me in play on his own. And if I cry, he always comes up and kneads on me. If I’m ill, he doesn’t leave my side, despite usually being very energetic.
27. Love Means No Fighting
When I lived with my family and we were yelling or fighting, my cat would walk over and bite the loudest person. Darn hysterical, and it usually got us to lower our tone.
26. Consoling Cats
When I had just broken up with my long-term girlfriend, I was in the shower giving it a good cry and both of my cats climbed in and started rubbing up against my legs and sat in there with me, didn’t mind the water even a bit.
Those two are so darn responsive whenever I’m in a bad mood.
25. Ready at the Window
I dogsit a Border Collie and she knows my name, so when I call her owners and they greet me on the phone, she’ll run to the window and look if I’m there.
24. A Pitbull That Proves the Stereotypes Wrong
I had brain surgery, and my pit bull jumped up on my bed and refused to move. He had never been allowed on the bed before, but he jumped up there and absolutely refused to move. He was 100+lbs, so I didn’t outweigh him by a ton and I couldn’t remove him myself while recovering. When someone else moved him, he jumped right back up and laid his head on my lap. After I was recovered, he stopped jumping on the bed.
That was also around the time of the DC earthquake, and he jumped on me until I woke up about a minute or two before the quake. He also “checked on me” after it was over.
23. Pregnancy Help
When I was going into labor, I had contractions for about 8 hours at home before going into the hospital. My cat would lay her whole body over my belly and purr, which actually gave me a little bit of relief. When I would get up to go to the bathroom, she would follow me, and then right back into bed to lay on my belly.
22. The Chosen One
My dog chose me at the shelter. She wouldn’t go near anyone else, but climbed into my lap and started to lick my nose and that was it. From day one, she trusted me completely, while being skittish around everyone else. She had no reason to love or trust me, and actively distrusted other people—it wasn’t a learned thing, or something that developed over time…it just was. Still trips me out to be honest.
21. Dog Jealousy
My dog gets jealous. If I dare to talk to another animal or pet another animal, he has an unholy tantrum.
20. It’s All Going to Be Ok
When my bird Stormageddon freaks out when something scares him, I say “It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok,” to calm him down. I was in my room after a particularly bad day and I was crying on my bed. He started screaming from his cage across my room, so I took him out. He put his face against my chin and started saying, “it’s ok it’s ok it’s ok.”
I was so shocked. By the way, he is a cockatiel.
19. Words of Wisdom
One of my cats runs to the bathroom if he sees me going in there. He has to be at my feet, rolling around. So either he wants cuddles or he loves the smell of my farts, and in the end, isn’t tolerating farts true love?
18. Rolling It Back up
My SO and I had been trying to teach our dog to make less of a mess in our house, specifically to not pull toilet paper off the roll. We weren’t sure we’d been making any headway until one day, we came home to find that while we’d been out, about two feet of toilet paper had been unrolled…and then somehow rolled back up, sloppily. All I can imagine is her playing with it happily, hearing us at the door, thinking, “OH NO,” and trying to fix her mess. It was actually pretty impressive.
My dog screams when I come home.
16. Loving Just a Little Too Much
Every morning, my dog waits until the sun comes up to get onto my bed.
After my husband comes in from his shower to wake me up, she rolls herself between the two of us, belly up, and licks our faces until we absolutely have to leave for work. Nobody holds her there, and if my husband leaves early and I do the snuggles solo, she looks at the door, very sadly.
Also, if we leave her for longer than usual because we have a longer day at work, she will pull our shoes out and just smell them or lightly nibble (and she can destroy something in seconds if she wants to). Basically, any of our issues with her are behaviors stemming from the fact that she simply loves us too much.
15. Down to Eight Lives
One of my cats ran away from home and was lost for five days. My mom eventually found him, but one of his legs was broken, along with various other problems.
The vet gave us three options.
- 1: Operate on the cat’s leg, fixing it quickly enough, but that was too much money.
- 2: Amputate the cat’s leg and see how it lives with three legs.
- 3: Put the cat to sleep.
I was around 10 at the time, and I loved (and still love) that cat, so my mom went with option two.
Cats are surprisingly fast on only three legs.
14. When the Dust Settles
My dog came into my room, stared me in the face, walked in a circle while farting the whole time, stared at me again, and then left. I’m not sure what I did to deserve that but apparently, I had gravely insulted him so he crop dusted the heck outta me.
13. Howls of Anxiety
Winston has always had pretty bad separation anxiety. When he was about six to eight-months-old, my downstairs neighbor said he had started howling when I was gone. I had never heard him howl.
