A puppy photographed from above stands on its hind legs and puts its front paws against the bars of its crate.

The Pets of PetCon: Snuggles, Hugs, and Naps

Sometimes a pet’s superpower is providing you with the extra snuggles, hugs, and love that you need after a bad day. Though some might see these dogs as lazy, we see them as relaxed and lovable. Here are some of the most cuddle-worthy pets that we met at PetCon this year:

Walter the Dog NYC

PetPlace: Who is the mastermind behind the Instagram account?

Violet: My mom runs it. It started off a few years ago as a joke and then it just blew up. It’s been pretty crazy ever since.

PP: What is it like having an Instagram-famous dog?

Tony (Violet’s Dad): I haven’t seen a major difference yet, and we certainly don’t walk down the street and get stopped by people who recognize Walter from Instagram. But he’s cuter than any dog I’ve ever had before and he gets stopped on the street all the time, just for being cute.

PP: Is Walter a mutt?

V: We did a DNA test for him recently and it honestly didn’t make much sense. It said he was mostly chihuahua, which doesn’t really seem possible.

PP: For people who are not familiar with Walter’s account, what would you want people to know about him?

T: He is the most chill dog I’ve ever had and really has no problem with anything. He is the most relaxed guy and super cuddly and cute. He spends a lot of time napping and giving out lots of cuddles. Oh, and he’s actually going to be on TV next year, making an appearance on the next season of Queer Eye.

PP: That’s a fun fact! We will look for Walter on the show next season. I see that you’re here with your kids–is this the first family pet you’ve had?

T: No, we had another dog before Walter. Her name was Olive, she was also super adorable and was half boxer half pit.

PP: What are the benefits of having pets for kids?

T: Every child should have a dog. Every child should grow up with a dog in the house, or else it seems like there’s almost something missing. It’s a great way to show unconditional love, to show responsibility, and it really is the thing that brings the whole family together. We really think it’s a must!

Louboutina (Loubie)

PetPlace: How long has Louboutina been on Instagram?

Cesar: About 4 years.

PP: How did you know that you were onto something on Instagram?

C: People were posting pictures of her online and friends were finding pictures of her all over, so I figured I might as well take control of it.

PP: She’s known as the Hugging Dog. Was she always a hugger?

C: She’s a very happy dog since she’s little–a very happy puppy, very confident. Maybe because she’s overwhelmed with all my love, so she grew up very confident and is not afraid of anyone. She gets close to people without any fear and that’s good. Plus, she likes to give love. I didn’t train her to do that.

PP: What is one of the strangest or most wonderful things about having an Instagram famous pet?

C: Meeting people who are going through difficult times, like cancer or depression. A woman messaged me after losing her mother, who loved Loubie, and she wanted to come meet Loubie on behalf of her mother. Her story really touched me. We both started crying when we eventually met. Those kinds of connections are really powerful, and we’ve gotten to do photoshoots, meet celebrities and do big interviews, but none of it is as meaningful as the personal stories we have.

Hank The Basset

PetPlace: When did you realize that Hank would be an Instagram star?

Hank’s Human: Our kids decided that they needed another dog. We got Hank and had a terrible snow storm for months. I’m a photographer and we were stuck inside, so I posted some dog baby pictures. Next thing you know, they showed up on The Weekly Fluff and Buzzfeed. We didn’t work at it. Our Instagram just went crazy! It happened naturally.

PP: What does Hank like to do when he’s not posing for pictures?

HH: Eating. Couch surfing. He loves car rides and walks. His big thing is food. He is a hound, of course. He loves to look out the window to see who’s coming and going. He paws what he wants and uses them to talk.

PP: What are your tips for aspiring Insta stars?

HH: Enjoying your pet is #1. Most important. Animals are meant to be loved and feel secure. Some dogs are hams – alpha dogs. Most important thing is to love your dog.

Lily Bug

PetPlace: When did you realize that your pet could be an Instagram celebrity?

Marisa: I’ve always had an obsession. I started a separate Instagram account to stop upsetting family. We want to show the soft, positive side of pitbulls and change perceptions.

PP: What are Lily’s off-line hobbies?

M: Hugs and lounging. Heading to Shake Shack for ice cream in Madison Square Park. Hanging out with @sometimescarl.

PP: Any tips for aspiring Insta stars?

M: Be authentic. Post the actual personality of your dog. Make personal connections that resonate with your followers. Real people post on Instagram and we’re as dog crazy as they are. Make it personal!