GRESHAM, Ore. — One dog is taking the Internet by storm, and his owner says she hopes all the publicity will help foster children.
KPTV reported that it all started with the snap of a picture. Little did Sandi Swiridoff know that her Australian Labradoodle would become an Internet sensation.
“Yesterday, we got 5,000 more followers, and that’s huge,” she said. “Usually he goes up by a hundred a day just on average.”
The dog, named Reagan, is known online as Mr. Reagan Doodle. He has more than 65,000 followers on Instagram. Recently, his photos have gone viral. Arguably, the most popular photos are the ones showing Reagan and his favorite buddy in matching outfits – including argyle sweaters, rugby shirts and pajamas.
“The little boy and Reagan have a really special bond,” said Swiridoff. “They love each other.”
That little boy is a foster child. Since he and Reagan first met, it’s been love at first sight.
“If he’s over here and I put him down for a nap, Reagan will sit outside of the door and wait for him because he doesn’t like him not to be here,” Swiridoff said. “He’ll just sit outside the door and wait until nap time is over.”
The foster system is a topic dear to Swiridoff’s heart. She recently made a calendar of Reagan to sell on Etsy, which is currently sold out. Swiridoff gave the proceeds to help foster parents, and in fact, foster children are the reason she decided to bring Reagan home.
“I had a strong relationship with them and knew that when they left, I would have this hole in my heart to fill and I thought, a puppy,” said Swiridoff.
Four months later, Reagan made his debut on Instagram.
“He just lets me dress him, let’s me do what I want do, gets his little treat in return and he’s good,” said Swiridoff.
She hopes this will not only raise awareness about foster children but also the benefits of therapy dogs.
“Just petting a dog will lower blood pressure, so it’s comforting,” she said. “They like to just touch and pet and be loved on by an animal.”
Swiridoff says she wants Reagan to someday be a therapy dog for foster children.