Make Your Dog Feel Like A Workaholic

Make Your Dog Feel Like A Workaholic

Times are hard, and we could all do with a few extra bucks. Well, perhaps it’s time that your freeloading pet started pulling its weight, financially. With a little effort on your part, Tiddles/Rover/Tweety could be an internet superstar inside a month, with zillions of page-hits, legions of adoring fans and big-bucks merchandising deals galore. 

To demonstrate how easy it is, we’re attempting to make an overnight sensation of FHM’s ‘official cat’, Milo. Hold on to your Tumblrs – we’ve got just 24 hours to make these pets go viral. 

Owned by J.H. Lee

Boo is a cartoonishly cute Pomeranian who’s received awww-ing endorsements from the likes of Ke$ha and Kim Kardashian. His second book of ‘OMG sooo adorable <3!!!!’ is published this autumn, along with a book for kids and a range of “dress-up paper dolls” (whatever they are).

Owned by Mugumogu
Japan-based Maru has been the subject of DVDs, calendars, a phone app and two books (the first of which has just been translated into English), but it’s on YouTube where he really comes into his own: videos of him leaping, chewing and lolling around regularly break the 500,000-views barrier. 

Identify your target audience

Maru: pot-head

The pet-on-the-Internet market is fiendishly overcrowded, so you’ll need to identify your pet’s unique allure, then mine that for all it’s worth. Asked to pin-point Boo’s appeal, J.H. Lee says, “People say that Boo looks like a teddy bear, which gives them a pleasant association,” while Maru’s owner Mugumogu muses that “Maru’s fans like watching him doing challenging things, because he’s always cheerful, even if he fails.” 

Let’s try it with Milo
Milo looks more aloof than teddy-like. So we’re aiming him at the boring middle-aged lady market. Debut post on reads, “He’s brooding and rebellious, but deep down, all he wants is to be loved! Could YOU be the lady to melt his heart?” 

Results: After several hours, Milo has zero racy comments from housewives.

Get your pet used to the camera

Spot the actual dog

“Boo is used to me taking his photo since I do it so frequently,” says J.H. Lee. “He’s a bit of a creature of habit, and after living with him for six years, I can tell when he’s about to do something cute.” You’ll need to acclimatise your pet to you whooshing your camera into its face every time it’s about to do something funny/adorable/retarded, or it’s going to look like a startled dickhead in every shot. 

Let’s try it with Milo
Initially, Milo eyes the camera with a mixture of suspicion and hostility, but after a few hours of being snapped he’s working his swag like a catwalk model. Or maybe we’re just imagining it – you kind of go a bit funny in the head after you’ve been following a cat around for ages. 

Results: Success. Milo is behaving like an absolute slag for the camera. 

Tricks ’n’ treats

OMG Mega-lolz.

Maru’s ability and willingness to launch himself in and out of boxes is a huge part of his success. “He started sliding into boxes naturally,” says mugumogu. “He doesn’t like being forced to, though he’s strong-willed.” Boo, however, is open to a little bribery: “I try not to pressure him,” says J.H. Lee, “but when we were shooting the second book, I did use my secret word for ‘treat’ a few times.”

Let’s try it with Milo
Whenever Milo does anything vaguely amusing, we reward him with a treat, although we cannot get him to look at the camera, no matter what. He then scuttles out and returns three hours later with an actual dead rabbit. We take this as a chilling warning. 

Results: Posting a pic of the slain rabbit on Facebook gets the comment “Watership Downer”. 

Keep the material flowin’

God, try hard

Maru and Boo’s owners have built loyal followings by maintaining a steady stream of new pics and vids. “I take a lot of photos of Boo,” says J.H. Lee, “and I keep the captions simple – people really just come for the cute photos.” 
“I update my blog every day,” says mugumogu. “It takes me less than 30 minutes to choose the pictures and do the writing.”

Let’s try it with Milo
After a few hours of stockpiling Milo pics and vids, we unleash a cross-platform blitz of the best, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr.

Results: Our Milo posts are starting to get decent amounts of ‘likes’ and we’re pretty chuffed until we note that Maru’s latest video has achieved 2,000 ‘likes’ in under 72 hours. Boo. The Life Of The World’s Cutest Dog by J.H. Lee and I Am Maru by Mugumogu are both out now. 

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