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- Dog + Ice Cream Truck = Adorableness.
- This video of a dog risking his/her life to drag another dog to safety after the other dog had been hit by a car. The hero dog apparently ran off and disappeared somewhere after the incident, but that doesn't make it any less touching.
- This article on Mental_floss shows videos of soldiers returning home from overseas to be greeted by their wildly enthusiastic dogs.
- The U.S. military authorities don't like it when troops adopt animals they find in battle zones, especially when they want to send the animals home to their families. Dogs and cats who'd become unit mascots, some of whom had saved lives, were abandoned or killed when their humans were shipped home. Until SPCA International stepped in in 2007 at the request of Sgt. Edward Watson and his dog Charlie. They handle the vaccines, the paperwork, the supplies, everything that's needed to get these animals to the homes of the soldiers' families in the States. Soon after Charlie was saved, the Associated Press carried the story of Spc. Gwen Beberg and her dog Ratchet and the money began pouring in. Operation Baghdad Pups, in defiance of U.S. military policy, has saved countless lives and reunited our men and women in uniform with their buddies. Just have a look at this.◊ And this.
- The story of Tad (Short for The Abandoned Dog/Totally Awesome Dog). Tad was found by the side of the road, in horrible condition- bleeding from multiple wounds (most of them badly infected), dehydrated and near-starving, sporting two kinds of mange, infested with two kinds of worms, his claws ingrown, and his skin dry and cracking. The vet tech who found him immediately took him home and gave him food, water, and pain medication, and made a blog to chronicle her efforts to help him, with a Paypal link if anyone wanted to help pay for the vet bills. Three months of dedication on his new owner's part and donations on the readers' later, Tad was happy, healthy, rambunctious, and had enough Cheez-Wiz to last a lifetime. tl;dr
- This article from Cracked. #1 also counts as a Tear Jerker.
- This. Fiona, the blind, flea-ridden, terrified abandoned dog gets her happy ending.
- By extension, this guy's entire Youtube account. He does nothing but catch stray dogs, treat and rehabilitate them, then find them new homes. It's a wall-to-wall battery of Crowning Moments of Heartwarming.
- This. Heartwarming for the kindness, but definitely a Tearjerker for the dog. Try not to cry while watching this.
- In the aftermath of the May 20th, 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, an elderly woman who had survived the tornado was talking to CBS reporters about how her attempt to get to safety with her dog was stopped by the tornado's sudden arrival. In the aftermath, she had lost the dog. During the interview, one of the crew shouts out "A dog. A dog!" The camera zooms in to see the woman's little dog trapped under rubble but still alive. They lifted the rubble out and owner and pet were reunited. To quote the woman, "When I asked God to answer one prayer, to let me be okay, he answered both of them..."
- A dog in training to be a working dog turns protective over the family's baby son whenever the babysitter came through the door, even having to be physically restrained several times. The reason was that the babysitter had been abusing the boy for five months. The parents finally found out by leaving a hidden smartphone in record-mode. Man's best friend, indeed.
- One word: Hachiko
- One more word: Shep
- Two more: Greyfriars Bobby, while (despite legend) he never actually existed as a single real dog, serves as a representation for all graveyard dogs and faithful companions whose names were never known; his statue is well-worn from the thousands of people who stop to stroke its head in remembrance of those dogs.
- Baekgu; a dog that travelled 180 miles just to see his original owner.
- Simple but sweet: In April 2015, University of Manchester organised an event for their students called Room Full Of Puppies.
Dissertations are hard, and everything can get a bit stressful at this time of year. With that in mind, Manchester Nightline and the When Will You Ask? campaign are putting on a puppy room for all you students still in Manchester. Come along and play with some gorgeous Golden Retriever puppies in Room 6 of the Students' Union! It's completely free and delightfully cuddly.
- In 2010, Jonathan Metz' arm became trapped behind his boiler when he tried to clean behind it. He realized that not only was he going to die if he didn't cut his arm off, so was his pet beagle Portia, who was wandering around upstairs, hungry and confused as to why he had disappeared and whose barking fits were becoming shorter and less frequent, coinciding with his own weakening state. His story was featured on the show I Survived, and among the various footnotes detailing his recovery?
"Jonathan's dog Portia also survived."
