If your pet fakes being sick to get your attention, you’re not alone
As any pet owner can attest, seeing your furry friend sick is a tough thing to go through. You want nothing more than to shower your sick sidekick with love and snuggles. The only problem is that some smart pets have completely figured that out.
In a post shared with Love What Matters, Logan, Utah resident Kennady Longhurst shared the story of Sullivan, the one-and-a-half year old border collie mix she shares with her husband, Alex, and what happened when “Sully” developed a mysterious cough one day.
“His cough started about a week ago,” Longhurst wrote. “We try really hard to not leave him alone for more than three-four hours at a time. I was substitute teaching that day and came home for a quick lunch and some Sullivan cuddles. Right when I was about to leave back to the school, he started doing this really scary cough/clearing of throat/ choking noise. And it really freaked me out. I started frantically googling dog CPR and tried looking down his throat, all while he was acting completely normal. He was wagging his tail and running around and just wanted to play but also kept making this horrific noise. I called my husband freaking out and told him what was happening and that I needed to leave for work but didn’t want to leave him alone, so my husband rushed home to be with him.”
And then, just as mysteriously as it had started, Sully’s cough stopped.
“He was completely fine through the afternoon, evening and nighttime,” she continued. “So, we figured he must have just gotten something stuck in his throat and finally got it out. Except, the next morning when we both started getting ready for work, he started doing it again. My husband decided he would work from home that day and take him to the vet that afternoon.”
Starting to figure out what’s going on? Here’s a hint: The vet couldn’t find a single thing wrong with Sully. He was “the epitome of health,” Longhurst wrote.
She continued, “We called around a few vets in our city and asked them for some ideas of what could have been happening. Almost all of them said he could be acting sick in the mornings or when we leave him because he knows. If he acts differently or sick we pay more attention to him and stay with him. The vets said it doesn’t happen a lot and that most of the time if your dog is acting sick they are, but a few really smart animals know how to use and abuse the system.”
After they took Sully to the vet, he stopped faking his cough; Longhurst thinks the benefit of the added attention didn’t outweigh the trauma of a trip to the vet’s office for the pooch. Meanwhile, the comments in the post are full of other dog owners who thought their genius pups belonged in doggy Mensa for their ability to fake being sick — until they saw this post, that is. Now they know exactly how common this is.
It’s not limited to dogs, either. One commenter shared the story of her “sick” horse.
And I have a cat who once faked losing her voice just to get canned cat food instead of the dry stuff. She would be just fine until it was dinner time, and upon seeing kibbles in her bowl, would suddenly develop a pathetic, raspy little meow.
But hey, at least they’re cute, right?