In Japan, you can rent a pet. Yes...you heard right, you can rent a pet.
There are various ways that the rent-a-pet program works.
We (i.e. my daughter) have become an active participants in the "hourly" rent-a-pet program at a pet store near my grandmothers house, in the outskirts of Tokyo. At the pet store we generally go to, you can rent dogs for an hour at a time. Very young puppies stay indoors and you take them into a "healing room" where you play with them, cuddle, and sometime watch them sleep OR you can rent a slightly older dog and take it for a walk.
Here is one of the cuties we fell in love with a couple of years ago.He was a super active little guy and had the most adorable ears!
We also rented this guy...He was super cute and also quite playful.
In case you are wondering, these dogs are for sale, the "rental" program is designed to provide them with more walks, socialization etc. It's actually pretty cool.
The last time I was in Japan, I watched a TV program that showed another "rent-a pet" program in which people could rent animals for a more extended time and on a regular basis i.e. every other weekend. This was designed for people who wanted a pet but could not have one full time.
Funny enough, pets are totally anthropomorphized in Japan and in addition to renting a them, you can take it shopping, try on clothing in a pet dressing room, you can buy them a treadmill, a stroller, even a jean skirt, tank top and sunglasses... The pet store we go to is in a shopping center that is known for being pet friendly. You can see animal in various states of dress and once, my mom saw someone walking a hamster...on a leash...
Honestly, only in Japan...