- On September 11, 2001, Omar Eduardo Rivera (who is blind) was on the 71st floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Fearing that he would never make it down the stairs in time, he released his guide dog Salty from his harness so that the animal might have a chance to escape. The dog came back, nudged and pawed at him until it was finally obvious he was not leaving without his master, and led him down 70 flights of stairs to safety. What was especially touching to Rivera was the realization that not only did Salty love him enough to come back for him, he would have stayed there and perished with him had he not decided to leave.
- Michael Hinson's guide dog Roselle managed to not only save her owner, but 30 others. She led the group to safety just before the second tower started to collapse. After she had led him to safety, she also helped her owner lead another survivor who had been blinded by debris to safety.
- Also from 9/11, the story of Sirius, a 4-year old bomb-detecting gold Labrador who was the only police dog to perish in the disaster. His death is a Tearjerker, but how he was treated upon the discovery of his remains is both of these tropes—the machines were stopped, his body was draped with an American flag, a priest said a prayer over him , and everyone present saluted as he was carried out—everything that had been done for his human counterparts. A memorial service for him was attended by 400 people, including 100 K-9 teams, two dog parks were named after him, he was awarded the Victoria Cross by the British Embassy, and his name was added to the War Dogs Memorial at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester, NY. There is currently an ongoing campaign to add his name to the official 9/11 memorial as well.
- When Bretagne, the last of the 300 dogs who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts was euthanized (due to kidney failure) on June 6, 2016, a group of firefighters lined up to salute her as she walked into the clinic, and did so again when her remains were carried out.
- A golden retriever named Storm lept into Long Island Sound to rescue a drowning fawn. Upon pulling it to safety, he nudged and pawed at it until it got up.
- This video of a corgi comforting a crying girl. Aww!
- The bond between Carrie Fisher and her Emotional Support Dog, Gary Fisher, which was strong enough to the point where Gary recognized her when she posthumously appeared in The Last Jedi. And for the record, Gary is absolutely adored by the Star Wars fandom.
- The Wobbly Pitbull Puppy gets help to walk from owner and the other puppy they adopted.
- The story of Faith, the two legged dog. Despite Faith's disability, her owner, Jude Stringfellow, helped her to grow up big and strong and live a full life despite many people, including veterinarians, recommending she be put down. She has become an inspiration to the disabled.
- Khan the Wonder Dog. This will make you cry.
- "The family would not surrender Lucy."
- Like Paris Zarcilla (see below), baseball expert and snarly left-wing journalist Keith Olbermann revealed he'd become "born again in dogs" after adopting two Maltese puppies. He publicizes lost pets and raises money for rescues, especially of "condemned" dogs, at his Tom Jumbo-Grumbo Twitter account.
- A man and his dachshunds come home after a walk, only for one of them to slip on the top step and roll all the way back down. The owner rushes after him, pets him to see if he's okay and then carries him the rest of the way. It's short but sweet.
- Ana Julia Torres, who runs an animal shelter, restored a malnourished African lion back to health. Now the two share a very close bond, regularly exchanging hugs and kisses.
- Enter Christian the Lion, the all-time reigning champion of Real Life animal-related tear jerkers. As the video explains, two Brits bought a lion cub that they helped raise, but the lion (named Christian, since he was trained in a church field) eventually became too big for their flat. The Brits were forced to release Christian into the wilds of Africa. One year later, they wanted to see Christian, but were told that such a thing would be impossible, since Christian was now the leader of his own pride and had gone fully wild. Undaunted, the two men still found Christian in the wild. When Christian saw his old friends, the full-grown lion remembered them, ran up to them and hugged them both.
- This trailer for the African Cats movie. It's incredibly moving to see the lengths that a mother animal will go to protect her family. It just goes to show that love isn't exclusive to humans.
- 3 wild cheetahs play with a baby impalah, and let it go.
- Kamunyak is a lioness who adopted six oryx calves and treated them like her own cubs. Watch the documentary here
- The story from The Dodo of Tanya and Tarzan, two lions with a close bond who are freed from the circus and released to Africa.
- When otters want to float on the water for a long time (for example, when they sleep), they hold hands. Otters literally hold hands.
- This ferret mother is so proud of her new babies she insists her owner come and see them.
- This video has a National Geographic photographer work in the Antarctic where he finds this gigantic leopard seal. The seal moves up to the guy, does some threat displays (which freaks him the hell out, since this thing's jaws are twice as big as a grizzly bear's), but then she goes over and grabs a penguin then offers it to his camera (likely thinking it the face). The penguin swims away, so the seal tries again. After the scenario repeats itself several times with the seal becoming more and more disgusted with the camera's ineptitude, something dawns on her and she becomes more and more panicked because she thinks that the creature she's offering penguins to is hurt. So she offers him injured penguins, and dead penguins, and eats a penguin to show him how its done and offers a dismembered penguin to try and feed him... one hopes they made a modification to the camera so it could fake eating the penguin and soothe the leopard seal's worries.
