They say that dogs are a man's best friend, but I have always personally thought that the famous saying doesn't truly do our fluffy friends justice. Why? Because when you live alongside someone, when you think about them at all hours of the day and love them with all your heart, they should really be considered family.
You often hear young couples who are yet to have children refer to their dog as their 'baby' and older families whose children have flown the nest often rely on their canine companions to fill the void that their offspring have left.
To highlight just how incredible dogs are, watch this video to meet some of the most famous canines in history...
To illustrate just how amazing dogs are, let me introduce you to the most magical photo shoot you shall ever lay your eyes on. If this doesn't prove the power of a puppy, then I don't know what will...
The snaps were taken by Kristin Waner, a photographer from Odessa, Texas, who was tasked with capturing the home birth of a young family's third child.
Waner had visited the family before and taken the photographs for the births of two of their three children, so she already knew this would be a beautiful shoot.
However, she wasn't prepared for the family's pet corgi, Ranger. The adorable pooch was ever present throughout the entire birth process, staying loyally by Brooke's side as she delivered her fourth child into the world.
In the chaos of the beautiful moment, Ranger's interest and concern went unnoticed. It wasn't until Kristin edited the photographs that she saw just how key a role Ranger played...
"From the moment I walked in the door, Ranger was so excited. You could tell he knew something was happening. He quickly came in to greet me, then headed right back to the bedroom to be with Brooke as she labored," Kristin writes for Bored Panda.
"He was very curious as to what was going on. He laid under the bed watching her rock back and forth. He was a calming presence when the power and intensity of her contractions started," she continued.
"Every once in a while he would jump on the bed to give her a reassuring kiss to let her know she could do this. It was a beautiful thing to watch – the bond between mom and baby and man’s best friend. This made me take notice."
"It’s not something you see every day. Every moment I saw him interacting with Brooke I tried to take as many pictures as possible. I knew this was special."
"There were moments of laughter and moments of pain watching her overcome each contraction. Ranger sat on the couch watching her, making sure everything was okay."
"Ranger would come and give her another reassuring kiss then back to the couch he went. He knew she was in good hands so he waited patiently for the new baby to arrive."
Brooke gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl whom they named Berkeley - the first girl in the family, making her Ranger's first and only sister.
"Through all the commotion, little Ranger jumped up and ran right over to meet his new (and only) little sister. He loved her. He watched every moment from her getting weighed to her first outfit changed. He was so proud to see her and the work Brooke did."
"When I got home to look through all the photos I was in heaven looking at all the beautiful moments from this birth. I wanted to laugh and cry while looking through them. They were perfect."
"When I sent the preview to Brooke, she had no idea he never left her side. It was so nice that I could capture that for her and she now can look back and see things she otherwise might not have noticed."
"I can’t wait to see Ranger and Berkeley’s new relationship grow. I hope he helps and guides her through her new adventurous life just like he did with her mom."
Shortly afterward, Kristin uploaded a few of the snaps to Facebook where she got an overwhelmingly positive response from all who saw them...
"I was overjoyed by the reaction it got. There were no reports of nudity/sexual content, no disapproving comments, and no one leaving my page."
"Birth is raw and it is something people aren’t used to seeing. It is something that does not need to be hidden though," writes Kristin. "With Ranger’s story, I have had only positive feedback."
"People were seeing the beauty of birth and accepting it as nothing but heartwarming. I am so thankful I could share the beauty of life and the strength of this strong women through the eyes of Ranger."
People were quick to flood the comments with positive messages. "Oh my gosh, I hope the experience and energy in the room was just as beautiful as these photos make it out to be.
So much love here, congratulations on a loving new baby and a peaceful, perfect corgi by your side," writes one user.
"I love these!! The love the puppy shows is so amazing!" writes another supportive Facebook user, echoing the sentiments of thousands of others.
Since the photo series went viral online, Ranger has become something of a canine hero. But nobody will ever love him more than his family - especially baby Berkeley who will no doubt share a special bond with the doting doggie.
Looking through the snaps it's easy to think of Ranger as a third parent. The look of concern and love on his face are clear to see!
If you didn't already understand how a dog can be a member of the family, then maybe you now can. It's clear that Ranger is a very special member of the family indeed.
Just think how much this family can save on their future childcare bills thanks to Ranger! It's like a real-life Disney film!
If you already adored dogs, then you are probably feeling fit to burst having seen these! And, if you considered yourself a cat person before, then you are no doubt feeling rather conflicted right now...