Dogs
Wolfdog barks at ‘stranger’ soldier until he catches familiar scent
Grab a tissue for his reaction when he finally realizes it's his dad.
D.G. Sciortino
06.16.22

When a member of the military is deployed, their absence is felt by the entire family.

Including the family dog.

So when Indus’ dad came home for the holidays, the husky malamute and timber wolf mix nearly lost his mind.

Devin Ekstrom of Northwood, New Hampshire, left for U.S. Army Basic Training in 2018 and returned 10 months later.

Ekstrom’s partner, Morgan, made sure to video the reunion between Ekstrom and his dog.

She knew it would be an emotional one, and 2-year-old Indus did not disappoint.


Caters Clips - YouTube
Source:
Caters Clips - YouTube

“Indus’ ‘dad’ was so happy and blown away by the love he gave him once he realized it was him,” Morgan said. “I was crying along with the rest of the family.”

The video shows the Husky barking at the man in big boots and an army uniform. Indus doesn’t seem to recognize his dad in all this strange garb and is intimidated by him.

But then dad drops to his knees to get on the same level with his doggo. Indus immediately recognizes his dad when they’re eye-to-eye.


Caters Clips - YouTube
Source:
Caters Clips - YouTube

“Who is that?” Morgan asks Indus.

Indus immediately runs over to embrace his pop. And gives him a big hug and lots of kisses. Then he becomes over excited and has to run around a bit letting everyone know his dad is home.

He needs to get all that excited energy out so he runs back and forth for a bit.

Then it’s right back over to his dad for some more kisses and hugs and pets. Indus is just so excited to see dad, he can’t stop squirming around and jumping up to hug his dad.

Caters Clips - YouTube
Source:
Caters Clips - YouTube

Ekstrom and Indus’ reunion ended up going viral and was picked up by several news organizations. People were just so overwhelmed by all the love and emotion Indus felt for his dad.

“There’s no doubt that dogs have very specific memories,” Marc Bekoff, author of “Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed,” tells Pacific Standard. “They recognize individuals. There’s a lot wrapped up in that relationship of care, love, and affection.”

Caters Clips - YouTube
Source:
Caters Clips - YouTube

Pacific Standard reports that dogs tend to have varied reactions to when their “person” comes home from deployment.

Some run around in circles with exuberance and others will climb or tackle their soldier. In this case, Indus did both.

Dogs tend to associate emotions like love, fear, and anger, with sensations provided by humans like what their humans smell, sound, and look like.

“They basically assess this complex of sensations, which is in fact a person and that will trigger the emotion,” Stanley Coren, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and author of “The Wisdom of Dogs,” says.


Caters Clips - YouTube
Source:
Caters Clips - YouTube

Dogs often go through a grieving period when a caretaker leaves thems.

“It’s a loss—an unpredictable loss—because the person can’t say, ‘I will be back in two weeks,'” Bekoff explains. “Nobody really knows much about the dog’s memory in terms of when the dog goes into that state of wondering if a person is coming back.”

But in this case, Indus’ dad did come back for more fun and adventures. If you’d like to see more photos and videos of Indus, check out his Instagram page.

Check out their reunion in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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