By Christy Strawser
(WWJ) We live in a strange world sometimes, a world where adults dress up in costume as giant furry pets for fun, ahem, and occasionally sexual reasons and have conventions celebrating their lifestyle.
They’re called furries.
Wikipedia says they’re folks who are “an enthusiast for animal characters with human characteristics, in particular a person who dresses up in costume as such a character.”
And at their latest convention in Novi, Motor City Furry Con, a nice Midwest woman from suburban Monroe, Mich., accidentally attended because she thought it was an event celebrating a love for dogs. Actual dogs.
Cheryl Wassus brought her dog, a friendly-looking Bernese who works as a therapy animal, because this year’s furry convention chose her shelter, called Pets for Vets, as its charity recipient for the event. Wassus’ nonprofit pairs dogs with military veterans.
She showed up with her therapy dog Link, a folding table and literature, to spread word about the great work done by her non-profit.
There was some confusion when she got there and saw grown men and women in costumes instead of the array of pets she was expecting. Her son, a producer for New York Magazine, spread word about what happened on Twitter.
Overall, she kept a sense of humor about the experience.
“Yeah, I had no idea I was walking into Furry Con,” she told NY Mag. “It was a little embarrassing at first because Link was just a little curious why people were wearing tails, so he was doing some serious tail-sniffing and checking out people. They weren’t offended, though, they just embraced him. It was all good. Just a real interested community.”
It sounds in the interview like she had a good day after getting through the confusion of figuring why all the “furries” were humans in costumes and not dogs who needed to be adopted. It looks like Link had a great day, too.
He posed for photos with several furries in all their glory.
And she learned a little something too.
“To each his own,” she told NY Mag. “This seems pretty harmless. It seemed like there were lots of people around the same age. I saw little pieces of humanity I’d never seen before.”
For their part, the furries were happy to have her, said Edward Hyena, manager of operations for the Novi event.
“While we regret that there was a misunderstanding as to the nature of our attendees, we are happy that Cheryl had a good time, and that she and her charity were well received,” he said. “Overall at our event, our attendees raised $11,659 for Pets for Vets, which is a new record for us. We did mention that she should bring her dog because we see donations increase markedly when live animals are present.”