'Nothing wrong, just sympathy': Man spends $400 on vet to find out limping dog was imitating him

'Nothing wrong, just sympathy': Man spends $400 on vet to find out limping dog was imitating him
Russell Jones' dog Bill became a minor celebrity after he posted a video on Facebook (Russell Jones/Facebook)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: A dog owner spent $400 to treat his dog's apparent limp only to realize that the pet was simply copying him. Russell Jones, the owner, posted a touching yet humorous video on Facebook of his dog copying his behavior while walking beside him. In just a few days, the post earned over 42k likes and hundreds of comments. In the video, Bill, a London-born lurcher, is seen mimicking his injured owner's limp out of compassion.

Russell, whose leg was in a plaster cast, is seen walking the street with his dog Bill in the brief footage. The lurcher walks with one paw elevated above the ground, just like his owner. “Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong, just sympathy. Love him,” Russell wrote in the description of his post. Many users on Facebook reacted to the clip and recounted similar experiences with their own dogs.

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One person wrote, "My dad walks with a limp cos of ALS and I noticed my staffy girl pulls on her lead out of excitement but when my dad walks her, she matches his speed exactly and watches him closely as we walk she doesn't pull him at all dogs are so loyal." "My uncle got a bad constant cough, and his dog started coughing all the time too. So they took the dog to the vet they said he's perfectly fine and just copying him. Lol,” another user added. 

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According to Cesar’s Way, “There are a number of different creatures that imitate others within their own species. People imitate other people. Birds imitate other birds. Non-human primates like monkeys and apes imitate others in their group. But dogs not only imitate other dogs—they copy what we do as well. What’s even crazier is that they have been known to do so even when the imitation doesn’t benefit them. Experts think that dogs’ tendency to copy us came about through thousands of years of selective breeding and training. Over time, it grew to become a built-in reaction.” 

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Unfortunately, Billy died last year in March after a battle with lung cancer. Russell updated his status on Facebook and included a statement expressing his love for the dog. He wrote, "Hi everyone, wanted to tell you on here that my Billy ran over the 🌈 today. He’s had lung cancer and was time to say goodbye. I wanted to tell you on here because this is where our 5 mins of fame began. Love you Billy and you’ll never be forgotten, heartbroken 💔 xx" However, Russell's journey with Billy was not yet over. 

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Russell got a call in July 2021 telling him Billy had won the PEOPLE's Pet Award. He wrote on Facebook, "Just to let you all know that my journey with Bill is still not over. Got a call on Friday to tell me that he’s won the PEOPLE's pet awards. I’d just like to thank this page and everyone’s support in this amazing experience and since Bill has sadly got his wings and gone over the rainbow he’s memory will live on Thank you all Russ."

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