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Doggy Retirement Home Uses Dummy To Cure Pup’s Separation Anxiety

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on February 8, 2019

Take note, pet lovers – some jobs are best left to a dummy!

Kristen Peralta runs Vintage Dog Rescue, a facility that cares for senior dogs. Her husband, Marc, has a senior pug of his own named Shorty. Shorty was a stray who wound up in a Philadelphia shelter at the time Marc was working there. The two met, Marc adopted him, and they’ve been inseparable ever since!

The one and only thing that comes between Marc and Shorty is work. Marc often has to travel out of town for business, leaving Shorty with Kristen. She tells iHeartDogs:

“Sometimes I think he loves Shorty more than he loves me! When Marc is away, Shorty will cry and whine for hours. Nothing will calm him down.”

Marc’s most recent trip put Shorty in a real funk. While Kristen’s mother was paying a visit during Marc’s absence, she noticed the sulking senior and decided something had to be done. Her idea turned out to be beyond genius!

“My mom stayed over one night and saw how upset Shorty was. So, the next day she went online and purchased a life size dummy. She told me about it and I thought it was funny, but it would never work.

“Shorty had been crying all day. The dummy arrived and I dressed it in one of Marc’s already-worn shirts. I sat Shorty in the lap and wrapped the arms around him. He calmed down immediately. He fell asleep in half an hour and slept through the night. It was really incredible.”

Shorty doesn’t seem to mind at all that his dear old dad doesn’t talk, doesn’t make eye contact, or doesn’t pet him. He’s happy just laying in his lap, staring adoringly into his glassy, unblinking eyes!

Kristen was surprised that they were able to pull one over on Shorty – she was convinced that the other senior dogs would sense that something was up, but they’ve all welcomed their Mannequin-Marc with wagging tails!

“I also thought Bug would be terrified of it and bark at it non-stop. It’s actually been very popular with most of the pups! Our other pug Clarence has been sleeping on the lap with his BF Nougat right next to him. Our Pit Bull Asher loves to lay next to the dummy and there have been a few sleeping on the feet. It’s really so cute! Bug actually thinks he’s a real person and goes crazy licking the face! They all love it and they will snuggle next to it when I’m not home. It’s so cute to see.”

The dummy has been a comfort to the senior residents at Vintage Pet Rescue. Marc’s no dummy but we’re sure they’ll be happy to see him when he gets back home!

You can see more photos of these sweet seniors by checking out Vintage Pet Rescue on Facebook!

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