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359 – “Space Whippet,” Insta Celeb, Provides Social Media Tips | Pure Dog Talk

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“Space Whippet,” Insta Celeb, Provides Social Media Tips

Beth Gordon acquired a race-bred whippet after her mixed breed rescue developed IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). Kuiper the Space Whippet’s rise to fame on social media provides a blueprint for others to follow in promoting purebred dogs.

“I wanted a healthy dog I could do sports with. It’s ok to not want a project. We’ve spent as much as my college education on our older dog with health issues. I just didn’t want to have to do that again,” Gordon said.

“I decided we needed better influencers on this new-fangled thing called Instagram, Gordon said.” She wanted to do something that was informative, not just fluffy. A “space tree” in Salem, Oregon was the idea for the launch of Kuiper the Science Dog, Space Whippet.

In just a couple years, Gordon and Kuiper have acquired more than 150,000 Instagram followers and been to Kennedy Space Center for a photo shoot for the account.

Utterly shameless self-promotion makes all the difference, Gordon said. “Business cards cost $20 and people love to get them.”

“Even though the account name is space whippet, I get a lot of questions about his breed,” Gordon said. “I think it’s a good opportunity. The way you increase representation for anything is by showing it to people, not making a big deal out of it.

“When you’ve been fed this line there’s so many rescue dogs, why don’t you have a rescue dog. My answer is that purebred dogs are not fungible with rescue dogs. If my choice was another rescue dog or no dog, I just wouldn’t get a dog. If you have specific things you want to do, you’re much better to get a breed designed for that.

“The general public don’t know there’s so many things you can do with your dog. May not consider their dog is trainable. Increasing awareness of the sports they can do is so important. Purebred dogs are not just for beauty, dogs are functional,” Gordon said.

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