Separation anxiety is one of the common behavior problems that dogs have. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), dogs who suffer from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to their guardians’ departure or when their guardians aren’t present.
A senior Pug, named Shorty, has this behavior problem. It suffers severe separation anxiety whenever its owner, Marc Peralta leaves.
Shorty is Marc’s dog for 11 years now. And it clearly shows that this senior canine adores its hooman so much.
“He’s happiest when he is in Marc’s arms,”, said Kristen Peralta who is Marc’s wife.
Kristen always try to comfort Shorty whenever Marc is away, yet it is not working and the dog just wants its hooman. Short cries and bark whenever Marc is out.
Kristen tried everything to soothe Shorty including putting Marc’s used shirt on a pillow. That trick worked for a while, but then, Shorty is back to its wailing.
Until her mom thought of a crazy solution. That is to have a fake Marc, creatively named Farc, around.
Kristen’s mom bought a mannequin online. When the mannequin arrived, Kristen started to do the trick.
She dressed up Farc and put one of Marc’s used shirt. She even put fake arm tattoos.
After putting Farc on the couch, she put Shorty on its lap with a blanket.
And voila! In just 30 minutes, Shorty fell asleep nuzzling in the mannequin’s arms.
Kristen was simply amazed by this. Besides Shorty, Farc also helps and provides comfort to the other senior dogs that the Peraltas are taking care under their Vintage Pet Rescue organization.
“We have a puppy who is scared of everything. I thought he would be terrified and bark at the mannequin. He actually loved it! He ran up to it and started licking the face and chewing on the hands. He thinks it’s a real person and he’ll sleep on the lap!”, exclaimed Kristen.
Sometimes, four or five dogs will be sleeping near Farc. It clearly shows that this mannequin gives comfort to these senior dogs.
On the other hand, when Marc was asked about this trick, he said that he is a little hurt because Shorty could love a ‘brainless dummy’. However, he is glad that Farc is helping the dog in coping its separation anxiety.
Kristen also shared that the mannequin trick also helped other dog owners who tried this after they heard Shorty’s story. “I really think this would be a great idea for shelters to help with anxiety.”, Kristen stated.