Bodhi, a Shiba Inu you might have seen dressed in J. Crew gingham on a photo you scrolled past and smiled at on Tumblr, is another dog forced to live his life as a meme. He enjoys only the meager restitution of being a dog and his owners? They make about $15,000 a month off him, Fast Company writes in a new profile, which is about $15,000 more than you make from just having a dog.
The Shiba's owner, Yena Kim, and her boyfriend, David Fung, told the magazine that they're making such a haul from owning a dog that they were able to quit their jobs last year and focus on owning a dog full-time. Really!
"We don't really see it as a business, because we're not really businesspeople," Kim tells Fast Company. (She's not wrong.) "We just sort of go with the flow. We're more excited about trying different projects, and just trying different things with different brands." These brands include:
Self-described "crazy dog people," Fung and Kim have carved out a formidable niche for Menswear Dog among aesthetes, and not just online. There's Instagram (148k followers), Facebook (91k likes), and Tumblr (224k followers), sure. But since going all-in on Menswear Dog, Inc., the family of three have shot campaigns for (in no particular order): Coach (the first brand to reach out to them), Victorinox Swiss Army, Ted Baker, American Apparel, Brooks Brothers, Salvatore Ferragamo, ASOS, Hudson Shoes, Revlon, Todd Snyder, The Tie Bar, Polyvore, Purina (which they have a monthly contract with), Korean department store Comodo Square (for whom Menswear Dog is their unofficial mascot), and many, many more.
But Menswear Dog has four-quadrant appeal, it would appear:
Then, there's the expanding list of publications Bodhi's whiskers continue to grace, including GQ, Nylon, Time, Esquire, Refinery 29, and, now, Fast Company. Menswear Dog is also available for bookings, having made appearances at a handful of New York Fashion Week parties. In February, he launched his own Capsule Collection for Menswear Daily. And also in the works is an official Menswear Dog book, which, if all goes as planned, will be published next November.
When writer Chris Gayomali presses them on their Bodhi-supplied income, they admit they "haven't seen less than $10,000 in 'quite some time.'" Fuck. Gayomali then wades into matters ontological, free of irony (emphasis mine):
And yet, outside of Bodhi's miraculous ability to sit still and gaze wistfully away from a camera at just the right angle, the most remarkable thing about Menswear Dog is just how much he is a dog. He likes peanut butter. And bacon. He's good with kids, and plays nice with other animals.
"He's just a regular dog. Hangs out. Sleeps a lot," Kim tells him. "He'll do whatever he wants."
Good to know...not helping your case here, guys, that you are getting rich off nothing but dog ownership. The couple told Fast Company that they saved Bodhi from an Upper East Side pet store five years ago. How could they have known that buying a dog while living as broke designers in Harlem would one day be their path to financial solvency?
They seem to know that having the financial cushion of a (mildly) famous pet certainly won't last. Yet they felt they couldn't pass up the opportunity to try something weird and new; something fun, creative, and perfectly zeitgeist-y.
Enough. These people, as well as the owners of Bailey the "I Have No Idea What I'm Doing" golden retriever and Grumpy Cat, are sick. These poor animals not only have no idea what you're doing to them, they also do not posses the cognitive wherewithal to understand how much money they're losing out on! Because they are animals! All they have is the day and the night, the food you scoop out of a bag for them, and the walks you deign to take them on. But fine, if we're going to go ahead and brand pet ownership, then no more whining about how Kim Kardashian got famous for "literally no reason." Because you did too, you lousy fucks.