Shorty is a 15-year-old pug that, up until recently, has spent every waking moment enjoying life with his dad, Marc. Considering how the two first met, it’s not surprising in the least!
Marc rescued Shorty 11 years ago from a dog shelter in Philadelphia after deciding he couldn’t leave him there.
Apparently, the connection Marc felt to Shorty was a mutual one because ever since he brought the adorable pug home, the two have been stuck to each other like glue.
According to Marc’s wife, Kristen Peralta, in an interview with The Dodo, the bond that her husband and Shorty share reaches beyond the ordinary pet/parent connection.
“Shorty and Marc have a very special relationship. Marc calls Shorty his ‘angel dog’. Shorty is just so happy when Marc is holding him.”
Unfortunately for the fun-loving duo, as with any relationship, time can be a cruel thing.
Now that sweet little Shorty is in his senior years he can’t get around as well as he did when he was just a pup, which means spending a lot less time with his dad.
Marc has to travel a lot of the time for his work, and as Shorty has aged, he’s just not in shape to be a road dog.
“He’s been having a lot of separation anxiety in his senior years and, unfortunately, Marc has to travel a good amount for work.”
A concerned dog mom, Kristen describes how hard it is for Shorty when Marc’s not there.
“Shorty will bark and cry when Marc is gone and nothing seems to calm him. He won’t even settle when I am holding him now. He just wants his dad.”
After spending just about every minute with his dad for over 11 years, it’s not surprising that poor little Shorty pines for Marc when he’s away on business.
Shorty doesn’t suffer alone though, as Kristen has tried everything she can think of to put her sad little pug at ease.
Marc and Kristen operate a retirement home for hospice and elderly dogs in Rhode Island called Vintage Pet Rescue, and know what a heavy toll separation anxiety can take on an old dog.
Even though Shorty was surrounded by the loving company of the other retired dogs along with Kristen, there was nothing that could take his mind off of missing his Dad. Kristen knew she was going to have to start thinking outside of the box.
In an attempt to soothe Shorty, Kristen stuffed a pillow into one of Marc’s shirts for the heartsick pug to snuggle up against. Shorty was wise to Kristen’s trickery, though, and paid no attention to the thoughtful decoy.
As Shorty continued to be inconsolable without his dad’s lap to cuddle on, Kristen was desperate to find a way to comfort the old pug.
After learning how forlorn Shorty was without her son, Peralta’s mother came up with the perfect idea and sneakily ordered a life-size dummy to trick Shorty with.
When the dummy arrived, Kristen took every precaution to make sure it was as Marc-like as possible, hoping that Shorty wouldn’t detect her trickery.
“I put one of Marc’s already-worn shirts on it so it would have his smell. I sat Shorty down on the lap, wrapped the arms around him, and he was asleep within half an hour. He slept through the night wrapped in the dummy. It was truly remarkable.”
It seems that the Peralta family has finally found a solution to ease poor Shorty’s heartache when his dad has to be away, and it doesn’t look like it’s temporary, either.
Shorty is so convinced by the dummy, fondly known as Farc (fake marc), that he spends all of his time snuggled up next to it whenever his real dad isn’t around, and he isn’t the only one that’s been fooled.
The sweet old pug’s little brother, affectionately known as Bug, couldn’t wait to try and coax his dad into some playtime.
“He thinks it’s a real person so he was all over it, licking the face and pulling on the hands. It was hilarious.”
Kristen even managed to catch a video of Bug doing his best to get the dummy’s attention.
The puppy love for the tatted-up dummy doesn’t stop with Bug and Shorty’s affections.
All of Marc and Kristen’s rescue dogs have come to love their dad’s sit-in, and “Farc” has become a regular favorite visitor to the Vintage Pet Rescue retirement home.
“It’s actually been completely adorable. The other pups will lay next to the dummy or on its feet. Last night, five of them were huddled around the dummy.”
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While Marc is definitely feeling the sting of replacement, overall nothing beats the relief of knowing that Shorty is being comforted in his absence.
Sometimes it’s our pets who need support, and the Peralta family has gone above and beyond to give loads of it to all of their lovable doggies!
If you would like to show your support to the Vintage Pet Rescue family, go here.
H/T: The Dodo