Extreme Anthropomorphism: Boomer the Dog

By: Wendi Wan, Producer, Taboo USA

What is it about dogs that make us love them so much? It’s partly because of their loveable, adoring nature and also because we know they are loyal, protective, and great company. Heading out to small town in Pennsylvania to meet Boomer the Dog, I had no idea what to expect. Boomer sounded smart, lovely, and completely down to earth in our phone conversations; but I suspected that this picture of normalcy might be shattered when I met him in person. After all, Boomer truly believes that he is part-human, part-dog. As we approached his front door, we were greeted with a loud bark. The door creaked open and there in front of us was a tall, thin man, in his early 50’s with long, long brown hair, two pigtails on the sides of his head and the dopiest but most sincere smile I may have ever seen.

Over the next few days, Boomer the Dog both shocked and amazed us. He showed us his brand new doghouse and demonstrated how comfortable and convenient it was to sleep in the house versus in a human bed. He put on his full sized paper dog suit and frolicked around with real dogs. He opened up a can of dog food, got down on all fours and went at it… lapping up the dog food and slurping down water with complete abandonment, as though he’d never walked on two feet or held a utensil in his hand. He ran around in the backyard chasing after bones and hiding behind trees. And all the while, he seemed nothing but happy and free. We wondered if he’d found the answer that we are all looking for. Somehow, by taking on the persona of a dog, he had actually managed to release himself from the stresses and constraints of human society.

After three full days spent with Boomer (“Boom Time” as he called it), it was finally time to say goodbye. As I gave him a hug and headed for the door, I noticed for the first time, a trace of some emotion other than happiness cross his face. I knew Boomer was sad to see us go, but I also knew that the next time we were in Pennsylvania, we’d have a best friend just waiting to see us!

Tune in to Taboo USA: Secret Passions this Tuesday at 10P


  1. Keiko
    June 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

    Why can’t NatGeo make a segment on me? 😛 I make fursuits.

  2. Ron
    June 5, 2013, 12:10 am

    Bow Wow Boomer, Bow Wow.

  3. Boomer The Dog
    June 6, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Thanks to everyone for watching, hope you liked it.


  4. JaSonic Hedgehog
    LaSalle, Quebec (Canada)
    June 11, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Boomer, we live in a society that sometimes accepts or denies, they feel positive to the fact that you really are trying very hard to become a dog for real… It’s impossible to change as we were born into human bodies, but yes dressing up in fursuits and whatnot makes us connect to our inner animal… since I am a hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog is my fursuit… and for you, Boomer, it’s a dog fursuit, and it’s a real creative fursuit you have. I have seen you lots of times already in videos so you’re SOOOO not unknown to me 🙂

    See you on the next Doggy Radio.

  5. Julie Montano
    Pahrump, NV
    June 11, 2013, 5:09 pm

    Im Tired Of Freaks. Put Something Worth Watching On. Boomer Is Just Strange. Don’t Shove His Weirdness On Us.

  6. Alex Shaw
    June 24, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Keiko! I’ll do a segment on you. Write me at alex at das website dot com

  7. Mike Achhammer
    June 27, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Boomer has been a very good friend since 1989. In all of the time I have known him, he has been a very loyal and devoted friend. He has never betrayed me and I wish more people were as true as him. He’s been more loyal in bad times than some of my “normal” friends. I have never been ashamed to have him as a friend.

    Sure Boomer might be “different” but he’d do anything to help someone. He has always been very polite to my folks and my friends and nearly all of my friends and family who have met him have always liked him and enjoy having him around.

    In all of the years I have been friends with him, I have never known him to drink, use drugs or even utter a bad word.

    I knew both of his parents and used to sit and talk with them for hours at a time when they were alive and I was there. They were both very nice and wonderful people.

    Julie, as far as having “his wierdness” shoved on anyone, I’m very sorry you don’t have a television that you can change the channel on. If you knew him like I do you’d see past him being “strange”.

  8. […] Sources: Boomer the Dog, National Geographic […]

  9. […] Boomer the Dog, a man with a canine soul, often roams the streets of Pittsburgh in a large dog costume, barking at every passing car and digging holes in the backyard. Boomer takes his persona very seriously and wishes everyone would treat him like a real dog. People like him are called furries and are a subculture first recognized in the United States in the 1980s. Furries believe they are anthropomorphic animals with human characteristics such as high intelligence, the ability to speak and walk on two legs, facial expressions and so on. Dressing up in animal costumes is a hobby to most of them, but Boomer has taken it to the extreme, making his furry fandom the focus of his life. […]

  10. […] summer, Boomer welcomed National Geographic’s Taboo USA to his home in Pittsburgh to look at his life as a ‘furry’ – people interested […]

  11. […] Extreme Anthropomorphism: Boomer the Dog (National Geographic) […]

  12. Are we all a little furry? - Ayzad
    October 31, 2013, 1:06 pm

    […] bobtail who barks, plays at catching sticks and eats from a bowl. The idea was to show you the trailer of his interview, crack a couple of jokes about the sexuality of furverts, explain the psychology of other full-time […]

  13. Siamo tutti un po’ furry? - Ayzad
    October 31, 2013, 1:18 pm

    […] che abbaia, gioca a riportare i legnetti e mangia dalla ciotola. L’idea era di mostrarvi il trailer dell’intervista, fare due battute sulla sessualità dei fuvert, spiegare la psicologia degli altri “animalisti” […]

  14. […] Matthews was featured in a June National Geographic special, “Extreme Anthromorphism: Boomer the Dog.” […]

  15. Fat Albert
    May 25, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Boomer, … no,.. Mathew, if you’re reading this, while I respect the fact that you love dogs so much, there really IS such a thing as going “too far” with it. I hate to have to tell you this, but if you keep on pushing these boundaries, I fear that one of these things will end up happening to you: 1. You are going to get upset and BITE somebody. Do that, and it’s “off to the psychiatric ward” with you!!! 2. You are going to get mauled by a dog that gets “freaked out” by you! 3. Your SANITY is going to end up being called into question by “professionals” who can order you into a treatment facility ( again, a psychiatric ward – believe me, you will NOT like the treatment you’d recieve in such facilities! Kindness is in short supply there. ) 4. You WON’T be allowed in church. 5. You may get shot by someone, a criminal who will NOT “understand.” And lastly, ( 6. ), you may get hit by a car out on one of your “freeway escapades!” It would be “ironic” that just a few feet away, there would be a REAL dead cat or dog! Sorry, I just HAD to throw that in.
    But seriously, you’re taking this whole “Boomer” thing too far. I can only HOPE you know to NOT chase cars on the I-93!!!