The bond between a man named Marc and his eleven year old dog Shorty is very strong. Marc rescued Shorty from a crowded shelter in Philadelphia, and ever since then the dog has been eternally grateful. Shorty follows Marc everywhere, but now that he is 15 the dog isn’t as adventurous as he once was. Shorty loves to be home and cuddling with his dad, and he’s always happy when Marc is around. But that’s become a bit of a problem recently. Marc travels a lot for work and Shorty has been experiencing separation anxiety when he’s gone. Shorty loves Marc so much that he just cries and barks when he is gone and he’s inconsolable—he refuses to cuddle with anyone other than Marc.
Marc and his wife run a retirement home for senior dogs called Vintage Pet Rescue in their home state of Rhode Island. Shorty wasn’t comforted by his fellow senior dogs or his mom cuddling him, so it was time to get creative. Marc’s wife put one of his shirts on a pillow, but Shorty saw right through it. He was so upset that she kept trying. She went online and ordered a life size dummy and when it arrived, she wasn’t sure if it would work. She put one of the shirts Marc had worn on the dummy so it would smell like him, and then placed it on the couch. Shorty immediately jumped into its lap, curled up under its arm and fell fast asleep.
The dummy isn’t just popular with Shorty, either. All of the dogs in the home love the dummy—some even licking its face and jumping on its lap. Marc is so happy that his beloved Shorty is comforted, but he’s also a bit worried that he can be so easily replaced by a dummy. He jokingly said he couldn’t believe Shorty was comforted by someone who isn’t nearly as smart or handsome as him. All of the dogs at the rescue love the dummy—Marc’s wife says there were five dogs cuddled up to it recently, sitting at its feet, on its lap and even under its hands. It’s quite the sight!