Dog doesn't recognize owner after he returns from 5-week hospital stay

Jun 18, 2018
12:13 A.M.
Share this pen

Shane Godfrey’s dog, Willie, did not recognize him as he had lost 50 pounds after spending five weeks in hospital until he used his reliable nose to clear up any confusion.


The man from Sanford, North Carolina, shared the video of their emotional reunion on Facebook on April 3, 2017.

Godfrey was unrecognizable when he returned home after a five-month stay at a hospital due to complications from the flu. 

He had almost lost his life to the illness as the doctors told him that they were not sure if he would make it. Fortunately, he did survive, though, the 50 pounds he lost made him look different.

When he returned home, his pet failed to recognize him. He seemed unsure and barked at him at first. He starts barking across the lawn, approaching the ‘stranger’ cautiously.


Godfrey is heard saying, “Willie, Willie, come here, come here, what are you doing?” It takes the dog about 20 seconds to recognize the man and is extremely happy to have him back. 

The pet returned to his usual friendly self once he identified Godfrey by sniffing him. He dances around in circles and begins waging his tail and kissing his owner. He then dashes across the law with a toy.


‘At first, he was unsure and barked at me, but once he got close enough to smell me he recognized me immediately and totally went wild with excitement’

Shane Godfrey, Fox 31, April 25, 2017.

The man said he becomes emotional every time he watches the video. Willie does not leave his owner’s side after he got back from the hospital.


Willie turned up on his front porch about a year earlier and the two had become inseparable since then. Godfrey spent a good amount of time at home recovering with his best friend by his side.

The video of the emotional reunion was captured on video and shared on Facebook. It went viral garnering over 739,000 views and over 2,500 shares. 

Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.