With a sense of smell over 40 times more powerful than a human’s, dogs rely on their noses to help them interpret the world around them. They have the impressive ability to categorize scents, and it only takes a quick whiff to understand exactly what, or who, is in front of them.
When Shane Godfrey returned home from a five-week stint in the hospital, it was his dog’s sense of smell that brought them back together. Godfrey was hospitalized due to flu complications and spent more than a month battling for his life. During his time spent confined to a hospital bed, he lost a significant amount of weight. Fifty pounds, to be exact.
As he slowly recovered, his dog, Willie, wasn’t allowed to see him. When Godfrey was released from the hospital, he was looking forward to finally being reunited with his four-legged best friend. But after five weeks apart, the reunion didn’t go as expected.
Fifty pounds lighter, Godfrey looked much different than he had before he went to hospital. And when Willie finally got the chance to see his owner again, he didn’t recognize him. He stood several feet away and barked at the man he thought was a stranger. In the video, Godfrey can be heard saying, “Willie, Willie, come here, come here, what are you doing?” But even the sound of his voice wasn’t enough to jog the dog’s memory.
Eventually, Willie was encouraged to get within smelling distance of Godfrey. He took a deep whiff and instantly erupted into a blur of wagging tail and wiggling body. He jumped and licked his long-lost owner before grabbing a toy and bounding across the yard in unconstrained excitement.
Willie was wary of the new person in his yard at first, but his incredible sense of smell didn’t lie. It only took a quick sniff to recognize the familiar scent, and in the end, Willie didn’t care that his friend looked different. He was simply excited to have him back.
Godfrey posted the video of his dog’s reaction on his Facebook page, and people can’t help but share in the dog’s joy. After weeks of waiting, Willie and Godfrey are looking forward to making up for lost time.