By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
When junior roommates Amanda Braddock, Samantha Fetterman and Mary-Todd Ridley discovered their mutual love for dogs, they decided to team up and begin featuring dogs at Baylor on a shared Instagram account.
@Dogsofbu is the account they run together, which showcases the dogs of Baylor students and alumni through submissions received in direct messages. The account has over 3,600 followers and over 200 posts with a goal of posting photos every other day.
“We began the account this past December during finals,” Ridley said. “We realized there were other schools with dog accounts and we thought it would be cool to make one of our own. It was easy and we saw it as something fun people could see during finals — it just kept going and caught on. We knew a lot of dogs on campus and featured those, and people soon began submitting their dogs.”
The roommates were inspired by similar accounts showcasing dogs on Instagram, both on college campuses and in larger cities.
“Dogs of Georgia is a really good on — they have a huge following cause it’s a big campus,” Fetterman said. “Dogs of New York is similar to the popular Humans of New York account too, and it’s an amazing page.”
The account works by receiving submissions from the Baylor community via Instagram direct messages, which are sorted through and posted chronologically. Braddock said the account receives a large amount of submissions, and currently has a ten-week waitlist of photos to post.
“We ask for people to send pictures — it’s nice when they’re on campus and are good quality pictures,” Braddock said. “Some dogs have Baylor collars on and are from alumni as well. We also ask people to submit the dog’s breed, name, and to write a little caption; sometimes it’s from the dog’s perspective and sometimes the owner’s, and usually showcases the dog’s personality.”
Braddock believes a large part of the account’s success comes from being featured on the Baylor University Instagram account, which has shown @Dogsofbu support from early on.
“The account followed us pretty soon after we made the page and has really helped us out,” Braddock said. “They posted one of our pictures recently of a dog with a football for the OU game — reposting has been good for gaining followers on the account.”
Despite being created earlier this year, @Dogsofbu has gained a significant following within the Baylor community and has had the chance to feature some exciting dogs.
“We definitely didn’t expect the success we’ve had — we hoped at first that maybe our moms would follow us,” Ridley said. “It really took off and we had 1,000 followers within the first week. We also got to post Bu, the Livingstone’s First Pup. That was exciting. Bu’s account submitted to us and we’d love to do another Bu update.”
The account has spread in popularity both through social media and word of mouth. Fetterman recalls hearing students around campus mention @Dogsofbu as one of their favorite Instagram accounts.
“Hearing people talk about it on campus has been really cool — we can see that we’re reaching people,” Fetterman said. “A girl the other day brought @Dogsofbu up to me and said that it’s her favorite account — she didn’t even know that I help run the page.”
The account posts photos of dogs like golden retrievers and labs, but also makes sure to include more unique breeds as well.
“The dog Dug Fur we posted this week was kind of crazy. We had so many comments and opinions about the dog — one said that the dog looks like its nose was stung by a bee but in the cutest way possible,” Braddock said. “I also really like French bulldog submissions. There was a bulldog meetup in McLane where frenchies from all over the country came. They took lots of pictures and submitted them. We have a huge French bulldog community that follows us.”
@DogsofBU also features dogs from the Humane Society of Central Texas, an animal shelter located in Waco. They often post content related to adoptions or fundraisers to support animals.
“We’ll include adoption stories and post dogs from the Humane Society on our story – we know volunteers there and they’ll DM us pictures so people can see that there are dogs out there to adopt if they’re interested,” Riddley said. “Over the summer the Pre-Vet society had a mission trip to Guatemala where they worked at a shelter and needed money for food. We posted about it and gave the link out, and I know they ended up reaching their goal.”
Braddock, Fetterman and Ridley enjoy featuring dogs specifically on the account, as they see dogs as unique and possessing qualities different than other pets.
“Almost everyone can connect with dogs — they have lots of personality,” Braddock said. “They’re so energetic and there are lots of different breeds of dogs, which makes our account interesting.”
The roommates plan to continue posting and featuring dogs on their account in the future, and encourage students and members of the Baylor community to keep submitting photos.
“We want to keep the account going. We don’t know what we’ll do when we all graduate, but we might take applications and see what happens,” Fetterman said. “Keep submitting good quality photos that showcase the campus and your dog’s personality.”