Birch’s online presence sometimes comes hand-in-hand with gifts and swag to show off in his photos.
BRIGUS, NL — Birch is a dog who calls Brigus home, and chances are, he’s got more Instagram followers than you.
Birch is a nine-month-old Australian shepherd and German shepherd mix, and has been living in Brigus with his owner, Brooke Hiscock, since early January.
Just recently, Birch’s Instagram page, @Beingbirch, has reached 20,000 followers. It continues to grow on a daily basis.
Hiscock told The Compass that when she went to get Birch, she instantly knew that an entirely separate page would be necessary for her furry new friend.
“I knew I’d be taking millions of pictures of him every day,” said Hiscock, laughing. “So I figured I should probably make an account specifically for that, instead of posting them all to my personal account. People might get sick of seeing that after so long, so anyone who wants to see him, can go look at his own account.”
According to Hiscock, the idea of creating an online presence for your dog isn’t as farfetched as it may sound. Hiscock explained that dog accounts on Instagram are a fairly common thing among dog owners, and that it’s become pretty popular across the photo-sharing app.
“There’s actually a lot of them out there,” said Hiscock. “Its kind of cool to see how many people are out there just showing off their animals. I think it’s a great thing.”
The amount of animal accounts active on the app can be best seen by looking into what accounts are followed by Birch. Dozens of pages dedicated to dogs, as well as some cats here and there, can be seen from all over the world, including a significant number from Newfoundland.
Birch’s followers continue to climb, and Hiscock says it came as a shock that so many people were interested in her dog.
“I was surprised, to say the least,” she said. “I was shocked even when we hit 100, and then 500. Now we’re up to 20,000, and it’s hard to imagine all these people coming to look at pictures of my dog.”
Birch isn’t the only one in the family with an Instagram account. His brother, Jake, who lives in St. John’s, and sister Shiloh in Nova Scotia both have an online presence as well.
Birch’s online fame comes with more than just street cred in the Instagram world. As part of the winnings from a photo contest, Hiscock receives gifts such as collars and bandanas for Birch, which he sports during his various photoshoots for his page.
As an added bonus, Birch’s followers have access to discount codes and contests of their own, which can net them similar such items.
“He’s still young, he just turned nine-months-old the other day, but so far things have been pretty exciting. I doubt he really understand what’s going on, but he definitely enjoys being in front of the camera,” said Hiscock. “It’s just a fun little thing to do. We both enjoy it.”