One day, I got home from work early and I must’ve been quieter than usual, because when I walked in the door, he didn’t greet me. I heard the howl coming from the bedroom in the back of the apartment. I walked in the room, watched for a minute, then cleared my throat.
He stopped mid-howl and looked at me with the most “busted” expression on his face. It was a mixture of guilt, embarrassment, and shock. I could not stop laughing.
According to the neighbors, he stopped howling after that. Funny pup.
12. DJ Doggy
My yellow lab came and found me at work one night.
I DJ at a bar, up a staircase…
11. Mail Order Doggo
10+ years ago, I was a very active member of an online forum. Although most of us had never met in real life, we were a very friendly, kind group. One of the regulars was involved in finding homes for rescue dogs. They posted pics and info about this super sweet teddy bear (husky, chow, golden mix) and I fell head-over-heels in love!
One small problem: they were located way down south, and I lived in NY. A group of these people who lived between these two locations mapped out a route; each one drove hours to meet up with the last “leg” of the mission, where they would pick up the doggie, take him home for the night, get up the next day, and drive another few hours to the next handoff.
Along the way, everyone shared pics and stories of their part of the journey, including pics of their handoffs and their vehicle’s windows, which read “Dunkin headed home to NY,” or “NY OR BUST.” The trip took about a week, and I picked up my new fur baby on my local highway from a local trucker.
Dunkin was (he went to the Rainbow Bridge months ago) the best buddy ever, who will forever hold a special place in my heart right alongside all of those wonderful, wonderful people who all worked to get him to me.
10. In-House Dog-Walker
We adopted a pit bull-boxer, who ended up moving in with my parents. They put him in the backyard with their little Fufu doggy, who was accidentally wearing a leash. Later on, the pit was walking around with the leash in his mouth, literally taking the other dog on a walk.
9. The Parakeet’s Melody
I had a parakeet when I was growing up. My mom played the piano a lot, and often made this one specific mistake in a song she often played, and as soon as she made the mistake, she’d go back a measure or two and correct it. The parakeet eventually learned to whistle that melody—but he would whistle it with the mistake/correction she usually made.
8. Red Is Always Watching
I was having a beverage with my mom outside of a rather pretentious coffee shop in Baltimore a few years back. I’d gone in first and gotten a large Italian soda, and then come out to watch her dog (a 90 lb. boxer named Red) while she went in to grab a coffee. When she came out, Red went around the table to sit by her, even though I was holding the leash.
I was sitting facing my mom with my back to the street. We hadn’t been sitting more than a minute when I saw Red tense, and saw my mom’s eyes widen, but I didn’t have time to stand up and brace myself. Red’s not fond of other dogs, and he’d seen one across the street. He leaped forward with the leash wrapped around the table. It flipped towards me and the coffee and Italian soda landed right on top of me.
Red didn’t slow his course. I only managed to tuck my chin so I didn’t hit my head on the sidewalk when he flipped my chair over backward and dragged me, the chair, and the table several yards down the sidewalk before I was able to sort of roll/fall onto my knees and then find my feet. The people at the table next to us tried to ask if I was okay, but they were trying not to laugh and had tears streaming down their faces.
7. It’s Deeper Than We Imagined
The only way that we can explain love, scientifically, in humans is activation of the caudate neucleus and the ventral tegmental area. Basically, when people are shown pictures of their significant other, they experience activation of these areas and release of dopamine. Both brain areas are part of the “reward pathway,” and dopamine release in these areas causes us to feel good.
This experiment was done with dogs to see how they would react to various scents. When dogs were exposed to the scent of their owner, they experienced activation and release of dopamine in the caudate nucleus. This finding was not replicated when dogs were exposed to scent of other people or friendly dogs. Only their owners.
Dogs love us.
6. I Will Follow You
I adopted my dog from the shelter when I was finishing grad school. I was driving through campus one day with him in the car and had to drop off some paperwork (this was seriously like the second day I had him) so I parked in front, cracked a window maybe five inches, and ran inside.
Couldn’t have been more than five minutes, I came back, and my dog was gone. Obviously I was really upset, thinking I couldn’t even keep a dog safe for two days. I called campus security and told them to keep an eye out and began looking around myself. A few minutes later, a girl comes out of the building I had gone into, carrying my little dog. He had tried to follow me into the school when he saw me go, somehow squeezing himself through the tiny gap in my window, and made it inside when the girl found him. I couldn’t even be mad, it was so cute.
We’ve been inseparable ever since! I still wish I knew how he got out that window, though.
