The bond between an owner and their dog is an incredibly special one.

This is especially so for those who have supported each other through some tough times – just like how a friend that kept you going through your lowest points in life becomes extra special to you afterwards!

After working through milestones like that, it comes as no surprise that both dog and owner will become inseparable.

So when Shorty the senior Pug and his Dad, Marc Peralta, have been together for 11 years, you know just how tight that bond can be.

Marc even calls Shorty his “angel dog,” thanks to the circumstances Shorty was in when Marc adopted him.

Kristen Peralta

Shorty was about 4 years old when he was rescued by Marc from a Philadelphia shelter, and has shadowed his Dad’s footsteps ever since.

Not too hard to do, considering just how small he is as a Pug – Marc can easily pick him up and carry him around while going about with his day.

Unfortunately, time has taken its toll on this canine companion.

At 15 years old, it isn’t as easy as it was before for Shorty to accompany his beloved owner everywhere – no matter how much he wants to.

The result?

The poor pup has a ton of separation anxiety, which is proving to be a major issue for Shorty in his senior years.

Marc has to travel quite a fair bit for work, which means Shorty spends most of his days pining and full of anxiety. Not a great thing for his health, especially at his age!

Kristen Peralta

So what is the solution?

You would think that Shorty’s circumstances and surroundings would have been more than enough to keep this pup occupied, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Marc and his wife, Kristen Peralta, both run Vintage Pet Rescue. Located on Rhode Island, it is a retirement home for both senior dogs and hospice dogs, and also happens to be where Shorty lives.

Surely being surrounded by his fellow senior friends and his Mom would be enough to distract Shorty.

Despite all the love and attention lavished upon this Pug, Shorty’s separation anxiety only continued to grow.

Soon, even being cuddled by Kristen wasn’t enough for Shorty.

Nothing could calm Shorty down, and he would spend days and nights simply crying and looking for his beloved owner.

Kristen Peralta

Things were starting to look pretty bad. Kristen attempted the old “shirt over a pillow” trick, but Shorty saw through that easily and refused to accept this horrible substitute.

What else could they possibly do?

Then, Kristen’s mom came up with an idea that seemed crazy enough to work – what if they dressed up a life-sized dummy as Marc?

Kristen Peralta

Kristen was sceptical, but it sounded crazy enough to work. Plus, she was desperate to help Shorty in any way she can.

Kristen Peralta

This idea couldn’t possibly hurt.

So she dressed up the dummy in Marc’s old clothes, then placed Shorty on the dummy’s lap and wrapped its arms around the pup.

Kristen Peralta

Amazingly enough, it worked!

Kristen Peralta

Take a look at this video!

For the first time in ages, Shorty was fast asleep within 30 minutes, and slept soundly through the night!