What with Grumpy Cat and therapy goats, $150 granite cat food bowls and $2,600 Gucci dog carriers, it's easy to think that a society that has dedicated pet bakeries, canine-only cable channels and a cat with more Twitter followers than the Dalai Lama has (forgive us) seriously gone to the dogs in recent years.
With the Fourth of July just around the corner, many of us dog owners must begin to prepare for the inevitable: fireworks. The fact that our county and state are even allowing the sale of fireworks to the public during a severe drought is ridiculous, but, alas, that is a topic for another column.
Your pet is doing that thing again. It's the cutest thing ever, and it must be snapped, shared and forever immortalized on social media. Cats and Dogs of Instagram, here we come. But what happens? Just as you reach for the camera to compose the killer shot, your subject bolts. The moment is gone forever, as are your dreams of Instagram stardom.
The world has come a long way since 1993, when the New Yorker published Peter Steiner's cartoon of two canines above the caption: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog," making us laugh at the absurd notion of household pets on the World Wide Web. Now, more than a dozen years later, your dog - or cat or hedgehog or pot-bellied pig - is a nobody unless it's got an Instagram account, Twitter feed, Facebook page - or all three. Here's a look at some of the animal kingdom's current social media standouts.
Chef Bryant Ng's chicken rice recipe calls for jasmine rice cooked in a ginger broth and poached free-range chicken. It's a minimalist dish, without any of the Singaporean-Vietnamese flavors, the fermented shrimp paste and sambal sauces that Ng used at Spice Table or that will load the menu at his new restaurant, Cassia. This is because Ng cooks his chicken rice dish not for his legion of devoted diners but for his dog, Teddy, full name Theodore Roosevelt Luu-Ng, a Yorkshire terrier.
Bruiser Woods (or his handler) might have been onto something in the 2001 movie "Legally Blonde." The fashionable Chihuahua companion to Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods seemed to be in a new outfit as often as his mistress.