Kennady Longhurst and Alex Salsberry, became worried when they noticed their dog, Sullivan, Sully for short, caught a horrible cough.
A week before, Longhurst recalls noticing Sully gave off a wild combination of coughing, gurgling, and choking sounds.
Alarming Kennady, she reacted and googled how to perform dog CPR. After reaching her husband, Alex speed home without hesitation to help the two.
Not long after, Sully started wagging his tail and running around like his usual self. Still, the strange cough remained. Salsberry stayed home to keep a close watch on the dog.
Other than an odd cough, Sully seemed quite normal. He appeared to be healed just by the presence of his owners. The next morning, Sully seemed to be sick again.
Just look at this face!
Worried about his dog, Alex Salsberry stayed home and made a vet appointment for the dog. The doctor noted symptoms of a kennel cough, but otherwise, Sully seemed healthy.
“They gave us some antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection, but he didn’t have a fever or any symptoms,” Longhurst reported. “So the doctor was confused.” They observed Sully for some time, but the cough seemed to diminish. It was at that time that Sully’s vet suggested Sullivan could be putting on an act for attention.
The dog’s sweet puppy face could fool anyone!
The doctor further informed the couple animals sometimes fake illnesses just to get some love and attention from owners.
A professor of cognitive science at the University of Pittsburgh, Colin Allen, believes Sully utilized his past learned behaviors.
Colin notes that “I’d be less willing to agree that it’s a deliberate deception such that the dog realizes that by coughing the owners will assume it’s sick. I’m going for the explanation that it’s learned behavior.”
After tweeting about Sully, the couple learned other owners also struggle with their pets acting up like Sully. One person shared their beloved cat pretended to have a limp another reported a dog that didn’t want to walk anymore.
“Sully is so, so, so smart,” Longhurst said. “We’ve babied him so much he knows how to play us like a fiddle… we’re pretty sure he knows that we know he was faking it.”
Longhurst reports that Sullivan hasn’t coughed since. LOL, it was good while it lasted Sully.
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