This is the touching moment an adorable dog gives his owner a warm welcome – a greeting he performed every day for nine years until his tragic death.
Ryan Nadel, from Charlotte, North Carolina, US, was left heartbroken when River the rescue pooch passed away a month after he was diagnosed with congenital disorder Myasthenia Gravis.
To pay tribute to River, Ryan shared the footage he took last January on Reddit where he hoped to bring smiles to viewers.
The video, which has amassed more than 80,000 views, captures his nine-year-old furry friend waiting excitedly at the top of the stairs.
When Ryan returns home from work and shows up, River gives a long howl and wags his tail excessively.
He stays by the white safety gate and stretches a bit while waiting for Ryan to give him a few good rubs on the head.
The 36-year-old exclusively told Daily Star Online that he first thought the act was a sign of aggressive behaviour.
He said: "When he first did that howl it was probably the second day I had him and got home from work, so almost immediately he was doing it.
"I didn't know what it was and thought he was growling at me. I tried to discourage it but after a week or so I figured out that he was just happy to see me.
"He did it every day since and I loved it every time!"
The mix-breed pooch was only one year old when he was saved from being euthanised and adopted by Ryan from a humane society rescue.
Ryan believed River's howl was a special greeting with a hidden message.
He explained: "His howl is both a 'welcome home', 'I missed you' greeting and also an 'I'm excited' type howl because when I talk about treats and ask him if he wants a treat he would do the same howl!"
The dog owner explained his furry friend got sick a month or so ago, and so he took him to the vet where hew as told "he had pneumonia and megaesophagus".
"After we got him back from the vet he had trouble walking, like his back legs were not working," Ryan said.
"Back to the vet and more tests they found out he had Myasthenia Gravis, a disorder which caused stuff like his back legs to stop working, his oesophagus muscles to stop working so he can't swallow food properly."
Ryan built a wooden Bailey chair to keep River standing upright so that he could feed him, but his condition was getting worse and eventually he had to put him down.
Ryan added: "He went very peacefully I think he was ready to go even though none of us were ready to let him go.
"He was a special dog that's for sure."