Our dogs and cats are a unique part of our families. They just seem to know when something is wrong with their humans. They comfort us on cold days, snuggle up to us when we’re sad, and make us smile with their silly antics.
They have a special power to make our days better, but their empathy can also work magic on their fur siblings and friends.
Some dogs and cats actually live at the vet’s office (or hang out there while their owners work) and have an extra-special job — they help comfort and soothe animals who are visiting and are scared.
One vet’s “comfort dog assistant” was caught on camera consoling another dog in the office, and the picture went viral.
The caption reads: “This veterinarian has a comfort dog assistant that helps sick dog patients know that everything will be alright.”
In the photo, a sweet-looking pup seems to be hooked up to IVs on a vet bed, and the generous pup next to him is offering a gentle nose boop to comfort him.
The photo garnered tons of attention, and for good reason. Something so pure and sweet as a dog comforting another dog during an uncertain and scary time is enough to make us ugly cry tears of joy.
Redditors chimed in with a variety of opinions about the photo. Many gushed about the adorable and heartbreaking duo…
“This is the saddest and cutest photo I’ve seen in my life,” wrote redditor JungleLiquor.
“Those sad eyebrows and the gentle nose touch,” agreed r/putfoodonyourfamily.
r/Adventurous_Opinion imagined the comfort dog saying, “‘It’s going to be okay fren.’” Then r/conundrumbombs summed it all up perfectly with, “Snoot boop.”
Other redditors theorized about the lives of the two dogs. r/tecknoize had an interesting and basically devastating theory:
“What if that picture is actually of a veteran comfort dog, after helping countless others go through bad days, is now the patient, looking at the eyes of a new comfort dog recruit. As he remembers how he felt on his first day, he can’t help but do his job one last time, comforting the recruit that everything is going to be alright.”
r/Cactihoarder was suspicious of the cuteness:
“Is this true? I feel like it could cause more harm than good based on how the other dog is.”
r/Elan-Morin-Tedronai logically replied with, “I mean you are going to choose a dog based on affableness for a comfort dog, and if the sick dog wasn’t down with a friend you could just immediately remove him.”
r/ricebasket agreed with cactihoarder, saying, “Yeah if my dog is unable to sniff the butt because she’s mobility limited or hooked to an IV she’s gonna be more stressed by another dog than comforted.”
Then r/malefiz123 offered some wisdom. “My old vet had her two dogs always in her examination room. She would send them out if the ‘patient’ was an anxious dog or another animal like a cat. For most dog patients they stayed there and I thought it helped “distract” the dog, if that makes sense.”
Whatever the specifics are behind this picture, it’s a snapshot of comfort and sweetness that the world could use right now.