15. Sadie and Her Mom
For the loving golden retriever Sadie, after eight months away from her beloved human companion, she was just too excited and was overflowing with joy when she saw her get off the plane at the airport. Their reunion was caught on video and it went viral as hearts melted across the internet at Sadie’s reaction.
This video of Sadie’s emotional reaction to her owner’s arrival also got the people thinking. What is it like for a dog to be separated from its owner?
13. Military Dogs and Their Owners
It’s difficult to be separated from loved ones. It can be especially hard when those we care about don’t understand why we have to go. Our dogs especially seem to struggle with the absence of their owner. Not many know how hard it is to be apart from a loved one like those in military families.
12. After Years Apart
Military Dogs are some of the greatest examples of this as they can spend years away from their owners. Many service men and women say that they worry that their dog won’t be able to recognize or remember them after returning home. So then how do dogs manage to remember their owner even after so many years apart?
11. A Dog’s Memory
According to animal experts, short-term memory for a dog is about five minutes; cats remember much longer, up to 16 hours. Long-term memory is harder to determine. We know dogs have a longterm memory because they can remember hand signals and words for their lifetime but what about more advanced things such as identities of various people in a dog’s life?
10. Long-Term Memory
Recognizing people and faces is something believed to be stored in the long-term memory of dogs, but it hasn’t always been that way. As more and more dogs have become domesticated over the years, dogs have adapted to live more efficiently amongst humans. Being able to store memories of certain humans is seen as one of those adaptations that have been acquired over hundreds of years.
So why did dogs get such a bad wrap about their memory?
9. So Good To See Your Face!
According to Google, dogs — like humans and primates — are indeed capable of facial recognition. But what about faces of people other than the direct owner?
8. Survival Memory
According to many animal experts, dogs have a type of ‘survival memory’ which is connected to remembering owners and those people with whom it feels safe and protected with. So, if the previous owner was good-hearted and kind to it, the dog probably remembers them and others.
7. Emotional Support
Dogs are also extremely empathetic animals and researchers say they are some of the best animals for detecting and understanding trauma in other animals as well as humans. This would explain the use of dogs as emotional support animals or service animals amongst those who have served in the military or who have experienced trauma.
But what if you’ve drastically changed in apperance since the last time your dog saw you?
6. Change in Appearance
Even if major chances are made to the owner’s appearance such as dramatic hair or weight loss, the dog will always have the owner’s scent in its memory. But what makes sense of smell so different for dogs?
5. Deeper Than Looks
Many researchers say a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. Your dog also has an olfactory memory, meaning he remembers scents long after he’s been exposed to them. Even if your face were to change, your dog would be able to associate you by smell. But how many smells can a dog remember?
4. Super Smelling
Researchers say a dogs sense of smell is so strong also directly relates to it’s memory of the smell. It is estimated that a dog can remember up to 300 million different smells over the span of its lifetime. Scents that belong to its owners or loved ones get stored in its survival memory as well.
3. Man’s Best Friend
Knowing that your four-legged friend won’t forget you while your away on vacation or active duty, is something all animal lovers can agree is great news. Especially for those who serve in the armed forces.
2. On Duty
Some dogs are even kept at bases for not only their protective nature but because they have the ability to recognize the faces of those that have served along with them. Dogs can provide emotional comfort and support to those even in the most high-stress environments.
1. Always In Their Hearts
All and all, dogs are truly man’s best friend with their amazing ability to remember their loved ones even after sometimes lengthy time apart. Few things are as beautiful as the sight of a dog reuniting with it’s loved one after a long time apart.