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Months after shelling out thousands of dollars on a customized dog costume to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a canine, a Japanese man has raised concerns about what his friends might think of him.
Toco, who documents his four-legged life on YouTube, commissioned model and sculpture company Zeppet to create a realistic rough collie costume for him earlier this year. The product, which cost 2 million yen (approximately $15,700 at the time), took some 40 days to finish after multiple rounds of revisions.
Since obtaining the prized costume, Toco has trained himself to behave like a real pooch.
Videos posted on his YouTube channel show him in the costume rolling over, playing frisbee, resting on a hammock, eating fake dog food and even wagging his tail.
Despite posting videos for months — and amassing nearly 11,000 subscribers in the process — Toco has not revealed his identity. In a new interview with the Mirror, he admitted to being concerned about the opinions of others, especially loved ones.
“I rarely tell my friends because I am afraid they will think I am weird,” he said. “My friends and family seemed very surprised to learn I became an animal.”
Still, the roleplay enthusiast maintained that becoming an animal was his childhood fantasy. He said he enjoys “doing things that only dogs do,” since they simulate the experience of being an actual pet.
“Since childhood, I have had this unspecific fantasy of becoming an animal. I wonder whether it was a desire for transformation,” Toco told the Mirror.
To avoid drawing people’s attention, he crouches onto the ground and mimics the movements of a real dog.
While Toco may be worried about his friends, he has found massive support from the internet.
“I’m so happy for you! It’s so sweet to see you fulfill your dreams,” one viewer wrote.
Another commented, “Make sure to get all them nutrients Toco! Your tricks are so impressive and these videos always cheer me up.”
“God, what I’d give for a costume like that, but of a crocodile,” another wrote. “You’re living my dream, man!