Tom Hardy isn’t just a brilliant actor, he’s a great man, and if you need any evidence of this, just look at his relationship with dogs.
While it’s well known a dog is a man’s best friend, Hardy also has a special place in his heart for all pups, happy to be any doggo’s best mate.
From taking his beloved dog Woody to film premieres, cuddling up to a puppy on a movie set, or helping abandoned pooches find their forever home, he’s dedicated to our canine companions.
Taking a break from playing the villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and the grunting Max in Mad Max: Fury Road, two years ago, Hardy showed off his softer side by reading the CBeebies Bedtime Story.
And if you thought that was enough to melt your heart, Hardy decided to film it with the help of his pal Woody, leaving us in need of some tissues.
You can watch a clip here, if you can cope with it emotionally:
While his soothing voice helped send thousands of kids to sleep, the rest of us acted accordingly on social media, cooing over just how cute the video was.
Twitter went into a frenzy:
Tom Hardy, his sleeping dog on his lap, reading a bedtime story to children for @CBeebiesHQ. The UK atmosphere is currently 23% oestrogen
— Dean Burnett (@garwboy) December 31, 2016
As a Xmas gift the BBC is giving us Tom Hardy reading bedtime story with his dog. pic.twitter.com/TyjaepLuGK
— Faye Woods (@FayebellineW) December 10, 2016
"tom hardy reading bedtime stories with a dog at his side" is a brand i can very much get on board with. https://t.co/kLEwlrbP68
— Allie Gemmill (@__allie) December 8, 2016
Sadly, heartbreak was heading Hardy’s way, as Woody passed away the next summer, aged only six-years-old.
The actor had rescued his ‘best friend’ when he was an 11-week-old stray roaming the streets near the set of Hardy’s film Lawless.
From then on the two were inseparable and shared many magical moments together including, most famously, partying at the premiere for Hardy’s movie Legend.
Hardy certainly gave Woody Woodstock Yamaduki Hardy a loving home, companionship and love he’d probably never experienced and his passing, following a ‘very hard and short’ six month battle with polymyositis, an inflammatory muscle disorder, hit the actor hard.
I don’t normally speak out about family and friends but this is an unusual circumstance.
He was far too young to leave us and we at home are devastated by his loss. I am ultimately grateful for his loyal companionship and love and it is of some great comfort that he is no longer suffering.
Above all I am completely gutted. The world for me was a better place with him in it and by my side.
To the bestest friend ever. To me and to a family who loved him beyond words and whom he loved without doubt more than I have ever known.
Hardy finished off by saying:
Woody was the bestest of journey companions we ever could dream of having. Our souls intertwined forever.
He was special bro, a shining example of man’s best friend. He burnt very, very bright and those that burn very bright sometimes burn half as long.
Thank you Woody for choosing to find us. We will love you and be with you and you with us forever. Never, ever, ever forgotten.
I love you beyond words. To the moon and back again and again to infinity and beyond. Run with Max now and the Angels. I will see you when I get there.
With all of me I love you. Always. Thank you for your love, beautiful boy.
I’m not crying you are…
Not only did Hardy rescue Woody, earlier this year, he also helped four abandoned puppies find forever homes.
While strolling through a park in London this January, the actor came across a box of young Staffordshire bull terrier puppies which had just been dumped.
And because he’s a hero, Hardy took them to Battersea Dogs Home, while also sharing an adorable photo of them on Instagram encouraging his fans to visit the shelter and take a look.
Thankfully, people came to their rescue with each pup quickly finding a new home.
As reported by The Cambridge Times, intake manager Steve Craddock praised Hardy for his help, stating the phones were ringing non-stop following his post.
These puppies had a lucky escape. The whole experience must have been very frightening for them. It was a cold day and they could have easily got hypothermia, suffocated or died of dehydration.
Fortunately, they were found in time and – after a drink, a sleep and some TLC – made a full recovery, and now they’re charging about enjoying life with playful puppy enthusiasm.
My faith in humanity has certainly now been restored!
It’s pretty clear Hardy loves dogs and when Vanity Fair asked him why, he gave the perfect explanation.
I don’t think many people would argue with what he had to say:
They’re just so clean and straightforward, and they wear their heart on their chest. You know what you’re getting with a dog. I love that.
Unfettered companionship and loyalty in the most boring of manners. The life and the soul is right next to you, keeping the heart ticking over in the room.
You know when a dog’s around, there’s good times… It’s like, why would it choose to be around us? What the hell does it see in us? We don’t deserve them!
What does it see in us that it’s so like, ‘Well, I wanna be with you, you’re awesome?’ I’m not that awesome. You’re awesome.
If somehow, after all of this, you need another reason to love Tom Hardy, pay the ‘Tom Hardy Holding Dogs’ Instagram page a visit.
You can thank me later…
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.