A very cute dog that should not be confused with a pup or pooch.

Artists and art lovers are familiar with the concept of the uncanny valley, in which depictions of people become more unsettling as they approach, but fail to reach, photo-realism, and something similar happens with stuffed animals too. A highly stylized teddy bear or Hello Kitty plushie, for example, are going to be much cuter than more realistic taxidermy-like versions would.

And yet, Japanese artist and Twitter user @fuko717_ has created a dog plushie that looks exactly, and we mean exactly, like its inspiration, and yet is still completely adorable. So how did she keep its appearance looking entirely authentic without being at all creepy?

Like this.

“Wait a second, that doesn’t look like any dog I’ve ever seen!” you might be saying…or you might be saying “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen that dog…in Japanese class.” That’s because when @fuko717_ said she made a dog stuffed animal, she didn’t mean a plushie that looks like the animal, but a plushie that looks like the word “dog” as it’s written in Japanese, with the kanji character (pronounced inu). She’s on solid linguistic ground all around here, as the Japanese word for a stuffed plush toy, nuigurumi, doesn’t necessarily have to indicate an animal in the way that the English term “stuffed animal” does.

Of course, one of the best parts of dog ownership is taking your dog for a walk, so @fuko717_ and her dog quickly headed out for a stroll.

Japan loves a good pun (and even bad ones), so Twitter users quickly fell in love with this adorable and accurate dog plushie, leaving comments such as:

“Well, you’re not wrong…”
“It’s different than what I was expecting, but this is, most definitely, a dog plushie.”
“It’s so cute! I want to feed it some treats.”
“Hey now, make sure you keep it on a leash.”

@fuko717_ has also produced some other colors (breeds?) of dog plushies, and they’ve quickly become the most popular items on her online shop, with happy owners sharing photos of their new dog-owner lifestyles.

▼ “Look, my dog is taking a nap.”

▼ “My dog is so cute, I just had to take it for a walk!”

Unfortunately, the plushies are currently sold out, but if you’re someone who loves dogs and/or linguistics, you can keep an eye on their order page here while keeping your fingers crossed that another litter of them comes along.

Source, images: Twitter/@fuko717_
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always happy to look at the softer side of Japanese linguistics.