We've all been duped from time to time, but it's rare that the wool is pulled over our eyes for too long - deception can be too hard to sustain. For one Chinese woman, however, the joke was on her for over a year, after she discovered that a pedigree dog that she bought and raised is actually a fox. Check out the video here:
Ms Wang, from Jinzhong in Shanxi Province, just to the south of Beijing, purchased the animal under the impression that it was a Japanese spitz, a highly prized breed of dog similar to a Shiba Inu.
According to the Daily Mail, she paid the equivalent of £140 for the creature, but was surprised when it refused to eat dog food after three months, and when its tail continued to grow much longer than that of a dog.
She took the dog to a local zoo, who confirmed to her that it was actually a baby fox. Her suspicions had been raised because her new puppy never seemed to bark at anything.
"The fur got thicker when it reached three months old. Its face became pointy and its tail grew longer than that of a normal dog," she told media in China.
A real Japanese spitz - NB not a fox. Credit: PA
"Other pet dogs seemed to be scared by my pet so I walked it with a leash."
She had been feeding it fruit, chicken breasts and regular dog food, but after a few months, the fox began to reject the dog food. Its features became increasingly angular and it started to look like, well, a fox.
This was confirmed by Sun Letian, an expert in disease prevention among animals at the Taiyuan Zoo.
"Based on the size, it is a domesticated fox. It carries a smell in their body and the smell can get stronger as it grows older," she said.
The fox is 30cm long and expected to grow even bigger. As a white fox, it will not develop the characteristic orange colour, and indeed does look like a Japanese spitz.
Ms Wang has resolved to give the fox away to the Taiyuan Zoo so that it can receive the care that it needs, such as proper nutrition and a more suitable living area. The zoo has a fox enclosure, where the animal will now live.
According to Ms Wang, Sun Leitan told her: "If you miss it, come by and have a visit." That's nice, isn't it?
Can't help but feel like whoever sold Ms Wang a 'pedigree puppy' is getting off quite lightly here.
Featured Image Credit: Shanxi TV