Jose adopted Chaos when he was just a puppy more than two years ago. It was a difficult time for Jose, who admits to being homeless and recently divorced. His life had not gone to plan, but in Chaos he found comfort.
“Chaos helped me through so much in my life, I took him everywhere with me!” He told Winnebago County Animal Services.
Unfortunately for Jose, he asked the wrong friend to watch over Chaos. It had been their agreement that the friend would only keep Chaos until such a time that Jose could secure a home for the two of them. The friend refused to give the dog back, and for two years Jose missed his dog.
Who knows what the friend did exactly, but Chaos was found two years later in a woman’s driveway. Coincidentally, the woman was an employee of the Winnebago County Animal Services. She brought Chaos to the shelter where employees were able to track down Jose using the microchip embedded in Chaos.
Jose was initially worried that Chaos wouldn’t recognize him, but a dog’s nose knows. They’re able to catalog and hold onto smells, which allow them to recognize people even after terribly long absences. The above video has been viewed more than a million times because it shows a touching reunion. Jose hopes that the reunion will inspire you to microchip your dog because it may be the only way you can reconnect with your dog after a separation or theft.
Keep reading to learn more about dogs and their incredible ability to remember…
Human beings have about 6 million olfactory receptors in our noses; dogs have up to 300 million. According to PBS.org, “The part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.” And, dogs have an olfactory memory, or smell memory; although, science isn’t exactly clear on how long a dog can remember something by smell, dogs remember the affection for their owners for years at a time. Soldiers who’ve left home for four years or more are affectionately greeted by their dogs upon their return.
Although it’s this sense of smell that most triggers a dog to remember, facial recognition plays a role too. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Padua, dogs rely on their eyes more than their noses to recognize their masters. Unfortunately, for blind or visually impaired dogs this method is unreliable, so let the dog smell you if you’re meeting him for the first time after a long absence.
The most beautiful thing about all of this is how much Chaos missed his owner. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do understand that a lot of time has passed. In fact, dogs are going to show more affection depending on the length of time you’ve been gone. It’s recommended to take reunions slow and in a place that is quiet and secluded, as the dog may have suffered some anxiety having not seen you in so long. Once reunited, don’t be surprised if your dog continues to shower you with love and affection. Jose said that Chaos kept his head lovingly placed on Jose’s shoulder the entire hour-and-a-half drive home.