The election, your high-school boyfriend’s recent marriage, the Kardashians—who can save you from the burden of your once-entertaining social-media feed? Doug the Pug can! For the last three years, this regular-dog-turned-social-media-mogul has been rescuing the Internet with his movie remakes, elaborate costuming, and overwhelming cuteness. From video parodies like “Pugs & Recreation” to Netflix & Chill-style photo memes, Doug the Pug shows he is not just man’s best friend—he wants to be your best friend, too. This week Doug’s new book, Doug the Pug: King of Pop Culture, will extend the pup’s empire from screen to print.
Doug’s “momager,” Leslie Mosier, recently answered questions from Chapter 16 via email about Doug’s magnetic appeal, her own career change after Doug’s success, and his celebrity encounters.
Chapter 16: At the launch of the Doug the Pug Instagram feed (way back in December 2013), you said, “I never knew that the little pug I’ve wanted since I was ten would end up being such a rad adventure buddy.” How have your adventures expanded since then?
Leslie Mosier: Oh, man, we’ve gotten to travel all over the country and even recently went to Europe together! Doug is an amazing travel companion—he’s so easy to travel with and is so happy to be in new places as long as he’s with us.
Chapter 16: On another early Doug post—a picture of a dog sitting up on a couch—you wrote that Doug was “Not quite a human, not quite a dog.” How has this “humanness” affected the way Doug has been embraced by the Internet?
Mosier: Doug has a personality, both online and real life, that screams human more than dog. He really is the most chill dog I’ve ever encountered, and people really relate to Doug for that reason.
Chapter 16: In your Huffington Post article last fall, “I Quit My Job to Manage My Dog,” you explore the difficult decision to leave your steady PR job to focus on Doug. How has your own life changed since you shifted your focus to Doug’s success?
Mosier: Being my own boss has been an incredible, difficult, and wonderful experience. I’ve been able to build an amazing team that shares my vision for what the Doug brand can grow into and I’ve gotten to spend all day with my dog. When I worked for my old job, I would have to leave him all day, and it broke my heart.
Chapter 16: Doug the Pug: King of Pop Culture is organized according to themes like “Chilling in My Undies,” “Pug Life,” and “Food: My Reason for Living.” Can longtime Doug fans expect new photos in the book, or is it more of a scrapbook documenting Doug’s most memorable moments?
Mosier: It’s a bit of both! There are new photos that absolutely no one has seen before, but many are the favorites from his social-media pages. I think the fans will love it.
Chapter 16: The last section of the book, “Hanging With My Crew,” features Doug with celebrities such as Steven Tyler, Justin Bieber, and Meghan Trainor. How does he keep the success from going to his head?
Mosier: Luckily, Doug sees every human as an equal, so when he’s meeting a celebrity he doesn’t quite grasp their accomplishments or how famous they are. He’s just as happy to meet Justin Bieber as he is one of his young fans. I love that about Doug!
Chapter 16: What will this book bring to Doug the Pug fans that Facebook and Instagram don’t?
Mosier: Being able to physically hold the book in your hands and see Doug’s photos really makes Doug come to life. We are so limited by a computer or phone screen, but opening a book really gives it a new experience.
Sarah Carter is a high-school English teacher living and working in Lebanon, Tennessee. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the Sewanee School of Letters.