KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — A loyal dog in the UK took the phrase ‘man’s best friend’ to new heights by faking a limp in solidarity with his owner’s injury.
Billy the lurcher made headlines after a video showing the adorable pooch hobbling next to his owner Russell Jones, captured millions of hearts.
Jones said he had to use crutches after he broke his ankle last June following a fall.
The Hertfordshire resident and his wife Michelle shared the amusing story on the British daytime television show This Morning with hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
After noticing Billy too wasn’t walking normally, Jones went on to spend £300 (RM1,658) in vet fees and X-rays only to find out the dog was faking his condition.
The clever nine-year-old dog was copying his owner out of sympathy.
Jones, a hardworking father who runs a cleaning business, noticed something was amiss with his pet pooch when the usually hyperactive Billy began limping while they were out for a walk.
The worried dog owner forked out hundreds of pounds on vet check-ups that included two consultations, paw and leg X-rays and painkillers to help Billy spring back to health.
But the vets couldn’t detect what was wrong with the four-legged animal, informing his family they couldn’t do anything.
The mystery was solved once they returned home and the Joneses saw Billy playing in the garden but he wasn’t limping.
Jones then took Billy for a walk using his dad’s mobility scooter only to confirm his suspicion when he realised the dog would walk with a limp when he was walking beside him.
“Billy is my soulmate. He has always got his eyes on me and he is very soppy.
“When I took him out on the scooter, that was it. He never limped. He never limped again in his life.
“We realised he was limping out of sympathy. He was copying me because I was hobbling along,” Jones said.
Prior to the plot twist, Billy’s story kept many entertained during these challenging times brought on by Covid-19.
“People have said how it cheered them up and how much they’ve enjoyed hearing about Billy, especially during lockdown.”
Jones said it wasn’t the first time Billy imitated his owners’ ailments.
The adorable dog mimicked Jones’ partner Michelle when she pulled a back muscle and was forced to constantly lie down.