3 min read

Photo Perfectly Captures How Animals Actually Rescue Us

Sometimes an image surfaces that perfectly captures a feeling we thought could never be totally conveyed.

This particular image shows a woman tearfully embracing a dog in an emotional moment that appears to be a reunion or a first meeting. It was posted on October 19 on Facebook by a user who compiles "funny, inspirational animal photo quotes" and shared over 54,000 times.

The text accompanying the heart-wrenching image is pasted from a story published back in 2010 by Janine Allen on a website called Dog Heirs.

The narrative attempts to inhabit the dog's perspective as he's being adopted from a shelter. "Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her," it begins. It goes on to give an account of feelings many people believe animals share with them: fear, worry, empathy and love.

But in this case, the image seems to move beyond the words, even though the exact circumstances of the photo have been eroded over time. A Google Image search shows many shelters across the world using the exact photo to symbolize hope for the dogs who need homes - and hope for the people who need a little unconditional love in their lives.

It is a peculiar truth of the digital age that these emotional fragments travel across the world, like messages in bottles, their origins obscured, their full stories erased. And the unfortunate truth is that so often these moments between people and animals aren't considered newsworthy at all.

But even without all the facts behind the photo, the image says it all.

If you're ready to give a loving family member a home, check out Adopt-a-Pet.com.