A British man who identifies as a dog claims he has never felt like a human, the Mirror reported. Kaz James wears a fur dog suit and he eats from a dog bowl. He often barks at, licks, and even bites his friends.
"I didn't ever feel like a human, I always felt like a dog that was really out of place," James told the Mirror. "I was known by my friends for saying hello to them by grabbing hold of the collar of their shirt in my teeth and biting or licking them, very canine-type behaviors. It was always how I was."
The 37-year-old from Salford, Greater Manchester, who works as a store manager, describes himself as a "full-time orange, brown and camo K-9."
But it wasn't until his late teens that he found out there were others like him.
"I never really had a name for it, being a pup wasn't a thing I knew about," James told the Mirror. "When I met other people like me I felt I could be myself.
"The first time I heard the term of being a pup was through a pup I met online, he was the first person I met who was like me," he said. "Through him, I knew other pups and learned a whole new language of this other world that I didn't know about with a whole bunch of other people who were like me."
Now, James belongs to an online "pup play" community, which has helped him with his transition from a "part-time pooch to a confident canine," according to the Mirror.
"It was a liberating moment knowing there were other people like me, having felt properly weird for the longest time," James said.
James' pricey fur dog suit set him back about $2,200. He's also the author of the book, "How to Train a Human Pup."
When did he realize he was a pup?
As a young child, James said he knew he was different from others.
"I realized that my behaviors were quite dog-like in childhood, probably from the age of 6. No one ever talked about it, it was never mentioned," he told the newspaper.
After his parents retired, the family moved to a farm.
"It wasn't until the internet arrived in our house that I started chatting to people online — mostly through groups and message boards," he added.
He feared telling people about his feeling because they might think he was crazy.
"I was worried that If I ever spoke to anyone about it, they would be like 'you're a nut job,'" James said, but after meeting other pups, he found out his feelings weren't as uncommon as he thought.
"It's an experience that a lot of pups I know have had — feeling really weird and strange about how they are and then finding other people and feeling a lot better about it," he added.
Finally, James allowed his inner pup shine through after moving into a house with friends when he was 18.
"During that time, as I was finding out I was a pup, I met my first owner and he ended up living in that house with us," he said. "It was quite a steep learning curve for my friends who had gone to school with me and seen me be relatively normal and then learn all these interesting things about me."
Does he hang out with other pups?
James co-founded a group called Kennel Klub, a human pups meet up for play dates.
"My whole lifestyle is about being a pup," he said. "For me, it's an everything, I go about and live my day-to-day life relatively normally, that includes things like putting collars on at barking at people I know in the street.
"If I see pups out in the Village I will bark at them, I get funny reactions from passersby all the time," James added.
James also has two human pups of his own.
Does he dress like a dog at work?
The human pup said his attire depends on the activities he's doing.
"If I'm going to work I'm picking things that are fairly mild like a T-shirt that says 'pup' on the front," James said. "It's an extension of myself and dressing how I feel."
His pup wardrobe consists of dog suits, dog masks, leashes, harnesses, and other pup items.
"It makes me feel really great when people walk up to me and say I look really good, and it's great that people get a kick out of it, but it's not specifically done for other people," he added.
James told the mirror he's at peace as a dog.
"I feel a sense of peace being a human pup," he said. "Little things make me feel happy like eating my dinner out of a bowl using a knife and fork. I don't eat at people's tables when I go to friends' houses.
"I can be a normal person in a restaurant, I'm trained and can deal with humans, but I don't like it, it makes me feel uncomfortable," he continued.
While he does eat regular people food, James said that he also enjoys eating Bonios dog biscuits.
"I don't eat dog food, I eat regular food like a normal person, but I do eat Bonios," he said. "They're quite nice."
Is this really a thing?
James claims that the human pup scene took off after the 2016 documentary, "Secret Life of the Human Pups."
"We thought it was big before but after the documentary came out it just became insanely big and became a whole new other monster," he said.
James encourages others to try out being a pup.
"The best advice I could give to anyone interested in becoming a human pup just give it a try," he said.
But some people show up at the Kennel Klub out of curiosity.
"We do get people who just show up because they're interested in it, have a few drinks with everyone and chat about stuff," he said. "By the end of the night, they'll be on the floor with tennis balls in their mouths."