Worst Thing Is, He Keeps Trying to Chase Himself Up Trees

Meet the dog with an identity crisis: Tanu, the Japanese raccoon dog whose owner’s Twitter feed is the Internet’s latest shiny object. Also known as a “tanuki,” the breed is often mistaken for a raccoon or badger, but it’s 100 percent pup.



“You must check this out. His little legs!” squees Julie H. UPDATE: Andrew Y. actually sent this to me first; sorry for not acknowledging you, Andrew.

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26 thoughts on “Worst Thing Is, He Keeps Trying to Chase Himself Up Trees

  1. Laura January 28, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    When we lived in Sasebo, Japan back in the ’90s, our favorite restaurant by FAR was nicknamed the “Drunken Raccoon” by the local English speakers because of the cartoon-like tanuki in the restaurant’s logo. I don’t think I’d ever seen an actual photo of a real tanuki until now, however! But darn, it makes me hungry for that INCREDIBLY delicious yakitori, especially the enoki mushrooms….drool…..

  2. myiglets January 28, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    Wow!! I love him!

    “Is the food purple or blue?”

    I see purple. 🙂

    • Faye January 28, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      Blue! Noooooooooo

      • fkaWaldenPond January 28, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        I see purple! For reals. I will ask others in the office what they see. I rather look at this and scratch my head instead of a dress.

        • Faye January 28, 2016 / 12:28 pm

          Actually, if you zoom in the food looks like wedges of those purple potatoes. I switch my vote. Purple.

          Much more cute than the dress.

  3. Faye January 28, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I’m in love with him. A dog that looks like a raccoon. Bliss. His face is so earnest and the doggish nose is begging to be repeatedly booped.

    • Faye January 28, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      Hey, what is it with Japan and Australia? How do people get anything done in those countries?

      • Julie January 28, 2016 / 1:03 pm

        I agree. It’s not fair that they get such cute animals. The only animal I can think of that is indigenous to the United States and not commonly found elsewhere is the turkey.

        So yeah. They get quokkas, raccoon dogs, koalas, capybaras, wombats, kangas, those cool hot spring monkeys, etc. And we get turkeys. 🙁

        • patris January 28, 2016 / 1:08 pm

          Australia’s punishment for having all those nifty little guys is spiders as big as dinner plates, though.

          • Saffron January 28, 2016 / 4:14 pm

            Yipes. Just thinking about spideys that big gives me the wilies….

        • debg January 28, 2016 / 1:14 pm

          and cardinals

          • debg January 28, 2016 / 1:15 pm

            But I agree that it’s not fair. I’m totally missing Wombat Wednesday. NOMTOM, need more wombats stat!

        • myiglets January 28, 2016 / 2:13 pm

          Australia is home to the most cutest and the most deadliest creatures in all the world.

          Have you ever heard a koala growl? They sound like demons, for reals.

        • Blue Footed Booby April 3, 2017 / 1:58 pm

          Friendly reminder that raccoons are native to North America, though there were attempts to introduce them in Europe for god knows what reason.

      • Beemoused January 28, 2016 / 1:05 pm

        That question continually puzzles me. Remember that line out of the old movie Die Hard: “Pearl Harbor didn’t work out so we got you with tape decks”?

        I suspect that they have changed tactics over there and are trying to overwhelm the world with cute!

  4. Stressfactor January 28, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Not to be pedantic but… Tanuki, while in the family Canidae like dogs, wolves, and foxes, are actually closer to foxes than they are to dogs…. And personally, I can see it. To me they look kind of fox-like. They also reportedly vocalize more like foxes than like dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0kO_e7JnSk

  5. Rachel January 28, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    And now I know where the tanooki suit you could get for Mario way back in the Nintendo days in Super Mario Bros 3 came from!

    But do the actual animals fly? Because in the game he could, using the tail. 🙂

  6. Julie January 28, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Soooo happy that we didn’t lose our connection to Andrew Y.!! On CO he was the best submitter!! Only Concord Barb and Paul came close.

    • Andrew January 29, 2016 / 12:37 am

      Thanks Julie 😀 I feel honored :3

  7. Tamara January 29, 2016 / 10:56 am

    What? No one has mentioned the many applications for Tanuki testicles that our industrious Japanese friends have discovered?! Back in the day, while searching for the best type of animal skin to sandwich a bit of gold in and bang super thin for gold leafing… it was found that tanuki ball sacks were far superior than anything boring and conventional like goat hide! Tanuki testicles evolved in the culture to be a sign of wealth and contentment, it was popular to have a wallet made of their scrotum as it was believed it could increase your wealth.

    There is a lot of Japanese art work depicting Tanuki using their huge scrotums for any number of interesting things! Flying, sailing, catching fish, moving house, weight lifting, as an umbrella or a blanket…the practical applications are practically endless!


    • 6rabbits January 30, 2016 / 10:00 am

      There’s even an animated children’s movie that stars tanukis with scrotums bigger than their whole body! 😳

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