Shark-dog, who made headlines for his Houdini-like escape, is loving the attention and about to get his wardrobe expanded.
Shark-dog first drew nationwide attention after he was spotted stalking around the suburban streets of Christchurch. A message was sent to Hoon Hay residents on Monday warning of an escaped pet, but locals got a surprise when they read the fine print.
"Runaway Dog, easy to spot kos he's dressed like a f***in shark [sic]," said a post on the Christchurch Buy Sell Swap Facebook page, accompanied with a photo of a dog in a grey pull-over shark outfit.
Hoon Hay mother Sarah Barry had dressed her obliging American pit bull, Chopper, in the costume at the request of her 2-year-old daughter, Layla.
When her back was turned the nimble shark-dog jumped over the gate and was gone.
Meanwhile, a woman a few blocks down posted a photo to Facebook of a happy-looking Chopper in his shark outfit asking if anyone knew who he belonged to.
Barry didn't see the post in time so Chopper went to the pound and was then brought home that afternoon.
A man from the pound dropped Chopper back with a big grin, saying he didn't believe a dog had been found in a shark outfit until he'd seen it for himself.
"As soon as Chopper was brought home ... he came inside and Layla and Chopper sat on the lounge chair having big snuggles.
"She was so happy to have him home, she adores him."
Barry said she's keen to kit Chopper out in more "fancy dress" outfits and add a banana and hot dog costume to the collection. She said the shark onesie has been a great investment at the price of $6 from Kmart. She hadn't gotten the other costumes at the time because they were out of the extra-large size that her dog needs.
"They're just different.
"I think my daughter would love it, too. She enjoys Chopper getting dressed up."
Barry thinks Chopper has loved all the attention. He showed off today when the Herald videoed him by proudly chomping on his stick and performing for the camera.
Although Barry has noticed a few negative comments on social media, she said most people thought it was a great joke.
"Some people are trying to say dressing up my dog is cruel. But it's not cruel when Chopper enjoys it.
"But there's definitely more people who see the funny side."
Barry said the escapades of Chopper are likely to be an ongoing issue. She says he escapes at least once a week, even though he has to jump over a 6ft fence.
"He just jumps and jumps and jumps until he's on top of the fence then he'll wander off.
"He can open doors with his mouth and paws. He's very mischievous.
"He's always been a wanderer, he can't wait for me to go for a walk - he'll just go by himself."
He had once been dognapped on one of his solo walks and the family didn't get him back for three months.