Man who turned himself into a border collie announces drastic life change

Man who turned himself into a border collie announces drastic life change

Toco the "human collie" has become an internet sensation

Times of India - English / VideoElephant

A man who shot to worldwide notoriety for turning himself into a dog has a new, ambitious dream.

The cosplayer, who’s known only by his canine name Toco, spent some $14,000 (2 million yen or £11,000) on a hyperrealistic, custom-made border collie suit to help him realise his childhood dream of “becoming an animal”.

Now, having spent two years living as a pooch, he’s toying with other options.

Speaking to the news outlet WanQol, he suggested that having overcome the physical obstacles of becoming a dog, he was ready to take on a new challenge.

“I’d like to fulfil my dream of becoming another animal someday,” Toco told the site, according to a translation by the New York Post.

“Dogs and humans have different bone structures and the way they bend their legs and arms, so it’s very difficult to make movements that look like this,” he explained.

“I might realistically be able to become another dog, a panda or a bear,” he continued, adding: “A fox or a cat would also be nice, but they are too small for humans to try.”

It’s unclear whether he has already set the wheels in motion for his next transformation, but his 64,800 YouTube subscribers will be watching with bated breath.

Toco has amassed more than 50,000 subscribers on YouTube aloneEPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

Toco began his transformation two years ago when he tasked the company Zeppet – which normally makes costumes for films – with making the full-sized collie suit.

The process took weeks to complete and resulted in a jaw-dropping creation weighing around 4kg.

He spent a year wearing his furry disguise in private – getting used to walking around on all fours and getting to grips with his new persona.

Then, last summer, he took the plunge and wore it out in public, propelling him to internet stardom.

His endeavour, and the expense it entailed, may seem bewildering to most of us, but the man-cum-man’s-best-friend hopes others will follow suit.

Indeed, Toco admitted in an interview with the New York Post, published last September, that he yearned to find puppy love.

Asked about the prospect of romance between two people dressed up as dogs, he told the site: “I think it would be great if something like this existed.

“I would like to meet [a woman like this].”

One psychologist previously told The Post that Toco is a “therian”, meaning someone who identifies with a nonhuman species, as opposed to a “furry – referring to a subculture whose members enjoy occasional cosplay in an animal costume.

Toco interacts with an admirer on the streets of TokyoEPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

In a previous interview with Spanish news agency EFE, he admitted that he’s received a very mixed response to his unorthodox hobby, thanks to his YouTube and TikTok channels which have amassed millions of views between them.

“I receive all kinds of messages,” he said. “Alongside the positive messages, some [people] tell me they want to do the same thing, which has made me realise that there are others like me.

He did, however, admit that he had been subjected to less positive feedback, with other commentators telling him he was sick and had wasted his money.

And whilst his family and closest friends know about his canine alter-ego, he has chosen to keep his human identity secret for fear of harassment.

Still, none of the negativity has put him off, and he hasn’t ruled out the idea of getting other dog suits made in the future.

He told EFE that although the collie is his favourite dog breed, he also loves a number of others, including the Alaskan malamute, the Siberian husky and the golden retriever – all of which, given their relatively large size, should be pretty easy for him to emulate.

He acknowledged that many people find his behaviour strange, but said that won't stop him from living his dream EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

In his interview with The Post, Toco admitted that spending much of his day on all fours was often draining, but he stressed it was worth the pain for the sense of fulfilment it brings him.

“Rather than being tough or physically uncomfortable, the feelings of excitement and fun I receive from this experience are stronger,” he said.

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