Hanover’s Fluffiest Celebrity: Waffle the Dog

By Lucy Tantum, The Dartmouth Staff | 2/2/16 4:50am

Move over, Kylie Jenner. There’s a new Instagram star in town, and she’s absolutely adorable.

Her name is Waffle, and she’s a one-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog. On her Instagram account, @wafflenugget, the 110-pound puppy rolls in the snow, snuggles with her teddy bear and generally enjoys life—no filters, makeup teams or opposable thumbs needed.

Yeah, this is my plan. What of it?

A photo posted by Dorkin' out and Lovin' It (@wafflenugget) on Feb 1, 2016 at 7:33am PST

Fisher and Lutz never intended for Waffle to become Instagram-famous.

“[The Instagram account] was started as a tool to remember everything, and also as a way to share with our family the trials and tribulations and good times with our little girl,” Fisher said.

Fisher also wanted to see if she could build a marketing brand, and a new puppy was the perfect publicity tool. So she experimented with hashtags, tagging and posting times.

Heyyy Tuesdaaaayyyy!

A photo posted by Dorkin' out and Lovin' It (@wafflenugget) on Jan 26, 2016 at 6:45am PST

And from there?

“It spiraled,” Fisher said. “Puppies are cute, but grumpy puppies in the snow, when they’re bred to be in the snow, there’s pretty much nothing funnier.”

Now, with 38,800 followers as of press time, Waffle is quickly ascending to star status. Fisher said she has already turned down sponsorship offers, and is considering a partnership with a non-profit cause.

Waffle has adjusted to her newfound fame, if only because of the food-related perks.

“She’s already a trained model, because she’s so food-motivated,” Fisher said. “When she realized that every time the camera came out she got a cookie, she loved it.”

Waffle, who is still five to ten pounds shy of full-grown, has a magnetic personality. When I met her, she jumped up to greet me before leaping into a patch of snow, where she proceeded to roll on her back, her purple leash in her mouth. Other students stopped to watch, and Fisher invited them to come say hi. Waffle relished the attention—and the belly rubs, of course.

I'm a bunnnnyyy!!!! 🐰🐰🐰 #earlymorningzoomies #ifonlymycoffeeworkedthiswell

A photo posted by Dorkin' out and Lovin' It (@wafflenugget) on Jan 6, 2016 at 9:39am PST

Her always-cheerful demeanor is contagious.

“She’s taught me a lot—she’s taught a lot of people a lot. The way that she faces the world and inspires people to get out and be themselves, I really respect,” Fisher said. Fisher suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and said that Waffle has helped her overcome her anxieties about being outside and exploring the unknown.

Fisher and Lutz are hoping they can share Waffle’s positive energy with students, too.

“Students just love having dogs around,” Lutz said. “They miss their dogs from home, they rely on their pets for companionship and stress reduction.”

Students will hopefully have easy access to Waffle in the future, potentially through a partnership with the College.

“We’re trying to figure out an infrastructure system that works with the College and also with our jobs, to allow students to hang out with her—bond with her, go for a hike, go for a romp,” Fisher said.

Waffle’s personality, Fisher said, carries an inspiring message for students: “Conquer your fears, get outside, be uncomfortable and be weird.”

So ti. 🚂🐰#snoozlin

A photo posted by Dorkin' out and Lovin' It (@wafflenugget) on Jan 9, 2016 at 8:58pm PST

Lucy Tantum, The Dartmouth Staff