Just like humans do, dogs like visiting their friends—and Percy, a bull terrier in New Zealand, escaped his own house to visit his friend, author, filmmaker and activist Jazz Thornton.
In a video posted Wednesday set to the Mission: Impossible theme, Thornton goes to answer the door, only to see Percy there. The video, captioned “My neighbour’s dog literally broke out of his house and walked himself over to mine,” has been viewed over 600,000 times in 18 hours.
In the clip, as soon as Thornton opens the door for Percy, he runs straight for her bedroom, and the two cuddle.
“[Don’t worry] guys, I text the Neighbor that he broke out and she said he can hang out with me for a while,” Thornton wrote alongside the video.
This is far from the only video with Percy—in fact, he makes several appearances on her TikTok page. In another, Thornton takes Percy for a walk with his owner’s consent–in fact, Thornton says she “left a ‘Percy excursion bag’ of goodies for our adventure today,” in that video, seen over 164,000 times.
In another, about her “daily kidnapping” of Percy, she shows a text message from Percy’s owner inviting Thornton over, saying “Hello, heading out. You know what to do if you home and need a cuddle.” In that clip, she goes over and collects Percy and the two have a grand time playing.
From Thornton’s TikTok account, it appears that she only met Percy at the beginning of this month. In a clip posted on March 4 called “When you make best friends with the neighbors dog,” she mentions looking forward to petting him once she got out of isolation after a positive COVID test.
Percy’s second appearance is on March 19, where she explains the story of how she first met the pup.
“Okay, so if you’re new here, a while ago, I found a dog on my driveway, right? And I called the owners because the number was on the tag and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, can you please take the dog home? Like we live close to you?'” she said.
“So I was like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ And then they were like, ‘By the way, if you ever want to take the dog for a walk, like please let us know. You’re so more than welcome to. And I was like, ‘OK,’ because I love dogs. I took this dog on one walk—one walk!—and now,” she says, before cutting to a shot of Percy cuddling with Thornton on her bed.
“The mum now takes me and says, ‘Hey, we’re going to be out for the day, like, if you want to go get Percy. You’re so more than welcome.’ I have a dog without having a dog,” she concluded.
Newsweek reached out to Thornton for comment.
While Percy’s visits are very welcome, that sadly isn’t always true for all dogs and neighbors. If someone is having trouble with a dog constantly on their property when they’re not wanted, real estate news site RISMedia recommends first talking to the neighbor in case they don’t know their dog is getting out. But if that doesn’t help, the first step is to erect a fence—or repair it if there’s one already there.
Failing that, the Animal Control Department may need to get involved. In that case, RISMedia says, they’re likely to investigate and fine the owner of the wandering dog. Before this step, try to work with other neighbors to see if the dog is also on their property when it shouldn’t be. If all else fails, a lawsuit can be filed against the neighbor, but this should be a last resort.
The worst thing to do, however, is to threaten the dog or the neighbor, let alone actually hurting the dog, RISMedia says. In addition to being very illegal, it’s a deeply unethical thing to do.