Pet Instagrams take over online entertainment

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Pet Instagrams take over online entertainment

Borton owns an account for her dog Lulu.  She started this account in 2015 to post cute pictures of her dog.

Borton owns an account for her dog Lulu. She started this account in 2015 to post cute pictures of her dog.

Borton owns an account for her dog Lulu. She started this account in 2015 to post cute pictures of her dog.

Borton owns an account for her dog Lulu. She started this account in 2015 to post cute pictures of her dog.

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Instagram offers almost every interest one can think of.  With over millions of hashtags and accounts, there is bound to be something for everyone.  Luckily, for animal lovers, there has been a rise in “pet Instagrams” over the past few years.   Ranging from dogs and cats, to even racoons and pigs, these pet accounts have taken over digital entertainment.    

Everyone remembers famous internet pets like “Grumpy Cat” and “Boo” the Pomeranian.

Countless memes, t-shirts and other merchandise allowed these furry friends to reach a wider audience around the world.  Accounts like these started to surface around 2012, and from then on, they have increased in popularity among pet owners everywhere.  

History teacher, Nicole Maffei, runs accounts for her two Scottish Terriers, Newton and Finnleigh.  

“It actually started as my personal account, but I changed it once posting Newton took over,” Maffei said. “I started featuring Newton when I got him in 2015 and changed the handle to “@Newtonthescottie” soon after.”

She started out with less than 100 followers, but when she began featuring her two puppies more often, the account grew rapidly.  “@Newtonthescottie” now has almost 5,000 followers.  

“I love showing people how cute Newton and Finnleigh are. It’s also fun to interact with other dogs and their humans,” Maffei said. “We’ve made some awesome friends over the years. We have a lot of fans who love seeing Newton and Finnleigh and their adventures.”    

Maffei features pictures of Newton and Finnleigh in outfits, playing with toys, and even their participation in dog shows. Her favorite thing about showing her dogs is how she can see the different breeds that participate and being able to interact with fellow dog lovers.   

“Finnleigh likes showing more than Newton, she finished very quickly and won three 4-point majors,” Maffei said.  “It took Newton a little longer, but his final win was a 5-point major.”  

Maffei tries to post a few times a week, depending on what kind of photos she has of the dogs.  Recently, Newton fathered puppies, so she has been featuring them on her page frequently.  Her other Scottie, Finnleigh, is supposed to have puppies in January.  

Pet Instagrams are not only popular amongst adults, many students enjoy featuring their animals as well.  Ellie Borton (’22) runs an account for her dog Lulu and previously posted pictures of her calico cat, Missy.   

“The best part about owning my account is that I get to show off my dog’s quirks and personality.”  

Lulu is featured going on hiking expeditions with her family, snuggling on the couch, and playing outside.  With accounts like these, it gives owners a fun and low-maintenance opportunity to show off their pets, whenever they would like. 

“I used to post every couple of days. Recently, I haven’t been, but I’m trying to post more often,” Borton said.  

Dogs are only the beginning of pet Instagrams.  Unique and uncommon animals have started to make an appearance online.  Maddy Sebelist (’21) owns an account for her pet axolotl, and yes that is a real word.  An axolotl is a type of amphibian that have a condition called Neoteny, which means they can regenerate limbs and even parts of their brain and heart. Because of this feature, they are expected to live between 10 and 15 years.  

“I adopted my axolotl when he was two months old,” Sebelist said. “When I adopted him, he was only about an inch and a half and now he is 12 inches long.”  

Sebelist enjoys posting pictures of her axolotl smiling, important milestones, and everyday life.   

“My axolotl’s name is Gertrude, but he goes by Gertie,” Sebelist said.  

Another interesting thing about axolotl’s is that you cannot tell the gender until they are at least one year old.  Sebelist was inspired to dedicate an account to Gertie because she finds the species so interesting.  

“Since they are exotic and critically endangered, it’s really rare to see them as pets,” Sebelist said.  

Whether your favorite animals are dogs, cats, or endangered amphibians, Instagram is sure to have you covered.