Sit, Stay, Trendset
Lifestyles of Rich & Famous, Four-Legged Southern Social Media Stars
These unsuspecting animals have shot to fame from all different backgrounds, from rescue dogs to retired-from-the-line-of-duty dogs, international cats to farm-raised mini pigs, and more. They’ve gone on to entertain fans, star in movies, and inspire charity work — some things us humans can only dream of!
That Dood Squad
Behind the Brand
Shelby Wall and Kim McNamara
Location: Atlanta, GA
“That Dood Squad” is a gang of influencer doodle-mixes that can most often be spotted around Atlanta in a candy apple-red ‘67 MGB — and they are the definition of “squad goals.” The doodles — Addie, Packer, Lola, Charlie, Charlie Gold, Riley, and Sheldon — are all the fur babies of seven women who are best friends. Most of the women met through doodle meetups around Atlanta and hit it off. In an ideal world, they’d be stay-at-home dog moms, but this dog gang keeps them on the move. But just because they’re always busy doesn’t mean these pups are rowdy — they’re well-trained and photo-ready at any given moment. Their Instagram is filled with meticulously curated, themed photos that leave any pet parent wondering how on earth they do it. Their photography prowess and adorable subjects have earned them partnerships with the likes of Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, Whole Foods, and Sugarboo & Co., just to name a few.
Followers: TikTok: 1.4M, IG: 101K
Owner: Martin Medine
Location: The Southeast and beyond
Taz isn’t exactly what you’d expect when you think “tactical dog.” He’s a bit smaller than his counterparts within his social media pet genre. But despite his small stature, he has been dubbed “the most patriotic dog on Instagram” — his personality is larger than life, and his fans adore him for it. Many wonder what breed he is, which has been described as a “miniature chiweenie,” or a mix between a mini dachshund and a chihuahua. He is sponsored by brands like Black Rifle Coffee and Nine Line Apparel (code: TAZ20). Like other dogs with his level of notoriety, Taz uses his platform for good and encourages support for Second Chance K9, a rescue organization that pairs high-drive breed rescues (ex: Belgian Malinois) with special operations veterans who suffer from PTSD or TBI.
“Call of Duty” Rex
Owner: Erin Switzer
Tucson, AZ and and the Southeast
“Call of Duty” Rex, a Belgian Malinois, is about five years old. As his handle suggests, he is famous for his appearance in the video game Call of Duty, but, as his owner Erin says, his original handle was “dogpound_rex”, created as a photo album to document the rescue dog’s new life. Rex, a highly intelligent (and therefore extremely high maintenance) working breed, was dropped at the pound when he was about one year old because his smarts and energy outgrew what his previous owner could give. Erin, a retired marine, who is familiar with the needs of this special breed, adopted Rex and gave him the care and stimulation he requires. Since climbing to fame, Rex and Erin have partnered with many foundations, raising awareness for responsible working breed ownership, service dog rights, animal rescues, and many other causes through their t-shirt designs and partnership with Nine Line Apparel. And, if Rex’s Call of Duty appearance doesn’t ring a bell, maybe you’ve seen him on Chris Pratt’s TV show, The Terminal List. Talk about a rags-to-riches story!
Seamus T Cat
Owners: Mike & Victoria McEwen
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Seamus, the 5-year-old, long-haired Scottish fold, hails all the way from Kuwait. In Kuwait, he was discarded by a breeder and found by a group that rescues exotic breed cats. The veterinarian who examined Seamus when he arrived to the States knew just who to call to give him a home. Mike and Victoria had just lost their beloved Boston Terrier and weren’t sure they were ready for a new addition to their family; but once they looked into Seamus’s round, golden eyes, they knew they had to bring him home. They say that Seamus’s life mission is to always let them know when it’s dinner time and to make people smile — he is very successful at both. Seasmus’s massive following enjoys his sassy, sarcastic personality and Buddah-like sitting pose.
(Tyler) and K9 Arlo
Seattle, WA, and the Southeast
K9 Arlo is a five-year-old German Shepherd who is a retired police dog and Tyler is his handler. Arlo is perhaps most known for his purple heart, earned for bravery after being shot twice in the leg and neck in the line of duty in 2021. After this tragic event, Arlo and Tyler were invited to do media interviews to share their story on shows like Ellen and ET Tonight. Tyler shares that they only accept sponsorships to cover travel expenses — but their main purpose in growing their social media presence is to use their platform to raise awareness for mental health issues and fight the stigma associated with them. The four organizations they are most involved with are: K9 Valor Project, K9 Hero, Wear Blue Foundation, and Nine Line Foundation, of which they raised $100,000 for last year with a goal to double that in 2023.
Prissy and Pop
Owner: Melissa Nicholson
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Prissy and Pop are the “OGs” (originals) in their mini-pig squad, but they also have three other pig group members — Posey, Pink, and Penn — along with their canine sister, Pigtail. Although they are technically “mini” pigs, they can still range up to 250 pounds! Followers of Prissy and Pop see them travel on camping adventures, and the pigs are always a big hit at the campsites. They definitely don’t shy away from attention and enjoy meeting and greeting fans. Personality wise, fans know Pop as Poppleshark during Shark Week and he is debatably the favorite of the bunch. Prissy is the Head Pig in Charge and a diva. All their fame has earned them two children’s books, published by Harper Collins (“Prissy and Pop: Big Day Out” and “Prissy and Pop Deck the Halls”). However, they’ve remained humble despite their fame and use their platform to rescue animals. Melissa Nicholson, their owner, has rescued 60+ rescued cats, dogs, horses, goats, donkeys, cows and of course, pigs.
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Baylor Sookie and Maisie Dee
Owners: Brett Hearn and Ryan Zokan
Location: Bluffton, SC
Baylor Sookie — 50% black lab and a few other mixed breeds — and Maisie Dee — 75% Bernese mountain dog and 25% Australian shepherd — have equally interesting name origins as they do genetic composition. Baylor Sookie is named for the Baylor Bears and the character from the TV show True Blood. Maisie Dee is named for the Game of Thrones actress (Maisie Williams, who plays Arya) and Dee for Ryan’s mother, Diana. Baylor, who just turned 13, and his younger counterpart, Maisie, four, are super active dogs who enjoy hikes but love to swim in Lake Murray. They are the office dogs at Northpoint Heating and Air, and gained a following from other pet accounts, local admirers, and local business collaborations.