But on the outside, his appearance is – dare we say – just a little fur-ocious.
Groomed to look like a lion, Charles (full name: Charles the Monarch) earns plenty of attention – this time, from a concerned Norfolk, Va., resident who mistook the dog for the real deal.
A 911 caller told police that a baby lion was on the prowl down Colley Avenue on Tuesday, reports the Virginian-Pilot. Perhaps the animal was on the hunt for food, the caller worried, so police contacted the Virginia Zoo to see if any lions were on the loose.
But the presumed escaped beast was just Daniel Painter's dog, whose likeness to a lion has had police on his tail before, according to his owner.
His distinct haircut borrows inspiration from the university's mascot. Sports fans and neighborhood folks are among Charles's 2,000-plus – and counting! – Facebook fan base.
"I tell people he's a Lab-a-lion," Painter says, "and half the people believe that."