One of my favorite things about my dog Kelly is how she greets me when I come home. If my husband Mike happens to walk in the door first, she pushes past him to get to me, and jumps and whines as if my return is the happiest moment of her life. It feels good to be so adored.

Recently I was away for a weekend. Kelly did fine at home with the rest of the family, but when I returned she gave me a welcome of epic proportions. She jumped and rubbed her head against me and made noises that can only be described as cries of joy. Then she sniffed me all over, even my hair. I wondered what kind of information she was picking up from the smells. Could she somehow discern where I’d been? When she was done gathering her olfactory data, she snuggled up beside me, and followed me around the rest of the day.

Here is a touching video of a golden retriever greeting her soldier Dad when he came home. Grab the tissues!

You can see more of these touching videos here at mentalfloss.

How does your dog react when you return home? Is it the same if you’ve been away for 15 minutes as when you’ve been away for a week, or do you detect degrees of differences? Does she have a funny little routine when you come home? I’d love to hear your stories.