The Atlantic

The Inevitable Aging of the Internet’s Famous Pets

How do owners—and fans—cope with celebrity animals’ later years?
Source: Hilary Sloan / Instagram

Several years ago, a couple from Twitter contacted Star Ritchey with a request: They wanted permission to put her name in their will. Ritchey had never met the couple before, but they wanted her to inherit their dogs.

“They don’t have kids, but they have bulldogs, and they reached out and said, ‘If something happens to us, we don’t know what would happen to them,’” Ritchey told me. “They said they knew that even if I couldn’t keep them, I’d get them to a good rescue.” The couple had decided Ritchey was right for the job because of her favorite hobby, which is posting about her own beloved bulldogs—the Frenchies Emmy and Luna—on Twitter.

After Ritchey in 2013 as a fun way to occasionally tell the world how much she loved her previous dog, the English bulldog Georgia, she quickly got pulled into a realm of social media she didn’t know existed: bulldog Twitter. There people bond over their shared devotion to their dogs, share pictures and stories, and often meet in real life. Posting from her dog’s account quickly became a normal part of Ritchey’s day.

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