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This dog has found the funniest replacement when his owner is away

dog with a mannequin dog-happy
© Vintage Pet Rescue

Shorty the senior pug dog has been almost inseparable from Marc, his owner for almost 11 years. As the dog isn’t quite as mobile, he stays home more and has taken to cuddling up to a dummy model instead of his master. 

By Dawn Parrish , 10 Feb 2019

The senior dog’s devoted bond

Ever since the day, 15 years ago, that Marc Peralta first rescued and adopted the Pug dog, they’ve been almost inseparable. The small dog, named Shorty, follows his master everywhere. Their very special relationship was very clear to all the family. However, with advancing years, Shorty cannot travel with Marc when he needs to be away from home due to work commitments. The senior dog will sit and howl for Marc and even attention and cuddles from the family don’t settle him. Nothing seems to calm the anxious dog.

An idea to help the senior dog

The Peraltas run a retirement home, Vintage Pet Rescue, for hospice and senior dogs, in Rhode Island and they often deal with unusual situations when dogs fret and are upset. However, on this occasion, they didn’t know what to do to help the Pug dog.

Marc’s wife, Kristen tried to place one of his old shirts on Shorty’s bed pillow, to see if that would have a result and comfort the dog. Shorty immediately noticed that this wasn’t his master, and didn’t want anything to do with the deception.

The senior dog accepts the trick

Kristen then had an idea and ordered a life-size dummy from a fancy dress store. When this mannequin arrived, she clothed it in Marc’s shirt and hat and placed it in position on the sofa. She was amazed when the senior dog jumped onto the sofa, cuddled into the dummy and immediately settled down and slept. The dog was quite happy to remain here for most of the night, sleeping next to his standby dad.

Is this a new playmate?

Shorty isn’t the only dog who has accepted the stuffed dummy as his new best friend. The Pug’s brother, Bug, also thinks that this new addition to the family has arrived to play with him. He jumps up at the mannequin, licking his face excitedly, trying to invite him to play. The only downside to this, is that Marc consider he’s now been replaced in his senior dog’s affections!


Bug thinks the dummy is a real person...obviously someone needs to work on his manners.

Posted by Vintage Pet Rescue on Thursday, January 31, 2019
Posted by Vintage Pet Rescue on Wednesday, February 6, 2019