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Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here.
Five weeks ago, a beautiful little beagle named Maggie, who clearly has parts of other breeds somewhere in her DNA, came to live in our house. As long-time dog people, my wife and I had been hurting after losing our other two dogs in the last year to old age, and this little pooch has been a wonderful blessing that has healed the hole in our hearts.
Because of this, I talk about her on Twitter all the time. Facebook and Instagram too. Apparently it’s to the point, my wife says, that I should just take my name off all the accounts and rename them after Maggie. As a result, Thursday night - more or less as a joke - I created an account for Maggie The WonderBeagle, which is what I call her from time to time.
The reason I did this was I had taken a picture the night before of her sitting in my lap, something I apparently do way too much according to my wife (yes, she’s the same one who acted as the GM on the Nationals in October; now she’s spending the offseason monitoring my social media habits) and in the background there was a picture and post about Maggie.
The expression on Maggie’s face seemed to be one of surprise and annoyance that her likeness was on my Twitter account, and that she was not being adequately compensated for it. So the picture became her first post, and her bio even says “Will tweet for treats.” Truth is, she will do anything for treats except sit still while you’re opening the bag of treats.
Because you can only have 15 characters in a username and the name “WonderBeagle” was taken, she became @MTWonderBeagle, and you can see her Twitter feed here. My thought was I’d post pictures on her timeline, and maybe 50 or 60 other dog lovers I know would follow along and we’d have fun with it.
Sunday morning, not even three days from when the account was started, she already has close to 360 followers. They are all, as you would expect, dog people. I follow back everyone who follows Maggie, and if someone likes a post of Maggie’s and it has a dog in the profile or cover picture, they get automatically followed too.
I now keep up with two Twitter feeds: One is my regular @dullesdistrict and the other is @MTWonderBeagle, and you can’t help but notice a difference in the timelines. The bios of the followers on both feeds are filled with the diversity of opinion you would come to expect these days. But while the @dullesdistrict timeline seems to feature more than it’s share of political views and angry opinions (even though they were followed for things like sports), you don’t see it as much on @MTWonderBeagle.
Dog people seem to enjoy seeing and hearing about other dogs leading happy lives. I know such stories make me happy, so it must make them happy too. They share stories like this to the point it kind of drowns out those other angrier opinions.
Maybe it’s just the number of followers, and when Maggie gets over 2,000 followers like @dullesdistrict, more comments will be angry retorts regarding whether you are liberal, conservative, politically correct, etc. Nobody has called anyone stupid, dense, a liar, or anything else remotely like that either.
It’s like dog people are just happier people.
We will see if this continues, but for now it’s kind of cool. And something I needed just in time for the Christmas holidays.
Just like I needed Maggie.