"I think she thought the camera was my mouth, which is every photographer's dream. This went on for four days. So, here I came to Antarctica, to photograph this potentially vicious animal, to have this predator - this top predator in Antarctica - take care of me, and nurture me, and feed me for four days straight. It was the most incredible experience I've ever had as a National Geographic photographer."
- This video about an elephant named Raju who was chained and abused for 50 years in India getting rescued on a midnight raid on July 4th, 2014. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome due to raising awareness of elephant abuse.
- Raju, the elephant who wept when the rescuers came, is still alive in the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Churmura, Uttar Pradesh, India. His liberators came from Wildlife SOS which has since taken many more "begging" elephants off the streets and rehomed them in a beautiful sanctuary.
- A group of humans hear an Indian elephant cry and investigate. Turns out her calf was stuck in a deep hole and couldnt get out. Mom couldnt save him so the humans saved the calf instead. Watch here
- Two words. Lek Chailert.
- The story of Springer, the young orca. After her mother died, she got separated from her pod and wound up in Puget Sound, Washington. Emaciated and sick, she tried to alleviate her loneliness by coming up to boats and ferries and rubbing against them. Researchers compared her vocalizations to the various orca pods of Washington and British Columbia, and tracked down her immediate family; her grandmother, grandaunt, aunts, uncles and cousins. A joint Canadian-American operation was launched to first capture her, then treat her back to full health, and finally move and release her to Johnstone Strait, where she could rejoin her relatives. Since then, she has been seen every year with her family, being raised by her grandaunt, happy and healthy.
- This. A wild dolphin has a hook and fishing line stuck in its fin, preventing its full range of movement. What does it do? Find some human divers to help it. And they do. Not only does this show how intelligent dolphins are, but the trust that dolphin showed is heartwarming.
- This has been getting surprisingly common in recent years with quite a lot of different animals, mainly mammals. Hedgehogs in particular, when injured, crawl into people's gardens and just sit in the middle of them, waiting to be found. It's heartwarming to know that while humans are responsible for the destruction of forests and the extinction of many species, some animals will still turn to us for help.
- Stephen Fry hosted an amazing, entertaining, and informative multi-part TV special called "Last Chance to See", based on the Douglas Adams work of the same name and about the various animals of the world in dire danger of becoming extinct. On the last episode they made a special effort to help out a rare breed of rhino who'd been hunted to extinction in the wild; there were only eight such rhino living and all eight were in capitivity in two zoos (two in the U.S. and the rest in an Eastern European zoo). The BBC, who produced "Last Chance to See", the Eastern European zoo, an African wildlife refuge called the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and (the international shippers) DHL all worked together to transport four of the most promising rhino to said refuge, which had the best space and security possible, so they could breed in their natural environment and perhaps rescue the breed of rhino from total extinction.
- This horse loves to snuggle with his human.
- Horses arent known for fighting off dangerous animals to protect their owners. Actually, they typically run away with or without their human, but this horse and this mustang defy expectations and fight to protect their owners.
- Stories of Arabian horses doing this are numerous. There's a famous painting of an Arab trader lying dead or injured with his horse standing over him fighting off a pair of vultures.
- This video. A mare gives birth to a foal, but, sadly, the foal is stillborn. The next day, however, her owner's friend calls saying she knew of a horse that had died that morning, leaving behind an orphaned foal, and asks if the foal could be fostered with her mare. Many mares will reject or even kick foals who are not their own, but this mare immediately bonds with the foal and becomes very protective of her adopted baby.
- Chris P. Bacon was a piglet who was born without back legs, though he was perfectly healthy otherwise. Chris's new owner would go on to make wheels for the animal to use so it could move about normally, and the little guy seems to be all the happier for it. Awwww...
- Lulu, the pot-bellied pig who saved her owner's life when she had a heart attack in 1998. Since there was nobody around nearby, Lulu got help by squeezing through a doggie door, running out into the nearest road and 'playing dead' - that is lying there until a concerned motorist stopped to check on her. Then she led them back to the trailer where her owner was calling for help.
- Cats and dogs arent the only pets firefighters rescue. They also rescue guinea pigs.
