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The now-infamous ‘Fenton!’ video celebrates its 10-year anniversary this week.
The legendary clip was filmed in Richmond Park, south-west London, in 2011 after passers-by overheard a commotion between a dog and its owner.
The 47-second footage showed an overexcited black Labrador start to chase a herd of deer, despite the desperate attempts of its owner to stop him.
But the naughty Labrador would not heed to the repeated call of its name, FENTON, and ended up barging past as his exasperated owner, who could be heard panting, “Jesus Christ!”
The video racked up millions of views, and led to ‘Benton’ – the name many people thought the dog was called after mishearing the clip – trending on Twitter.
Jeremy Vine described the video as “genius”, while others labelled the person who recorded the video a “comedy god.”
It was caught on camera by 13-year-old London teenager Jake Goodyear, who was filming on his mobile while visiting the south-west London park with this dad, Ali.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph afterwards, Ali said they had been inundated with requests for interviews from all across the world after the clip went viral.
“We were filming the deer and all of a sudden this man came from behind us and was agitated to say the least because he had lost control of his dog,” he told the publication.
“The dog chased after the deer and I think the owner feared he would never see his pet again.
“The deer scattered everywhere and went across the road. The dog then disappeared into the woods. At the time we thought it was really funny.”
The original video, which has since amassed 24 million videos, also spawned a series of spin-offs and parodies including a Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones edition.
The hysteria reached ridiculous levels when real Fenton merchandise was released, and in a move reminiscent of early 2000’s Crazy Frog, a company called SpaceRace created their own Fenton ringtone.
But while it seemed like you couldn’t walk across any green space without someone shouting ‘FENTON! JESUS CHRIST!’ at you, there was one person who did not find the sensation quite so funny.
That, of course, was legal writer, editor and communications advisor Max Findlay, the unfortunate owner of livewire Labrador Fenton.
When questioned by the Daily Mail about Fenton’s antics, Mr Findlay said he did not wish to talk about the incident.
“I don’t really want to add anything to the zillions of words already out there. I'd rather just leave the story where it is and move on,” he said.
And friends of the father-of-two claimed he was so embarrassed by the whole incident that he even considered renaming Fenton.
“Max is mortified,” a pal told the Daily Mail. “Fenton’s a lively dog, but he’d never done this before. Max won't be taking him back to Richmond Park any time soon and is considering giving him a new name if the fuss goes on.”
As for Fenton himself? Well, Max was aware of the adorable dog’s wild streak.
The Sun newspaper reported that Fenton was originally being trained as a guide dog by Guide Dogs for the Blind, but his playful temperament deemed him unsuitable for the role – which of course, lead to Fenton becoming a viral sensation and an internet legend.
So he’s to the cheeky scamp Fenton, and the 10 years of laughs his deer-chasing antics have given us. Jesus Christ!
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