As a soldier stationed away from home, Nick hadn’t seen his dog Chuck for a while. Chuck had been so happy to see him before, but had time tempered the dog’s enthusiasm? Wondering how he would react, Nick approached his car, and Chuck turned to face him.
It must be hard when a member of your family has a career in the armed forces. Not only are you likely to worry about their safety, but they’re also probably going to serve away from home. As humans we understand that, but dogs don’t think the way we do.
In fact, studies have shown that dogs have an emotional age approximately on a par with two-year-old humans. Essentially, that means they are capable of a range of emotions, including joy, fear, sadness and even love. But how do they perceive time?
Although dogs don’t seem to keep time as we do, they’re certainly aware of its passing. They know when they’ve been left alone for a while, even if they don’t know quite how long. And they’re likely to miss their serving family members, too.
Enter a man called Nick, who lives with his wife Katie, his daughter Sydney and their dog Chuck. Nick is a soldier and consequently spends time away from home as part of his duties. As a result, family reunions are always emotional occasions.
In March 2012 Katie uploaded some footage of one such event to social media. But the star of the video wasn’t Nick’s daughter or even Katie herself. Instead, it was the soldier’s two-and-a-half-year-old boxer dog, Chuck.
The upload begins with Chuck waiting anxiously in the open trunk of the family car. Then you hear Katie’s voice coming from behind the camera. As soon as she says, “Daddy’s home,” Chuck’s head whips around instantly, seemingly looking for a sign of Nick.
Suddenly, Chuck detects something, and he leaps from the vehicle onto the concrete floor. He doesn’t stop there, however; the dog takes off running across the parking lot. The camera then reveals the source of Chuck’s attention: he’s found Nick.
The enthusiastic Chuck charges over to his human, leaping up and down around him excitedly. For his part, Nick’s just as happy to see his friend. He crouches down to greet Chuck, which initially proves difficult, considering how fast the Boxer’s moving.
Chuck leaps into Nick’s arms, but only temporarily; he’s much too euphoric to stay still for long. Instead, the dog literally jumps for joy, each bound aimed to land in his human’s embrace. And he succeeds several times before bouncing off again.
For a few seconds, Nick actually manages to sweep Chuck up in a big hug. The dog’s excitement can’t be contained so easily, though, and he returns to being a canine jumping bean. In fact, he thrashes around so much that Nick’s eyewear is in danger.
Chuck’s enthusiasm knocks daddy’s sunglasses off his cap and sends them skidding across the floor! Nick moves the glasses to a place of safety – his car’s hood – without missing a second of Chuck’s love. There’s almost another fashion casualty, too.
Chuck’s boundless energy nearly knocks Nick’s baseball cap right off his head! Throughout the excited dog’s exchange, Nick constantly has to adjust his hat to keep it on his head. He doesn’t seem to mind, though, and crouches for Chuck once more, who sees an opening.
That’s to say, the Boxer takes his opportunity to shower Nick with lots of doggy kisses. Chuck leaps at his daddy again, licking Nick’s face every chance he gets. Katie, who’s been laughing from behind the camera, reveals just how long her husband’s been away from home.
“It’s been a long eight months,” Katie giggles, as she watches Chuck’s heart-melting greeting. “He got a longer welcome than I did,” she says of Chuck. The dog’s still leaping and bounding around Nick, even as the video ends.
The upload’s been a tremendous success online, and it’s amassed a massive 13 million views to date. It’s also achieved 29,000 likes from Chuck and Nick’s fans worldwide. Furthermore, the comments have relayed some touching sentiments.
One viewer thought it should be something all members of the armed forces could benefit from. “It should be MANDATORY that every soldier is issued a dog months before deployment,” they wrote. “So we can make sure everyone that comes home comes home to this.”
But this isn’t the first time Chuck’s captured the internet spotlight; he’s actually been a viral star before. Furthermore, it was for the same reason. In February 2011 Chuck captivated the world with another passionate greeting for his daddy.
Chuck also showed how good he is with Nick’s daughter in a video posted in January 2011. Sydney is just five months old at the time of the recording, so Chuck plays carefully around the little girl. As for Sydney, she finds the dog’s antics highly entertaining.
For people who don’t believe that dogs have emotions, they need look no further than Chuck. He shows such joy at the return of his daddy, it’s enough to bring a tear to your eyes. Moreover, Chuck’s also a great example of the unconditional love that a dog can offer.