- This rat bringing her owner to meet her new baby.
- Discovery Channel documentary "World's Toughest Tribes" has an episode on the Park Rangers at Virunga National Park. The whole episode is a Crowning Moment of Awesome as well as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but especially towards the end, the leader of the Rangers starts talking about the mountain gorillas he is protecting, and how one he previously worked with recognised him after a long period of seperation. The obvious love and affection in his voice while talking about these animals is startling and heartwarming, especially considering the violent and hard life these men lead. It restored my faith in Humanity. I salute you, Eli Mundema, wherever you are.
- This GIF. A mischievous young chimpanzee pushes its younger sibling/cousin into a canal and no less than three adults immediately rush over to pull out and comfort the baby. They really are non-human people.
- This news article. 38 chimpanzees, rescued from a lab after spending 30 years locked up, go outside for the first time.
- At Gerry Durrell's zoo, one of his gorillas protected a young five-year-old boy who had fallen into the gorilla enclosure until staff could come in to retrieve the boy. The gorilla, whose name was Jambo, even stroked the unconscious boy's back and retreated when he woke up and started to cry.
- Jane Goodall's account of the chimpanzees at Gombe includes an anecdote about two chimps named Spindle and Mel. Mel was sickly, and when orphaned at a young age he was not expected to survive. Researchers were shocked, however, when an adolescent male named Spindle adopted him. Spindle fed and protected Mel just like a parent and carried him around so often he developed bald patches where Mel clung to his fur.
- Rajang the orang-utan of Colchester Zoo who became famous online for tenderly stroking and then kissing a pregnant woman's baby bump through the glass of his enclosure. He did the same thing for at least two other pregnant women, which bought no few of them to tears.
- There was a news story showed how a banker helped a family of ducks off a high ledge to the river, first catching the ducklings as they jumped off the edge, then leading them through crowds all the way to the river. It's equal parts sweet and heartwarming.
- This story from the New York Daily News: A Brazilian fisherman found a Patagonian penguin severely injured on the rocks. He nursed the penguin back to health, named him "Dindin," and sent him on his way. Every year since then, Dindin swims back to Brazil to reunite with the man who saved his life.
- This video. In summary, a vulture hits a paraglider and gets tangled in the ropes. After a successful crash landing, the pilot gets his bearing, calls his friends and explains the situation. Their main concern, besides his well-being is "Try not to kill it". The guy does consider this possibility, but only as a last-ditch option, and goes to painstakingly untangling his hapless assailer, who remains remarkably docile throughout the entire operation, as if realising that the human is going to help it. It even lets the guy pet it! Doubles as a Funny Moment, if you know Russian and don't mind some creative profanity.
- Whilst they are utterly TERRIFYING while doing so, you have to admit that the dedication of Goose and Swan mothers have towards protecting their young is heartwarming.
- This very touching reunion between a swan couple.
- This blood parrot cichlid loves getting a massage from his owner.
- Scuba diver Hiroyuki Arakawa encountered an injured Asian sheephead wrasse and nursed it back to health and named it Yoriku. That was in the 1980s. Since then, he and Yoriku visit each other every time Arakawa dives in the waters of Hasama Underwater Park. Read here
- This video of a diver cuddling a green moray eel like a puppy.
- Scuba diver Valerie Taylor befriended a spotted moray eel. Impressively, the eel would remember her even after not seeing her for three years. Watch here
- Most people dump their goldfish in a bowl and pay no attention to it except at feeding time, but this woman paid $500 for surgery when her goldfish choked on a pebble. The goldfish survived.
- This UK owner spent £150 to save their goldfish Bubbles from a life threatening tumor despite the goldfish only being worth £25.
- Another goldfish owner Harry Kim built a wheelchair for his goldfish so it can swim. The goldfish has a swim bladder disorder that causes it to swim upside down or sink. Watch here
- This ten-year-old goldfish's transformation after being adopted by this wonderful lady.
- This Darwin Goliath centipede is so tame that it crawls around his human owner. These centipedes are extremely venomous, and because of that, they are not handled by their owners. As a result, they will try to bite the hand that feeds them. This man not only managed to tame one, but from the videos description, he genuinely loves his pet. Not often do you see someone love a centipede like one would love a dog or cat.
Non-Human Interspecies Friendships
- Both parts of "Pigs on the Wing" are heartwarming because, unlike most Floyd songs, they are beautiful love songs that offer a welcoming sense of compassion, and essentially say that You Are Not Alone.