The owners of a 5-year-old Shiba Inu insist their dog is just like any other pet. He eats, plays, sleeps, and generally does whatever he wants. But in addition to providing companionship and a hefty dose of adorableness, the dog rakes in about $15,000 a month by doing nothing more than getting his picture taken. Yes, $15,000.
Since 2013, Bodhi, better known as the Menswear Dog, has been gracing Tumblr dashboards as the world’s most unlikely fashion icon—dressed in everything from gingham shirts to leather jackets to tweed blazers. And although dressing dogs in human clothes isn’t anything new, Bodhi quickly became an Internet sensation that caught the attention of major brands like Coach, Victorinox Swiss Army, Ted Baker, American Apparel, Brooks Brothers, Salvatore Ferragamo, ASOS, Revlon, Todd Snyder, and Purina.
“When we first dressed him up for fun [in spring 2013], he started posing for us, and doing like Blue Steel and Magnum,” says owner David Fung. “We originally posted his photo to Facebook as a gag.”
Though it was intended strictly for laughs, that initial photo went viral and eventually evolved into a lucrative business for Fung and his girlfriend Yena Kim. So much so that they’ve even been able to quit their jobs to put all their focus on Bodhi and his growing modeling career.
Between the endorsement contracts, guest appearances, and sponsored posts on social media sites like Instagram, Kim and Fung say they haven’t seen less than $10,000 in "quite some time." However, they admit that the career of an animal meme isn’t long-lasting, whether it be a well-dressed dog or a perpetually grumpy cat. But that hasn't stopped them from enjoying the perks for the time being.
“We just sort of go with the flow,” Kim says. “We’re more excited about trying different projects, and just trying different things with different brands.”
[via Fast Company]