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Love is in the air! Incredible images of human and animal kindness

Jean Liebenberg for Farm Sanctuary

We're not the only ones who enjoy a little PDA on occasion. Here, a sheep and a goat cuddle up at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Humans show their love for one another in myriad ways everyday — through gestures both big and small. We celebrate that shared love on Valentine’s Day, with thoughtful words and sweet exchanges. But if you’ve ever questioned the true spirit of the holiday or wondered, “Where is the love?,” take a look at these beautiful expressions of both human and animal kindness captured on camera. Cynics, beware: Prepare to have your hearts melted.

Marina Cano / Solent News via Rex USA

This month-old elephant became trapped in a watering hole in Spain’s Cabarceno Wildlife Park, but not to fear: Mom soon appeared and pulled him up to safety. “His mum saw it in seconds and helped him before he fell deeper into the water and what would have been a much more difficult situation,” photographer Marina Cano told Rex USA.


Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly’s love story went viral last fall, when 22 moving photographs depicting Morris’ recovery from a bomb blast in Afghanistan with his devoted high school sweetheart circulated online. Morris lost all four limbs, but Kelly has essentially replaced them, giving him piggy-back rides and assisting him with his physical therapy every step of the way. 

Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/Stoneho

Speaking of “going viral,” this image of John Unger floating with his arthritic dog Schoep in Lake Superior became the photo seen ‘round the Web last summer. And for good reason: Ungers’ commitment to alleviating his pup’s pain is an inspiration to anyone who has cared for an ailing loved one. “I’ve never had a lot of money and especially going through the depression I couldn’t hold a job,” he told TODAY.com in August. “Schoep has given me his all, no matter what the circumstances, even when I can’t get him the best food.”

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images

Love knows no heights? In this photo taken at the Loveland Ski Area in Colorado, Dan and Elaine Vardamis renew their vows during their first official wedding ceremony at the 20th annual Marry Me and Ski Free Mountaintop Matrimony on Valentine’s Day in 2012. The mass wedding, which included more than 75 couples looking to marry for the first time or renew their vows, was held at 12,050 feet. The newlyweds celebrated the nuptials with a champagne toast, wedding cake and music following the ceremony.

Brian J. Clark / AP

After 80 days at sea, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va., on Dec. 22, 2011. The “first kiss” is a time-honored tradition in the Navy, and this pair was the first gay couple to be chosen to participate following the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Adam Hunger / Reuters

Acts of kindness abounded during and in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and that included rescuers and everyday citizens risking their lives for our four-legged friends. Here, a fireman carries a resident’s dog to safety in Little Ferry, N.J., on Oct. 30.

Stout Photography

Melissa Crisp and Owen Cooper didn’t let their cerebral palsy get in the way of the wedding they’d always dreamed of, complete with a trip down the aisle and wedding dance. The Oakland, Calif., couple rehearsed their wheeled choreography for weeks, the bride in a power wheelchair and the groom riding his Segway.

“I promise to roll across our uncharted future, get lost along the way, and discover all the beauty, surprise, and love inherent in our journey,” the last line of their vows read.

Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

This moving photo of the Obamas in a warm embrace was shared by the president on Twitter after his re-election and became his most tweeted note ever, according to Twitter Government.

Rich Lam / Getty Images

Now an iconic photograph, this couple’s middle-of-the-street kiss shows an altogether different kind of passion that erupted in the streets of Vancouver during the 2011 riots started by the Canucks' loss of the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. While it may look like Scott Jones and Alex Thomas were trying to get close in the midst of chaos, the pair had actually been knocked down by the police, and Jones was trying to ease his girlfriend's mind.

“I was just trying to calm her down,’’ Scott Jones told TODAY’s Matt Lauer and Ann Curry in 2011. “It was pretty scary for her, and it seemed like the best thing to do.’’


Cameras were scarce when Wu Conghan, 101, and his wife Wu Sognshi, 103, wed in 1924, so the couple wasn’t able to capture their big day permanently.  That is until a local photographer snapped these pictures in the couple’s hometown of Nanchong, in Sichuan province, 88 years later.