A Japanese man who shelled out thousands of dollars on a realistic rough collie costume to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a dog has shared a video of his first public walk.
The video: The man, known only by his canine moniker “Toco,” can be seen interacting with people and other dogs in the five-minute video, which was posted on his YouTube channel last Friday. Toco said it was filmed last year during an interview with German TV station RTL.
“Thankfully, I received permission to use the videos, so I am releasing them to the public! On the day of the interview, they were very kind to me,” Toco wrote in the description.
As in most of his videos, Toco masterfully behaves like a four-legged furball. His stunt appears to be well-received by both bystanders and their own dogs, although some dogs show initial fear after approaching Toco.
What we know about Toco: Toco rose to global fame last year after commissioning model and sculpture company Zeppet to create the costume for him. The whole thing cost him 2 million yen, or around $15,700 at the time.
Since then, Toco has chronicled his journey on his YouTube channel, which now has about 31,000 subscribers. Most of his videos are filmed indoors, which makes the latest one extra special.
While fans celebrate Toco for living his dream, the anonymous canine has been adamant about not revealing his identity, particularly with coworkers. “I don’t want my hobbies to be known, especially by the people I work with,” he told the Daily Mail last year.
Even with friends, Toco remains careful. “I rarely tell my friends because I am afraid they will think I am weird,” he told the Mirror in December.
Online reactions: Toco’s latest video has drawn many positive reactions, but some — likely those watching him for the first time — remain shocked at his appearance and antics.
“Now this is a unique surprise. I never thought you would go into the public,” one YouTube user commented. “I’m glad you had a good time.”
Another wrote, “This is the most bizarre and insane thing I’ve ever seen.”
“This is THE weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time,” another user declared. “All those people laughing and acting like it’s a dog doing tricks – no! It’s a weirdo in a dog costume, stop it!”
Meanwhile, one fan urged others to open their minds:
Alright, I’m done with everyone talking crap in the comment section. Not understanding one man’s dream is a thing, despising him because you find his dream weird is another. Like come on, let the guy enjoy his life to its fullest, let him achieve his dream the only way he can. We don’t all have normies dreams, and some of our dreams are not attainable. He managed to go halfway through one of them and this is great. So yeah, I support Toco through his journey as a human-dog, to be the best Collie he can be. If the world were more open-minded, we wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves, when it doesn’t hurt anyone.