Famous for going viral on social media...and for being super cute, The Notorious Puggy Smalls from Cranbrook has been described as the internet’s beloved pet for the last 3 years. His owners Nick and Charlie started making cute videos of their dog when they first got him, and he suddenly shot to fame when a video of him coming out of an office drawer went viral, gaining more than twenty million views across different social media platforms.
Now three years later, Nick and Charlie have been able to make a whole brand out of their pup. Their entire career revolves around making funny and cute videos of Puggy and sharing them with his followers, which is almost one million across his different social media accounts. He’s even got his own merchandise. His owners are the perfect pair. Nick, who before Puggy was a video editor and Charlie who worked at Apple, have been able to come together and use their different skills to brand and market their dog for success. But, Puggy’s fame has come at an expensive price for the family. They’ve been forced to put themselves into thousands of pounds of debt because of his health problems.
The famous pug recently fell ill with vestibular disease caused by an ear infection. His head tilt may look adorable and inquisitive, but it’s actually because he’s in so much pain with his ears. His insurer refused to pay for the surgery, leaving the family to ask Puggy’s fans for help on a go fund me website. Puggy is now so deaf that Nick’s attempting to teach him sign language. So far Puggy knows how to sit and to high five (thanks to some help from treats). But they may not necessarily need sign language if Puggy’s hearing problems are fixed.
When I first walked into the family's garden, 2 weeks ago, Puggy was very interested to see why a stranger had come to his house. Due to his hearing problems he relies strongly on his sense of smell, he proceeded to smell my legs and my bags, and decided he liked me. For the rest of the afternoon he kept coming over for more cuddles and attention, and loved being stroked and held like a baby. But, when watching him move around you could tell he was in pain, with his owner Nick saying he wished he could just ask Puggy if he was ok.
The love Nick has for his dog was just radiating out of him. Thanks to all the donations, Puggy’s surgery has been able to go ahead and against all the odds he has made a miraculous recovery and steadier on his feet. Puggy is still slightly wobbly and his hearing isn’t totally fixed, but once the swelling goes down he should be back to perfect health. I went back to see him a few days ago and he’s under 24 hour supervision in case he falls off the sofa or loses his balance. But I could tell as soon as I saw him that he seemed so much more spirited and lively.
His owner Nick told me that they’ve even been gifted a “Puggy Buggy” to take their pup out to see the world, while he recovers. They’ve also been making adorable videos of his recovery process and keeping his fans updated on his progress. So what's next for Puggy Smalls? Nick says they’ve got a fun-filled summer planned, thanks to an Instagram sponsor giving them a caravan. They plan on travelling around the country to see family and friends, whilst also making content for their beloved fans. Puggy has shocked everyone with how quickly he’s bounced back, his head tilt isn’t as severe, but he is still as adorable as ever.