Imagine the scene: you’re running into a shop with the sole intention of buying something, but you’re in such a rush you accidentally pick up the wrong item.
It’s easily done. Well, I like to think so anyway because I’ve lost count of the times it has happened to me!
Now imagine the thing you intended to pick up was a dog. And then imagine your reaction when you find out you’ve bought a rat instead.
Which is exactly what happened to one man from China when he picked up what he thought was an adorable little puppy.
According to btime.com, the office worker became lonely and decided that he needed a furry companion to keep him company.
What could go wrong, he probably thought. Dogs are a man’s best friend after all – they’re always excited to see you and comfort you when you’re feeling sad.
So he went ahead and bought the ‘puppy’. Admittedly, he said he bought it for relatively cheap which should probably have been the first red flag for him.
Everything was fine at first and the man was happy with his adorable little friend. But then he started to get suspicious when the animal’s behaviour didn’t match that of the canine kind.
It didn’t run like a dog should and the man found its behaviour quite strange, saying it was ‘particularly weird’.
Now, my dog can be weird at the best of times and I’m constantly questioning his behaviour. But I never doubt that he’s a dog, so I have to question what this ‘puppy’ was doing to raise alarm.
Anyway, the man had had enough and decided to get answers. According to Shanghaiist, he went online and posted pictures of his pet, asking people if they could determine what it was.
This is where things started getting weird, as it turned out he had been looking after a bamboo rat. Yep, you heard me right. The puppy he’d been raising was actually nothing of the sort.
According to KHAOSOK, this type of rat mostly eats bamboo and is nocturnal, meaning it only wakes up at night to look for food.
In hindsight, this might have been what prompted the man to question the authenticity of his ‘puppy’, as it would have been sleeping during the day.
Obviously, the man had no idea how to look after the rat and so decided to give his pet away. Which, let’s be honest, was probably the best outcome for the bamboo rat as now it will be able to live in the correct environment.
And this isn’t the first time something like this has happened! Another man in China bought a ‘dog’ only to find out it was something completely different months later.
According to Shanghaiist, the man named Tao was ‘instantly drawn’ to one dog, believing it to be a Pomeranian.
As the months went on, he started to notice peculiar things about his pet, in particular that it never barked. As it grew bigger, he realised it wasn’t a dog at all – it was a racoon.
Tao was made to hand over the animal to the local forestry service, who released it into the wild.
I’m sure both animals will be much better off in the wild and hopefully both men will find new furry friends to keep them company in the future!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).