Two Dogs Bump Into Each Other At The Park — But Only One Of Them Is Real

His movements are so lifelike 😲

About 15 years ago, while studying puppeteering at a theater academy in Poland, Łukasz Puczko had the idea to craft a new marionette to call his very own — one of a bouncy, bubbly dog whom Puczko would name Burek.

Using wood, string and artificial fur, it took several months for Puczko to painstakingly build Burek in his workshop. But perhaps more importantly, it took longer yet to study the intricacies of dog mannerisms so that Puczko would better know how to bring Burek to life.

“During the build, I was observing dogs for their behavior to find out what movement would be needed in a puppet,” Puczko told The Dodo. “I was learning from mistakes. Burek, for me, represents my determination.”

And with that, Burek was born.

Łukasz Puczko

After leaving school, Puczko began performing on the street with Burek — traveling to various countries with his homemade pup in tow.

Wherever Puczko and Burek went, they were met with delight by people and dogs alike.

Łukasz Puczko

The experience that came with controlling a marionette dog led to improvements and several new iterations of Burek’s design, allowing for more lifelike and convincing movements. Soon, real dogs seemed to regard Burek as one of their own.

“For around 15 years of performing with every version of Burek, I've met thousands of dogs with different reactions,” Burek said. “With each, I was learning and practicing more and more.”

Łukasz Puczko

It’s one thing to discuss Puczko’s work with Burek, but it’s another thing to see them both in action.

Recently, the puppeteer shared footage from a day he and Burek were performing in a local park. A small crowd had gathered to watch the show. And among them was a real dog, similar in size and appearance to Burek.

As a testament to Puczko’s skills, the real dog appeared convinced that Burek was a real dog, too.

Encounters like this one speak to the power of puppeteering — blurring the lines, if but for a moment, between what is real and what’s imagined.

And soon Puczko began using that effect for more than mere entertainment.

Łukasz Puczko

“I started to meet kids and adults who were afraid of dogs, and I would work with them,” Puczko said. “They knew [Burek] was a puppet, but the movement was too real. But because I'm deciding what the puppet will do, I could slowly get them used to [dogs]. Eventually, they were able to pet Burek, breaking their fear. For some of them, it was the first time they’d ever pet a dog.”

In a way, Burek has become a friendly ambassador for all of dogdom.

“I’m very proud of those moments,” Puczko said.

Łukasz Puczko

Seeing Puczko's ability to embody a dog so convincingly, it should come as no surprise that he has a soft spot for pets — and that Burek isn’t the only one in his life.

“I love animals. For four years now, I’ve had an amazing rescue dog named Miya,” Puczko said, adding that, through his puppetry, he’s able to interact with her as a virtual peer: “She loves to play with Burek and treats him like a toy.”