A pet-sitter has captured the moment her dog seemingly began to wonder if his owners were ever going to come back.
In footage shared in July to TikTok by @comicallyzara, Milo the cavapoo can be seen giving off what Zara describes as a “sad boy energy” while sitting on the family couch. “He really only makes that face when he is missing his mom, so I knew he was ready for her to come home,” Zara told Newsweek.
Milo is not the first dog to miss their owner in such a way. In 2011, a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science sought to investigate the effect of time left alone on canine behavior.
As part of the experiment, 12 dogs with no history of separation-anxiety issues were left alone in a room by their owners on three separate occasions. In the first instance, their humans returned after 30 minutes; in the second, they came back after two hours; and, in the third, they returned after four.
Researchers found that all of the dogs studied greeted their owners with more intensity after two hours and four hours apart than they did after just 30 minutes of being left alone. The findings suggest dogs do have some grasp of time and that absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder.
Milo was apart from his owners for a whole 48 hours. Fortunately, he was well looked after by Zara, who relished the opportunity to play the role of cool aunt to the energetic canine.
“I’ve always loved dogs and, for years, have been wanting to get my own but haven’t been able to make that commitment quite yet,” Zara said. “So, in the meantime, I’ve been relying on my friends with dogs to get my fix. Sometimes, that means getting to dog-sit when my friends are traveling, which is why I was watching Milo, who is the sweetest dog ever.”
A fan of morning cuddles and games of fetch, Milo was a surprise Christmas present for his owners a couple of years back. Though the dog loves his humans, Zara said that there have been occasions when he’s a little too smart for his own good.
“He knows when his mom doesn’t have a treat on her, and he’s much less obedient,” Zara added. However, she said Milo truly loves his owners, especially his mom.
“He definitely missed his ‘mom’ (aka best human friend) as soon as she was out of sight,” Zara said. “But, by doing some of our favorite activities, I think I was able to distract Milo long enough for him to start having fun and not missing his mom too much.”
Those distractions included long walks, learning new tricks and lots of snuggles on the couch. Despite this, by their final day together, Zara could tell that Milo was ready for his parents to come home, which is when she filmed the five-second clip.
“I think he always knows his mom is coming back for him, but he can’t stand to be apart from her for too long,” Zara said.
The resulting clip, shared to TikTok under the handle @comicallyzara, has been watched close to 250,000 times, with fellow dog owners and animal lovers flocking to comment on the footage.
“Awww buddy,” one wrote, with another admitting “this hit right in the feels.” There were crying emojis aplenty while one TikTok user even asked: “She’s coming back right?” Thankfully, she was.
Zara isn’t entirely surprised by the video’s popularity. “He just looked so precious, and the look in his eyes was really pulling on my heartstrings, I had to share it,” she said. “It’s so popular not only because of how cute he is, but also because so many dog owners and dog ‘aunties’ could probably relate to Milo’s experience of missing his owner.”
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