This year was rich with adorable pet stories, videos and memes, but several stories stood out. From a grumpy feral cat to a dog loyally waiting for his family, here are the top 5 pet stories on Mother Nature Network for 2017.

19 pics of dads who said they didn't want a dog

We've heard it all before. Dads who claim they don't want a dog and want nothing to do with the furry creature. But then, suddenly, the new dog and dad become instant pals β€” usually when dad thinks no one's paying attention! Check out these dads who were caught red-handed loving on their four-legged friends.

Dog stranded by wildfire waits for family at burned-down home

Dog in Santa Rosa wildfire As the scene unfolded when family members checked the house, it wasn't clear what they would find ... and then they saw Izzy. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

In October, wildfires ravaged Santa Rosa, California and forced many residents to evacuate, including the Weaver family. While fleeing their home, the Weaver's beloved dog Izzy ran away. It was too dangerous for the family to search for her, and it took a couple days before the family could return to their burned-down home. When they arrived, they were surprised by what awaited them.

This feral 'grandpa' cat may not care for humans, but oh, does he love kittens

Feral cats are notoriously known for being anti-social and just plain grumpy. They don't necessarily like humans and would probably prefer to be left alone. Mason is exactly that cat. He was rescued from a large feral cat colony and adopted by a woman in Canada. Shelly Roche said Mason's behavior completely changed when she brought home foster kittens. He went from being a grumpy old man to a loving caretaker. "When Scrammy (ginger kitten) started licking Mason's ear, and Mason leaned into it, I completely melted," said Roche. "The one thing missing for Mason had been contact with another living being, and while he didn't want that from ME, he had clearly been craving it from his own kind." There's even videos showing Mason's affection for the kittens.

Of course, that's just the highlight reel. For more great pet stories, check out MNN's pet page, any time of year!

The best pet stories of 2017
From a grumpy feral cat to a loyal dog, here are the top pet stories from 2017.