This is Kennady Longhurst, 22, and her husband is Alex Salsberry, 25, from Utah with their dog Sullivan ("Sully" for short).
Last Thursday, Longhurst said she came home for lunch and heard Sully making "this weird combination of coughing, choking, clearing his throat sound." She was alarmed and called her husband, who returned home from work immediately.
The cough appeared to have stopped that night. But the following morning, as Salsberry got ready for work, Sully started to cough again.
Salsberry worked from home, and the couple ultimately decided it'd be best to take Sully to the vet to get the cough checked out.
Longhurst said the vet named a series of possible causes, including "kennel cough," which can develop after dogs socialize with other dogs. But test results suggested that Sully was normal and healthy.
After checking in with the doctor again, Longhurst said, "He told us sometimes animals fake sick or limp for attention or treats or special privileges."
Longhurst tweeted about the incident and said other dog owners have reached out with similar stories about their dogs.
And the learned behavior may not be limited to dogs. One person said their cat "faked a limp once."
Others were simply impressed with Sully's maneuver — and could really relate.
"Sully is so so, so smart," Longhurst said. "We’ve babied him so much he knows how to play us like a fiddle."
She confirmed that he has not coughed since the vet visit, or been up to any other mischief. "He is his happy self," she said.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at email@example.com.
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