Taking a selfie is an endeavor so ingrained in today's media-saturated society that it seems like there's no further need to have a photographer on the opposite side of the camera from the subject anymore. The term selfie was even appointed the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year 2013.
Now the selfie trend extends to our pets. The phenomena even has a name of its own, the “pelfie” (i.e. pet selfie).
Most pets aren't quite dexterous enough to take their own selfie, so the reliance falls upon the dog or cat owner to set up the shot. As a result, the context of the pelfie really caters to the pet owner’s desire to show off his or her beloved canine or feline companion. So, the potential exists for pets to be placed into potentially unsafe circumstances just to suffice the owner’s self-promotional needs.
Fortunately, the majority of the pelfies I've viewed tend to feature dogs comfortably and safely being included in their owner’s selfie.
One great example is Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who prominently features his dog Wacha in his Instagram selfies. Wacha is a male Beagle-foxhound mixed breed pooch and his unique name, which is inspired by St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher, Michael Wacha (Cohen’s hometown baseball team).
Wacha even has his own Instagram feed TheRealWacha, which is a glimpse into the life of one lucky pooch stylishly taking on New York City and beyond. His feed is one having a productive message to promote rescuing pets over purchasing them from breeders, stores, and puppy/kitten mills. Wacha’s profile states “I am @BravoAndy's dog. I was in a Kill Shelter in West Virginia, @SeeSpotRescued got me out, and Andy adopted me! #AdoptDontShop”
It’s great to hear about Wacha being taken from a location where his life would potentially be terminated and being brought into the limelight by such an apparently loving pet parent. Wacha’s rescuers, See Spot Rescued, is a “non-profit 501(c)3 dog rescue organization based in Jersey City, NJ. We are all about Dog Rescue! All breeds, all sizes, all ages. Donations help fund medical care, vaccination, transport & care. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Adopt Me album at http://bit.ly/ssradopt”
OK Magazine tells of Cohen’s desire for pet ownership of the rescuing kind in stating “I just felt like I wanted to open my life up to a dog and I thought rescuing a dog was the right way to go.”
Wacha’s owner apparently frequently tests the limits of canine patience as Cohen seems rather pelfie-obsessed. The photo above is an example, giving what’s perhaps their best side (the right) and has the following description: If it were up to him, we'd just sit around taking selfies all day. SO BORING! Have to remind myself "He's simple."
Lounging around all day and taking selfies appear to be all that Wacha does. He also gets out in nature in The Hamptons and shared a photo of him hanging out with a canine pal, Jimmy Fallon's dog, appearing to be a Golden Retriever tagged with the following statement: Hamptons play date with my buddy Gary Fallon! We ran, we frolicked, we ran some more..then we got treats
I wish many long and happy years together to Cohen and Wacha. Hopefully with the awareness they generate about animal rescue more pets will be removed from less than ideal circumstance and placed into forever homes.
Do you have a personal story of animal rescue? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond). Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2014) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format