THE BIG READ | Turning your pet into a viral superstar is no walk in the park

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Writer Ben Rowell went to great lengths to make his cute brown cockapoo, Dublin, famous. (PHOTOS: Instagram)
Writer Ben Rowell went to great lengths to make his cute brown cockapoo, Dublin, famous. (PHOTOS: Instagram)

Could you turn your pet into internet sensation within six weeks? Writer Ben Rowell was convinced that because his dog is so cute it would be a doddle – but he soon discovered that being a pet influencer is for the birds.

Shortly before lockdown, a pet boutique called Dog & Groom opened for business in my neighbourhood. Locals sniggered at a blackboard on the pavement advertising “teeth-whitening laser treatment, £25 (R500)”. For dogs.

We gave it three months. But by summer, it was the only shop trading on the main road that didn’t do food – all the others had gone bust.

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