Social media goes to the dogs (and cats)

Delaney Hiegert
The Wichita Eagle (TNS)

WICHITA, Kan. — In this age of technology, almost anything is possible. Drones may soon be delivering Amazon packages, cars are driving themselves and dogs are posting on Instagram.

That’s right, pets have taken to social media to connect and share their cuteness with the world. For the record, it’s not really the pets that are running these accounts; it’s their owners.

Pet owners are creating Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for their furry friends in a trend that was boosted by celebrities. Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Cee Lo Green, Ed Sheeran, 50 Cent and Lady Gaga are among the celebs who have created social media accounts for their pets.

These accounts are usually presented as though it’s the animal behind the keyboard, speaking in its own voice. The pets post about chasing the mailman, they post selfies and make snide comments about owners taking them to the vet or giving them a bath.

All about fun: Newman University student Andrea Wheeler, 20, created Facebook and Twitter accounts for her dog, Stymie, a beagle-basset-corgi mix, when she was in high school.

Wheeler said she realizes the ridiculousness of the whole concept but has too much fun with it to care.

“I just think it’s hilarious,” she said. “He’s a dog. He doesn’t have thumbs or even a need for a social media account, but he has two.”

Wheeler said she likes to post comments about what Stymie did that day or some funny comment a dog could make about pop culture. She said one of her favorite things to do is start conversations on the Facebook walls of Stymie’s friends or even with herself. Stymie has around 50 friends on Facebook and 27 Twitter followers.

Cheeto: Wichita State University senior Allie Carleton, 21, made an Instagram account for her corgi, Cheeto, and it has gathered quite a following.

“I started the account in May when I got her,” Carleton said. “She’s close to 2,000 followers now.”

Carleton said she followed a lot of corgi accounts on Instagram and had fun interacting with the corgi community on the site, so when she got Cheeto, she knew she wanted to create a profile for her.

“It’s a hard life, you know, because Cheeto is more popular than I am,” Carleton said. “One time I went to a social gathering and people knew her and not me. People follow her Instagram before they even find mine.”

Carleton said she isn’t jealous of her corgi’s rise to stardom because the account makes her happy, too.

“It makes people smile and gives them something to laugh about,” she said.

Meatball: Brittany English, 25, created an Instagram account for her cat, Meatball, about a year ago.

English said she’d been using the hashtag #meatballtheamazing when posting pictures of her cat and decided to get him an account.

“Meatball is quite the character,” said English, of Wichita, Kansas. “I feel like more people can enjoy the things he does via social media.”

English posts pictures of Meatball sunbathing, scratching his belly or lying around and adds witty captions in his voice. Since joining the web, Meatball has attracted 53 followers. English said she tries to post on his account at least once a week.

English said the accounts let pet owners to share their pets’ individuality with the world.

Social media pets

Pet name: Stymie

Owner: Andrea Wheeler

Accounts: “Stymie Wheeler” on Facebook, @StymieTheDog on Twitter

Sample posts: “been a pretty successful day so far! woke up, slept some more, went outside, ate some grass, peed on a bush, rolled in poo, barked at a van, ate some more grass, sniffed my mailbox, now im going inside for a little spongebob!”

Pet Name: Meatball (cat)

Owner: Brittany English

Accounts: meatballtheamazing on Instagram

Sample posts: A bio line reads “Don’t be jelly of the belly.”

Pictures captioned “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”

Pet name: Cheeto

Owner: Allie Carleton

Account: cheeto_the_corgi on Instagram

Sample posts: “Sorry if I’m hyper ... It’s #nationalcoffeeday and I’m about to have my fix”

“Hope all my furriends has a great Christmas. I was spoiled. Santa brought me three toys and a new blankie”

“Ran straight for the mud at the dog park. Let’s just say ... Mom wasn’t as happy about it as I was.”