Paws for thought: this man spent R250 000 to look exactly like a border collie

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The "dog modelling suit" was created by a company in Japan. (PHOTO: Youtube)
The "dog modelling suit" was created by a company in Japan. (PHOTO: Youtube)

Sit, roll over, play dead – it’s a dog’s life for this Japanese man who’s gone viral after forking out thousands to make his dream of living as a canine come true. 

The dog lover, known only as Toko-san, forked out about 2 million yen (R247 000) to have a super-realistic furry costume made of one of his favourite dog breeds: a border collie. 

And evidently he’s very pleased with the results, judging by a video he posted on YouTube which shows him standing on all fours just like a pooch and rolling over onto his back. The clip has already raked in a million views.

“I made it a collie because it looks real when I put it on,” Toko-san told Japanese news outlet Mynavi about his canine costume.

“My favourite is quadrupedal animals – especially cute ones. Among them, I thought that a big animal close to me would be good, considering that it would be a realistic model, so I decided to make it a dog.” 

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It took Zeppet, a Japanese company that creates costumes and sculptures for films and adverts, about 40 days to make the outfit that would transform him into a Lassie-lookalike. Several versions were made before their customer was happy.

“The point is that the skeleton of a dog can be reproduced on the skeleton of a human. Since the structure of the skeleton is very different, we spent a lot of time studying how to make it look like a dog,” a company employee says, adding that dozens of photographs of collies were used as a reference. 

While some may find the whole thing rather bizarre, it’s believed that hundreds of thousands of animal lovers around the world enjoy dressing up as furry pets. 

“Furries are fans, just like anyone else,” says Courtney Plante, professor of psychology at Bishop’s University in Canada. “Whenever we see someone acting in an unusual way, we have an innate need to try and understand why they’re doing that.” 

While dressed up, Toko-san has people convinced he
Toko-san is going out of his way to convince people he's a real Border collie. (PHOTO: YouTube)

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Furries are people who have an active interest in animal characters with human characteristics.

“They’re fans of films, stories and artwork that feature animals [that] walk, talk, and do human things,”  Courtney told Women’s Health. 

However the online community has been divided on Toko-san’s getup with some calling it “kawaii” [Japanese for cute], while others think it ludicrous. 

Nonetheless, Toko-san is thrilled at how everything has turned out.

“I was able to fulfil my dream of becoming an animal!” he wrote on Twitter.


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