Japanese man who spent $16,000 to become a dog ‘fails’ agility test

Japanese man who spent $16,000 to become a dog ‘fails’ agility test
via @I_want_to_be_an_animal / YouTube
Carl Samson
By Carl Samson
December 7, 2023
The Japanese man who made headlines throughout the year for chronicling his journey as a “dog” has apparently flunked an agility course.
What happened: The man, known to his followers as Toco, posted a series of photos on Instagram this week showing what appeared to be moments of failure in a Crufts-style agility course. Without any video, it is unclear whether he actually botched the popular canine test, but some of the images show him “breaking” the obstacles.
About Toco: Toco rose to fame in 2022 after commissioning Zeppet, a Japanese model and sculpture company, to create a hyperrealistic rough collie costume for 2 million yen (around $16,000 at the time). He then started posting his adventures on social media, including his YouTube channel, which has now grown to having more than 60,000 subscribers.
Toco became widely reported this year after stepping out of his house for his first public walk. In subsequent interviews, he expressed hopes of becoming a movie star and claimed that real dogs have not treated him as an equal.
Reactions: As in many of his posts, Toco has drawn mixed reactions for his “failed” agility test.
“I think he might be a Therian — a strange one but a Therian nonetheless,” one Instagram user wrote, citing a term defined in Urban Dictionary as “someone who identifies as a non-human earthen animal either spiritually or psychologically.”
Another commented, “He tried his best, that’s what matters.”
“Please take your meds,” one user advised.
Another claimed, “You are not a dog, you are an old man with a BIG mental problem.”
 
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