What’s not to love about Rambo? The 5-year-old Morkie (maltese-yorkshire mix) is stunningly handsome, thanks to visits from BoneJour Mobile Dog Grooming every six to eight weeks, and he’s generated an online reputation for wearing a red bowtie with some form of apparel from Fab Dog.
Born in February 2012, Rambo was just 11 weeks old and had that special something, Courtney recalls.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky dog who’s spoiled, which I know is my fault,” she said with a giggle. “He’s getting more laid back with age, but he’s never met a stranger. He loves kids. He’s not your regular dog.”
She decided to share his cuteness with her family and friends in May 2012, when she started a Facebook page for him. By the end of 2018, Rambo’s Facebook page had more than 310,000 likes.
“I was so focused on his Facebook page that I didn’t invest a ton of effort into Rambo’s Instagram account until the end of 2014,” she admitted. “But now his Instagram audience is growing consistently, albeit slow and steady.”
Rambo’s Instagram followers, which numbers nearly 30,000, are treated to photos of the little lovebug posing with a “baconrita” (a term his owner originated) or dressed to impress. One key to his Instagram success, his owner believes, is how his posts feature captions that are in Rambo’s “voice.”
“He sneaks in cute phrases like ‘mother pupper’ and ‘what the pup’ into his captions,” she said. “Another thing that Rambo’s fans and followers like, and what makes his content so appealing, is that I, the ‘human,’ don’t appear in photos or have a voice on his page. By staying anonymous and making his posts all about him, I think I’ve made his storyline more believable. His page is all about him.”
With an owner who is an influence marketing manager, it’s no surprise that Rambo is a social butterfly that is getting noticed by manufacturers. According to Courtney, Rambo regularly attends pet expos and has had a long list of partnerships with companies like Pedigree, Purina and Pup-Peroni, which is owned by J.M. Smucker Company. He was even a member of the Wayfair Pet Squad, an honor that included his very own Wayfair profile.
He’s modeled for several brands and has been the subject of digital content on videos, website headers and native ads. His spotlight moment thus far has been his appearance in a TV commercial for STAINMASTER in 2015.
He’s had a long-running partnership with Bark Box and, according to Courtney, Rambo recently finished a campaign with Zoetis to promote its line of allergy products. The 13-pound pup even has his own 2019 calendar.
However, Courtney explains that she makes sure to not only keep Rambo grounded but to also use his influence for charitable causes. After all, he’s still a dog who loves Zignature pet food, which is great for pups with food sensitivity, and he adores PureBites freeze-dried treats.
“He’s very treat-motivated,” she laughed. “He’s the king of our house and our relationship.”
In fact, Courtney states they’ll be taking a break from partnerships in order to focus on great social media content for Rambo and the recent addition to the Courtney household, a Siamese mix named Fiona “Fifi” McFluffypants.
“She’s a foster fail,” admitted Courtney, who added that Fifi was in bad shape when the SPCA of the Triad in Greensboro, NC, received the cat. “The poor thing, she was so sick, had stomach problems, an upper respiratory infection and a UTI (urinary tract infection). I was like, ‘There’s no way this cat will be a fit for us.’
“Fifi didn’t get along with Rambo,” she continued. “She was just a blob. I took her to the vet and they fixed her up. Then she got a personality and she started playing with Rambo. They have fun chasing each other. In the morning, they get up and do zoomies around the house together, which is adorable. After I saw that happening, I said, ‘I have to keep this cat.’”
Rambo and Fifi appear to be fast becoming best friends, as evident by the photos and videos on their social media accounts. Although Fifi is new to social media, it’s only taken a month for the 1-year-old kitty to have 760 Facebook likes and 600 Instagram followers enjoying photos of her sporting her Soft Paws nail caps, chilling in her kitty window seat and sharing Rambo’s pet teepee by P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You).
Fifi, who will celebrate her second birthday at the end of March, lived an isolated life as a kitten, according to Courtney. Since becoming a permanent member of the family in November, Fifi has been learning how to be a real cat. Nevertheless, this is a cat that appears destined to be a pet celebrity like her older brother, Rambo.
“She’s got a sassy little personality,” Courtney explained. “But she’s also kind of laid-back and goofy. She’s cross-eyed but she’s pretty, and her personality goes along with that. She’s very social and vocal. She’s a little bit of a fashionista, but she’s derpy, goofy and silly, despite her efforts to be a diva.”