INJURED DOG OWNER SPENDS £300 ON X-RAYS AND VETS FOR HIS LIMPING LURCHER BILL – ONLY TO LEARN HE WAS ONLY COPYING HIM OUT OF SYMPATHY

Source:  Daily Mail (Extract)
Posted:  18 January 2021

This is the heartwarming moment a dog imitates his injured owner’s limp out of sympathy as he walks beside him.

Russell Jones, whose leg had been placed in a plaster cast, took to social media to share footage of his beloved lurcher Bill hop along the street with his paw raised above the ground in an effort to mimic his owner’s movements.

Mr Jones, who is believed to be from London, later explained that he had paid £300 in vet fees and X-rays for his limping canine – only to discover the dog was copying him out of sympathy. 

The proud dog owner, whose video has since received more than two million views on social media, later took to Facebook to write: ‘Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong just sympathy. Love him.’

During the clip, the lurcher is seen limping next to his owner as he hops along the street with his leg in a cast.

The dog continues to keep a watchful eye over his owner as he limps towards his house and enters his front garden. 

Following the touching scenes, social media users shared their praise for the canine, with one calling it ‘pure love’.

One wrote: ‘He’s come out in sympathy with you! Speedy recovery to both of you.’  

While another commented: ‘He’s copying you. That’s brilliant! Though you have my sympathy for the vets bill.’

Another person added: ‘You mean he’s hopping because you are? That’s fantastic!’

Meanwhile one social media user wrote: ‘So funny! Unbelievable, aren’t they just so in tune with us. Bless him.’   

In 2011, scientists at the University of Vienna and the University of Oxford provided the first evidence of ‘automatic imitation’ in dogs and found that canines will imitate their owners even when it is not in their best interest to do so.

During the study, half of the dogs watched their human ‘pack leader’ slide open a door with their hand while the other half watched their leader use their head. 

Researchers found that the dogs were more inclined to imitate whatever their pack leader displayed – with or without the prospect of a reward.     

Lead author Friederike Range said: ‘This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to ”automatic imitation”; they cannot inhibit online, the tendency to imitate head use and/or paw use.’ 

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