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Pet owners have vowed never to leave their furry friends alone after watching home surveillance footage of a dog left on its own. You can watch the footage here:
In the video, the dog can be seen picking up a trainer and taking it to the sofa, before curling up with it.
The video was shared on Reddit with the caption: "This surveillance camera catches the moment a dog took his owner's shoe and slept beside this showing how much he misses his owner while he was at work."
The clip went viral, receiving 112,000 upvotes, with many people stating that they couldn't bear the thought of leaving their pet so seemingly lonely.
One person said: "That's it. I'm never leaving my dog alone again."
Another commented: "That broke my heart a bit! Needs a friend, I think. So lonely."
A third added: "Dear diary, my dearest human has once again vanished without a trace. All I have left to remember them by is a shoe, which I have taken to the couch to sleep with and remember them..."
Another wrote: "I don't think I could go to work after seeing that."
But what do we reckon people? Is this footage unequivocal proof that this dog is desperately lonely and longing for their owner? Or are all of the above people being a bit melodramatic about a dog picking up a shoe?
Well, I suppose we'll never know for sure; however, we do know that dogs can feel extremely anxious when they are without their owners.
Speaking to LADbible, Dr Sean O'Hara, lecturer in wildlife cognition and behaviour at the University of Salford, explained: "Today, although we [dogs and people] now occupy the same social group, there's an issue in that we come from different evolutionary social group backgrounds.
"Humans live in a fission-fusion social system - one where, over the course of a single day, groups join, dissolve, fragment and meet up again, all with groupings of varying composition. Dogs have experienced this form of social living for a much shorter period of their evolutionary history than we, having evolved living in fully cohesive groups, i.e. ones that don't temporarily fragment.
"Social isolation is therefore often problematic to them and they can experience anxiety due to separation.
"It's also true that with dogs being social animals they are likely to feel less secure in those times they are left in social isolation. Social animals have be shown to crave social contact when isolated more than food."
So yeah, leaving for work every day just got even harder. What's more, dogs don't understand time, meaning 'when you leave you are gone from their world'. But before you go handing in your notice, consider the following consolation.
Dr O'Hara added: "Does that really mean that you no longer exist to your dog when you leave the room or go out to work for the day? Research suggests actually no.
"Although dogs don't appear to have an understanding of time, they do learn through simpler 'associative learning' means that you will return. Thus, anxiety is likely to be initially present but most dogs will learn - though not understand - that you will eventually return."
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