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Walkies, er, Dave; Odd double lives of 'human pups'; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: LEIGH HOLMWOOD

CHANNEL 4 is to show its most barking documentary yet as it explores the weird world of "human pups" - grown men who enjoy dressing up as dogs.

But the subjects of Secret Life of the Human Pups insist it is not sexual and their yearning to wear rubber outfits and masks is a lifestyle choice.

Oxford graduate Kye, 28, says: "Puppy play is definitely not about sex, it is a form of escapism."

The craze has 10,000 followers in the UK, according to the show, although few of them are women.

Kye explains: "Females who are into pet play are usually into kitten play as they identify more with kittens than pups." Tom, 32, a theatre technician from Tring, Herts, has split from fiancee Rachel due to his love of dressing up as Dalmatian Spot.

He says: "You disappear and start chasing puppy toys. You go so deep into the head space, you crave it and want it. It's just magic."

Rachel, who is still friends with Tom, adds: "I didn't understand it. I didn't want to understand it then."

Tom - who has spent the past 10 years playing puppy and splashed out more than [euro]6,000 - proudly shows off his costume, together with hood and breathing tube. He tells the camera: "It is quite awkward to put on, you need a lot of talc."

Tom has even taken to sleeping in a dog training crate - complete with a lining of puppy training pads in case he has a call of nature.

As reigning Mr Puppy UK, Tom travels to Belgium to compete in Mr Puppy Euro with burly "handler" Colin. Tom admits: "Rachel thought I was becoming gay.

"A tiny bit of me regrets being a puppy because I lost what I had."

Secret Life of the Human Pups, Channel 4, Wednesday at 10pm.

mirrornews@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

DOG'S LIFE Rachel and Spot on sofa

PLAY TIME Two human pups with their handler

DOWN, BOY! Rachel keeps Spot, or Tom, on tight leash

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 21, 2016
Words:341
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