The adorable relationship between a sick dog and her very own ‘support dog’ has melted hearts online as she receives emotional help during her hernia treatments.
Owner Giulia was told her Chihuahua Gue had a herniated back two years ago and surgery was not recommended. Since then Gue has been receiving regular acupuncture, massage and laser therapy. It sounds scary, but Gue has had his own “support dog” through it all, in the form of his canine brother Chew.
Gue and Chew’s supportive relationship was shared online in a TikTok video that has since captured more than 1.7 million hearts in the form of likes. “As you can see, in every session, her emotional support dog Chew is there,” Giulia said in the video. “Chew is not a certified service dog as she has failed her exams multiple times, but her presence at these sessions has been essential to Gue’s healing process.”
In the clip, Gue could be seen having acupuncture needles placed on his head and body, while Chew hilariously watches and sniffs Gue during the treatment.
Although Chew isn’t technically a true support dog, the presence of emotional support in canine form can benefit dogs, studies show.
In 2018, 29 military dogs participated in an experiment in which they had weekly socialization sessions with a non-military dog, where they could do whatever they wanted at the time. Their behavior was assessed after the study and found that dogs that participated in the experiment showed less aggressive behaviors than military dogs that did not have regular socialization with another dog.
Dr. Stanley Coren, a psychologist who works on the human-animal relationship, theorized in psychology today that these effects were not just due to overall socialization sessions, but “the effects of exposure to a therapy dog for short periods of time”.
It’s clear that Chew had huge benefits for Gue during his healing process, and TikTok viewers were touched by their brotherly relationship.
“Everything for fur babies,” wrote one user.
“Chew deserved this certification,” added another.
Newsweek contacted Giulia for comment.
Chew and Gue aren’t the only dogs to play an important role in each other’s lives. Just this month, two more dogs have gone viral for their apparent love for each other.
Dog Rocky and his sister Marlow have gained over 800,000 views after their owner captured Rocky “obsessed” with his canine brother.