Yogi the dog is a fluffy little Shih-poo with soft fur, strokable ears, and an expression which suggests he can read your innermost thoughts.
Humans, as a rule, love dogs – they’re widely regarded to be ‘man’s best friend’ after all. This is often because we trust their loyal, dopey faces; so full of innocent joy and an unquenchable eagerness to please.
Yogi’s face is a different matter entirely, with a penetrating pair of eyes which fix you with a steady, secretive gaze. His eyebrows appear to arch slightly, adding to his quizzical look.
There’s no drooling tongue dangling from Massachusetts-based Yogi’s pink, humanoid lips. Simply the beginnings of a knowing – almost cynical – smile.
Combine these attributes with an unusually defined brow and snout, and you’ve a being which appears to be a cursed man trapped inside a canine body. Perhaps as a hellish punishment for saying the word ‘walk’ and not following through on the promise?
The effect is disquieting to say the least, and people from all over the world collectively freaked out when Yogi’s owner – Chantal Desjardins – shared pictures of the four-legged, hairy bloke on her Facebook page.
The pictures quickly went viral when one of Chantal’s friends uploaded them to Reddit, where people were confused as to what exactly they were looking at.
At first glance, many mistakenly believed they were looking at a humorous face-swap, but when reality dawned, they quickly became afraid and tried to forget what they’d seen.
As one Redditor shudderingly put it:
I laughed, then I got uncomfortable, now I’m rocking back and forth desperately trying to convince myself it’s just a face swap. [sic]
The unusual nature of Yogi’s appearance is particularly pronounced in a picture of him posing alongside ‘normal’ dog, Daria; an eight-year-old Shih Tzu who lives with Yogi, and is no doubt as baffled by his existence as the rest of us:
Some felt Yogi resembled Nicholas Cage or Jake Gyllenhaal, while others drew comparisons with Ed Sheeran. Yogi’s face is many things to many people, who just aren’t sure whether to pet him, or ask him how his latest album is coming along.
Chantal has been amused by the public reaction, having never before realised anything odd about her little weredog.
Speaking with the Mirror, Chantal confirmed she hadn’t used Photoshop to achieve the disconcerting effect, explaining the weirdness as ‘the way he’s looking at the camera’.
It really isn’t [edited]. I’m not a photographer at all. I think it’s just his eyes and the way he’s looking at the camera.
— Colmarie #ProEU #NHSLove ✋ (@lettiemarie17) March 13, 2018
Chantal also gave a little insight into Yogi’s sweet – and perfectly normal – doggy personality, which will no doubt relieve those who’ve been having nightmares about this dog sitting back in a chair and offering sagely advice.
He’s super happy. He loves to play and cuddle. It’s funny because I really didn’t see it before. I don’t really see him differently.
It’s true what they say. Behind every man-dog, there’s a good boy who just wants to be stroked.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.