Dog-owners experience adulation when they come home from work (or vacation) and get smothered with doggy kisses. This word for “excessive devotion to someone” traces all the way back to the Proto-Indo European (PIE) language family. In PIE, ad ul literally means “to tail” but carries the sense of “to wag the tail” like an adoring dog.
In the 1200s, fawning, a synonym for adulation, also conveyed the same “devoted dog, swishy tail” association. But, the animal inspiration with this one is a little more clear since a baby deer is also called a fawn.