What does Esther the Wonder Pig, Doug the Pug and Juniper the Fox have on my girls?
Not a thing.
Except they have their own Instagram accounts, and Ava and Maggie do not. Yet.
Animals — if you haven’t heard (which I hadn’t until staff writer Jamie Biggs told me about the craze) — are dominating the popular social networking service. They have millions of Instagram followers who hang on every photo or video of them eating, sleeping, playing, traveling, singing, snoring, chewing up furniture … the gamut of adorable/deplorable things that pets do.
While dogs hold a commanding lead (Jiffpom the “bobble-head” Pomeranian boasts 28 million followers), there are also accounts dedicated to alpacas, guinea pigs, goats, rabbits, pigs, cats and chinchillas that post respectable numbers, too. All of them have a story.
Jack the Wallaby, for example, was adopted by a Nashville attorney who regularly dresses him in fun outfits and takes him for walks or to the office. Jack sleeps in a pouch. “If he wants to go in his pouch and you are holding it,” says his owner, “he will reach at it until you lower it down for him to somersault into.”
Pumpkin the Raccoon, rescued after falling out of a tree, lives on a farm in Nassau, Bahamas, with a couple and their two rescue dogs. Says her owner: “Pumpkin considers the dogs her moms. She respects them when they have had enough rough play and she loves to cuddle next to them when she is tired.” She also loves watermelon.
Esther the Wonder Pig, my personal favorite, was taken in as a piglet by her family who thought she was a miniature pig expected to top the scales at 70. They soon learned otherwise. Now weighing 670 pounds, the full-grown shoat lives on a farm where the family had to move to keep her.
An expressive gal, Esther hogs the camera. To the delight of her 195,000 followers, she hams it up in wide-angle shots of her snout and expressive eyes, in a bevy of costumes (Fourth of July, Halloween), wigs (purple, orange, all colors) as well as beauty pageant crowns and elaborate bows. When not modeling, Esther’s sacked out on the bed or pigging out in the kitchen. The full-figured gal, as you can imagine, doesn’t travel much so her owners can’t use that as an excuse to post their travel pictures.
But others do.
Loki the Wolfdog, a husky, malamute and Arctic wolf mix, spends a lot of time outdoors and on excursions with his owner. If you are one of his 1.7 million followers, you will see plenty of beautiful photos in cool locales. I’m jealous.
And then there’s the canine personalities — Doug the Pug in his Elton John glasses and sequinned jacket at the piano; the high-fiving therapy dog Norbet; and Bearcoat Tonkey, a Shar-Pei who can bust a move. See #SingAlong Monday and #SheCantSingButSheCanDance.
All of that brings me back to my girls, Maggie and Ava.
After browsing through the Instagrams of these celebrities, I’ve concluded my German shepherds are more photogenic than Esther, have more scintillating personalities than Doug and are every bit as adventurous as Loki, thus making them natural candidates for Instagram. I just need to open an account and invite everyone to follow along: