Chances are, you’ve seen this image before. It went viral back in August of 2011, three weeks after a Chinook helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, eight Afghans, and a military working dog. Petty Officer Jon Tumlison was one of 22 Navy SEALs killed in the incident, and it was his beloved chocolate lab Hawkeye who captivated the nation with this gut-wrenching display of loyalty.
You don’t have to be a Navy SEAL to win a dog’s heart though, or be some kind of dog whisperer to form a bond so tight it transcends spoken words – that’s just how dogs are. They can make you feel better after a bad day, save you from a burning building, and give you the strength to go into the world when anxiety threatens to keep you locked in the shadows.