Lion-Dog Shocking Oregon Residents (Photos)

At first glance, it looks like the dog bears a striking resemblance to a lion.

On closer inspection, it becomes clear that Winston Michael is merely an English Mastiff dog donning a lion's mane costume, KREM reports.

Regardless, the dog has captured international attention after his owner, Blair Steinfeld, decided to dress the animal up like a lion.

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After the City of Portland told Steinfeld she could only excavate her backyard if she installed a fence to protect an old willow tree's root system from her equipment, she hired Winston for the job.

Throwing on his lion Halloween costume, the dog sits and protects the area around the tree now.

“We're protecting the tree and the pride, as well,” Steinfeld jokes.

The unusual looking dog drew stares from passersby.

“Across the street, it really looked like there was a lion and I'm like, ‘What is going on?’” Joanna Clarke explained.

It's not the first time a dog resembling a lion has turned heads, DogTime reports.

Norfolk, Virginia, residents called authorities after finding what they believed was a baby lion roaming around their neighborhood.

“I’d like to report a lion sighting,” one man said to a 911 operator.

“Say that again?” 

It was one of many similar phone calls they would be receiving that day.

“There was a lion that ran across the street. A baby lion,” another woman said. “It was about the size of a Labrador Retriever."

“I just saw an animal that looked like a small lion,” said another caller. “Had the mane and everything. I don’t know if it got away from the zoo, or what.”

Police were bewildered.

“I thought to myself, ‘Well, this is going to be a very interesting day,” Norfolk Police Department Spokesperson Karen Parker-Chesson said.

But the so-called lion terrifying the local town was simply Charles the Monarch, a 3-year-old Labradoodle whose owner, Daniel Painter, purposefully groomed to resemble a lion.

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“My daughter was going to school at Old Dominion University, and their mascot is a lion,” Painter explained. “And so when he grew as a puppy, his hair was just really full, and so without telling [anyone], I took him to the dog hair place and told them I wanted him shaved like a lion.”

Sources: KREMDogTime / Photo credit: Bernard Gagnon/Wikipedia, Katherine Cook/KREM, Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via DogTime

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