Japanese Dog Man Shares His First Walk in His $14K Collie Costume with the World

  • Becoming a dog wasn’t cheap, but at least it seems to make him happy.

When you have a dream, you’ll go to great lengths to make it a reality. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous it may seem to outsiders. It’s something you want, and it’s what you’ll get.

One Japanese man has a dream. Yet, it is a decidedly unusual one — he wants to be a dog.

We’re not talking about furries who make intricate costumes to transform themselves into humanoid cartoon animals, either. The man, known online by the nickname Toco, wants to be a genuine, bona fide, barking, postman-chasing dog.

And he made it happen.

Well, as far as humanly possible, anyway. Last year, Toco opened a Twitter account to break the news about his brand-spanking-new dog costume to the world.

It didn’t come cheap, though. Toco says he spent around 2 million yen — more than $14,000 — on his collie costume.

The outfit is a remarkable piece of work. At a brief glance, you might mistake Toco for a real dog when donning his costume.

Recently, Toco shared a video of him taking his first public walk as a dog. Although the event itself happened last year, he just now went public with it.

Look, a dream’s a dream, and he fulfilled his. Here’s the story of Toco, his dog obsession, and his first walk.

Photos courtesy of Zeppet.

A Desire to Transform

The first question on your mind right now is probably, “Why?” Why does Toco want to be a dog?

Frankly, he’s not quite sure. Toco says he finds the question difficult to answer, as it’s something that’s just always been a part of his life.

As far as he’s aware, he was just born with dogs on his mind.

“Ever since I was a small child, I wanted to be an animal,” Toco told Daily Mail.

“I think it is a desire to transform. I’ve thought about it since I can remember.”

He used to have a dog, a medium-sized mutt that looked like a Kishu. Yet, playing with his pup didn’t fill the dog-shaped hole in his soul.

After all, Toco didn’t want to own a dog — he wanted to be the dog.

Toco is self-aware, though, and realizes his “hobby,” as he calls it, is unusual. That’s why uses a nickname and never posts his human appearance online.

“I don’t want my hobbies to be known, especially by the people I work with,” he said.

“They think it’s weird that I want to be a dog. For the same reason, I can’t show my real face.”

Fine Handiwork

Although he understands the strangeness of his obsession, Toco wasn’t willing to give up on it. So, how could he best go about fulfilling his deepest desire?

To help him, Toco hired Japanese costume and special effects studio Zeppet to help him. Together, they set about constructing his dog suit.

Together, they began thinking about which kind of dog they should model the suit after. They eventually settled on a collie, as the dog’s large size and long hair would make the costume seem more real.

“I thought a big animal close to my size would be good considering that it would be a realistic model,” said Toco.

Yet, Toco had to pay a lot for his costume. Zeppet billed him more than $14,000, but Toco paid without grumbling.

Over the next 40 days, Zeppet painstakingly handcrafted the costume to look as close to a real collie as possible. The suit uses synthetic fur and incorporated inventive mechanics to overcome the differences between dog and human anatomies.

“We used photos of collies shot from different angles, enhanced the fluffiness of the coat to hide the shell of the costume as much as possible, and made the mouth open and close by itself,” Zeppet explained.

We have to admit, Toco definitely got his money’s worth, as the suit is stupidly realistic.

However, it has some limitations. Toco noted that he can move in it, but not too much — at least if he wants to imitate authentic dog movement.

It’s just what it is. He can’t change the configuration of his joints, after all.

Today, I Am a Dog

So, Toco finally had his suit and was able to transform into the dog he always wanted to be. He didn’t want to just sit around in his home and be a bored pooch.

No, he wanted to interact with the world as a dog.

“I felt it was a waste to wear it alone and be satisfied, so I posted a video,” Toco said.

His first video understandably drew a mixed response. Some people couldn’t understand why a man would want to be a dog, while others straight-up ridiculed him.

Yet, there were those who accepted his quirk and were even happy for him. It’s not like he’s hurting anyone, so good for him, right?

Encouraged, Toco decided it was time to go for a walk. The walk happened last year, but he only recently shared a video of it with the world.

The footage shows him taking a few steps around with his walker and sitting on the ground receiving pets.

He even meets some canine buddies. The real pooches seem to realize something’s off about the big, bizarre dog they’re meeting (Toco can’t change his scent to a dog’s) but otherwise, they act pretty much the same as they would with any dog.

Think what you will about his dream, but the fact stands that Toco realized his dream. He’s harming nobody and he’s happy with what he’s done — that has to be worth something.

Also, we just can’t get over the craftsmanship of that suit.

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