5. Feeling the Grief
When my grandmother died earlier this year, I was crying on my living room floor, as you do, and my youngest cat, who is normally very rambunctious and loves to attack you, crawled in my lap and rubbed against me. He seemed very concerned, and maybe it was just because I was making noises he wasn’t familiar with, but he was overly comforting to me. It was a little like he learned how to be comforting from when I found him as a kitten and was returning that love. The next day he was back to chewing on my knuckles and attacking my feet!
4. Protection in the Face of Fear
We have a small fenced-in backyard that shares a fence line with the neighbors. Our neighbors have an aggressive dog that is very territorial and barks and snarls at my dog or people in the yard 100% of the time she is outside, so she’s not outside often. My dog is terrified of this dog and will run away whimpering when it is outside.
I was in the backyard, working near my fence line, when the neighbor’s dog came out and aggressively charged at the fence. My dog, which is much smaller, ran in between me and the fence and leaned his weight against me, pushing me backward, and growled at the dog. It was the first and only time I have ever seen my dog stand up to the neighbor’s dog, and it was to protect me. It was so awesome.
3. Meet Marley the Pitbull
I was hanging out on my friend’s basketball court with her four-year-old niece and our co-owned four-year-old pit bull. Marley the Pit Bull had grown up with my friend’s niece along with a bunch of other little youngsters. We were just hanging out, playing basketball and searching for bugs. Marley loved to help look for bugs.
I got distracted for a moment, and looked back and saw Marley doing the “Pit Bull stare” straight at the little girl. If you have not see the Pit Bull stare, it’s something like head down, very low, with an intense look. Anyway, I asked Marley what she was doing, and she never stopped staring. I was getting nervous, and made it all the way across the court. Marley broke out in a sprint, speeding past the little girl into the trees.
I heard a thud and a yelp, and saw a coyote bolt out, and Marley was chasing him down. I was in utter disbelief, but my friend had told me she had done this before, and I was shocked that I was witnessing it. After about five minutes of calling, she came prancing back, incredibly proud of herself, and went to sit next to the little girl. I have never been more proud of her.
2. Tonka Doobie Doo
My Great Dane saved my pitbull’s life once.
We were outside playing in the evening, waiting for my SO to get home from work, and Tonka, our Great Dane, could not find one of his toys for me to throw for him quick enough, so he settled on a stick. It was a twig, long since ripped off the tree and very dead and brittle. He paraded around with it for a while until I distracted him with one of his toys, and he dropped it in the dark on the other side of the house. (Our backyard wraps around each side of the house a good eight to ten feet.)
Diesel, the pittie, was following in Tonka’s wake, milling around in the dark. I assumed he was pooping, as they like to go in the cover of darkness to not be spotted. So anyway, I had just finished my cigarette and I turned to go back inside, calling the boys. Tonka came right away, Diesel did not. I paused, and called for him again.
Suddenly, Tonka’s head shot up and he looked over to where I had last seen Diesel disappear into the shadows. He trotted in that direction, and then wheeled around and came charging at me. He barked, he whined, he growled, he seriously made every noise he could think of to get my attention, and it worked. Honestly I thought maybe Diesel had a rabbit or squirrel or something, but as I walked over to that side of the house, I heard choking sounds and picked up my pace.
Diesel had that darned twig in his mouth, and somehow he had broken a shard off of it and it was stuck down in his throat. Tonka was on one side of me, barking and whining about his “brother” and bouncing back-and-forth from left front paw to right. Diesel was thrashing his head away from me as I tried to get a good look in the dim light. Finally, I was frantic enough to where I just yelled, “LET ME SEE!”
Tonka shut up. Diesel stopped fighting, just wheezing and gagging with his mouth stuck open. The stick had lodged in the back of his throat on the back end, and the front end was stuck in the roof of his mouth. I reached into his mouth and pulled the twig towards me, dislodging it from the roof of his mouth and pulling it from his throat.
So, pretty much if Tonka hadn’t alerted me, I would’ve thought Diesel was just taking his sweet time doing bathroom duties and might have gone inside without checking.
Oh, and that night when they got to the door to go inside, Diesel went inside first, turned around, and licked all over Tonka’s face as he came inside.
1. My Dog, the Hero
I stopped at 7-Eleven on my way home from the dog park with Brody. I left him in the car with the windows down, like I have frequently in the past three years. When I came back out, he was gone! I panicked and called him. He ran over to me, but when I opened the car door and told him to get in, he took off and ran behind the store. I followed him because this was very out of character for him.
I found him sitting by a dumpster being hugged by a ten-year-old boy. I tried to ask his name; he didn’t say a word. I called the police. Turned out someone in the neighborhood called in a missing autistic child.
He’s a hero!