Is it just me or is January hurtling past at speed? It’s usually so endlessly dull and dreary after the excitement and sparkly lights of Christmas but, thus far at least, it seems as if we’re moving along at a more civilised rate of knots. Are you sticking to your resolutions, assuming you made any?
I heard someone comment recently that they had decided that February was the new January and that they were putting off all new starts until then. I think I like their style! If you’ve slipped a little in the last week, or if the gloomy skies and sudden onset of cold have been a little too much to take, fear not: we have a do-over in the shape of the Chinese New Year which happened a few days ago on the 28 January. I’m sure that our Chinese friends will excuse us if we decide that, around now, we will take up any excuse for a party and will be delighted to join them in welcoming in the year of the Fire Chicken.
The grey January skies have found me turning to social media more frequently in search of pleasant things to look upon. In between the inexhaustible supply of commentary on America’s new year – starts 20 January, marks the official start of the Great Orange Bull, largely considered to be the beginning of an inauspicious time for the world but specifically North America, etc. – I have found happiness in the many adorable canines to be found on Instagram.
Now, here’s the thing: Twitter and I hooked up in 2007 and divorced in 2012 due to irreconcilable differences but mainly because it’s just too damn noisy; Facebook and I have been on and off since around the same time as Twitter but, nowadays, I find it claustrophobic. Essentially, we know that most of our friends are likely to have similar views to us, and our families are predictable in their responses to most occurrences in our lives. If the recent shocks of Brexit and Trump have proven anything, it is that it is all too easy to live inside a little bubble of compatible personalities.
Oh but Instagram…! That’s my place, my jam, my peaceful destination for procrastination; in short, it makes me feel like the world in my oyster. My feed is a joy-inducing mish-mash of jewellery, design, cute animals, architecture, pathology labs, poetry, tattoo artists, ridiculous fangirling over ‘Hannibal’ and ‘Supernatural,’ and oh so many dogs. And I do have some real-life friends there too, muddled in with the far-flung (and not so far-flung) people that I follow.
In return, I post pictures of my three numpties and, occasionally, other pretty things. While I’d love to tell you that I’m a photographic genius, that’s simply not the case. The thing I like about Instagram, though, is that it feels very much like a community, albeit a vast one, and it seems to afford a much gentler view into people’s lives than any of the other options available. Also, I’m a sucker for photos. I’ve been an avid reader all my life but, sometimes, text can’t tell you what the sky looked like at sunrise. Not really. And it can’t always capture the colours and textures of life as easily.
Anyway, in case you’re interested, I’d like to offer you the Lowsley Top Five Must Follow Accounts on The ‘Gram. And, if you wish, you can follow me too. I should preface this by saying that, while my Facebook feed is full of Irish animal rescue centre updates, my Instagram feed is largely non-Irish. Please don’t let that stop you.
The New York Bully Crew and its founder Craig Fields
So, I have a huge soft spot for Pitbulls, and Pitbull-type dogs. Most dog people know that they have a horribly bad, and undeserved, reputation for being vicious and dangerous animals. I have never met a bad Pibble or Staffy but I have met some horrendously snappy terriers and smaller dogs. (My ‘Restricted Breed’ RottiexLab got terrorised by a Chihuahua once so I simply don’t buy into the nonsense that’s spouted by so-called ‘experts’ where these dogs are concerned.) In any case, and attempting to leave my – wholly personal – prejudices aside, I am in awe of the NYBC, its founder Craig, and the good work they do.
Not only do they have a main account on Instagram, many of their former rescues go on to set up their own accounts when adopted, and it genuinely feels like a family that spreads widely over the States.
I dare you to follow them and not have your heart stolen by these beauties, although I can’t guarantee that you will have any time for the human race by the time you’re through. Some of the rescues which are documented on their account, and on YouTube, make for harrowing viewing.
Follow Craig for the really good stuff on the dogs who share his life on a daily basis, some permanently and some as fosters as they’re nursed back to health or until they’re old enough to be adopted.
If you’re having a bad day, this handsome fella living in Anchorage, Alaska, will make the world seem like a better place.
He has a smile that can light up the world, and he has exactly the sort of life that you want a dog to have: lots of adventures and playtimes in a stunning part of the world.
Moose is a GSD/Mamalute mix who lives with his owners, a fox called Juniper – think Miss Piggy and Kermit and you sort of sum up Juni and Moose! – a black kitten called Olive, and two Sugar Gliders named Peach and Petunia. Talk about a menagerie! As Moose is, in many ways, the least complicated of their animals, there’s not a huge amount of info on his posts. If you visit Juni’s page, however, there’s a wealth of knowledge about foxes, their diets, and their behaviour, as well as info on the Sugar Gliders who are both rescues.
Just in case you’re ever tempted to leave your dog behind, scroll through these gorgeous pictures and think again. I’d swear blind that this account is good for my blood pressure and stress levels!
Whether you’re already on Instagram or are tempted to join up, please do post your recommendations below. I’d love to hear them and there can never be too many dogs in my feed!
- adult dog
- babies and pets
- family pet
- pet friendly