Dog doesn’t recognize owner who spent 5 weeks in hospital, lost 50 pounds until he sniffs him

SANFORD, N.C. — A North Carolina man who spent five weeks in the hospital and lost 50 pounds says his dog didn’t recognize him at first when he was released.

Shane Godfrey was hospitalized because of complications from the flu and said he nearly lost his life.

“They weren’t sure if I would make it for a while,” Godfrey said, according to boredpanda.com. “I had lost 50 pounds in the hospital and am sure I looked different.”

The emotional reunion between Godfrey and his dog, Willie, was captured on video and posted to Facebook. The video was later posted on Twitter where it went viral with more than 57,000 retweets in 24 hours.

“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,” Godfrey said.

“It still makes me tear up when I see the video. He won’t leave my side now that I’ve gotten back home.”

Godfrey has had Willie for about a year. He turned up on his front porch and the two have become inseparable since then.

Godfrey is now at home recovering with his best friend.