This adorable senior mutt was having a hard time dealing with separation anxiety until his owners found a creative solution to it.
Dogs have rightfully earned the title of "man's best friend" due to their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature. However, there is a widespread issue that many dog owners face - separation anxiety in their beloved pets. When left alone, dogs with separation anxiety struggle to cope, resulting in a range of distressing behaviors. Unfortunately, if this condition remains untreated, it can lead to significant chaos and frustration. Marc Peralta and his wife, Kristen, have discovered an ideal solution to address this challenge, particularly concerning their aging dog named Shorty.
According to Bored Panda, Shorty has lived a long life and as he grew older, he started barking and acting restless whenever Marc was not in the house. The Peralta couple operates an animal rescue center called Vintage Pet Rescue, where they shared how they treated the separation anxiety problem of their dog with a unique solution that involved a mannequin.
Shorty was adopted from a pet shelter and living with Marc for over a decade. "Marc was working at a shelter in Reno when Shorty was surrendered. It was love at first sight and Marc adopted him," Kristen told the outlet. Ever since then, the dog and his owner have been inseparable. The duo traveled to Marc's workplace together regularly as well. However, things started to change when Shorty grew older. Due to health concerns, the owner felt it was best for Shorty not to travel with him anymore.
"Now that he's older it's too difficult for him and we don't want him getting sick. When Marc is gone, Shorty is extremely anxious. He'll bark and cry and nothing will calm him," Kristen elaborated. "Not even I or other dogs could comfort the distressed puppy. If I held him, he was still upset." The separation anxiety was taking a toll on Shorty's health, so Kristen's mother presented an idea to help the poor dog out.
"She was over one day while Marc was away and saw how upset Shorty was. She went home and ordered the mannequin from a Halloween store that night," Kristen continued.
Initially, she felt the mannequin won't help, but then she made sure to dress up the dummy with Marc's clothes and make it resemble Shorty's owner as much as possible, including putting on a tattooed sleeve on the mannequin's arm. They named the dummy FARC which stood for Fake-Marc and settled it on the couch. When they introduced Shorty to FARC during one of his anxious episodes, the dog calmed down while snuggling with the dummy.
Shorty even fell asleep within 30 minutes and slept calmly through the night without creating further chaos. Though Kristen thought the mannequin would only help her take a funny picture with the dog, it proved to be a calming agent for the distressed mutt. Also, they used the dummy to help comfort other senior dogs at the pet rescue center, which serves as a retirement or hospice home for elderly dogs in the Rhode Island area.
The couple currently takes care of over 30 dogs, who are all aging and struggling with health issues. Vintage Pet Rescue operated with the help of generous donations from the community and anyone can contribute to helping these sweet senior dogs on the shelter's website.