Welcome to the ultimate destination for dog enthusiasts and social media mavens alike. At Dogfluencers, we're passionate about showcasing the best and brightest in the world of four-legged fame.
Whether you're looking for adorable photos, heartwarming stories, or expert tips on how to turn your own pup into a social media star, we've got you covered.
Today we got the honor of interviewing Athena's Human, Sonya. You can find a direct link to their Instagram here.
Here is Athena’s story:
Fi: Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a dog influencer? What inspired you to start sharing your dog's adventures on social media?
Athena’s Human: When I first got Athena, I wanted to document our training journey to becoming a service dog, so I could look back on all of our memories and learning experiences. Eventually, I became part of a larger community of dog lovers, trainers, and service dog advocates.
I started sharing more about the unique day-to-day experience of having a service dog, and I was met with both curiosity from those who don't have service dogs and solidarity from those who do. I'm so thankful for the many connections I've made through Athena's account!
Fi: What do you think sets your dog apart from other dogs on social media? What makes them unique or particularly interesting to your followers?
Athena’s Human: Athena is a service dog, specifically trained as a medical alert dog for my condition, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I think some people have the impression that working dogs like Athena are very serious all the time, but I like to break that stereotype by showing off her silly, normal dog side and educating people about the reality of having a service dog. I think this sets us apart because while we do post a lot of normal and cute dog content, I am also able to showcase the amazing things my dog is trained to do!
Fi: How do you come up with ideas for your dog's posts and content? Do you have a specific creative process?
Athena’s Human: I love to search for trends and apply them in unique ways, either to dogs in general or to having a service dog. I usually spend a lot of time scrolling through Reels and saving audios to use for later. I take lots of videos and clips of Athena to use as content in various types of videos. Additionally, I occasionally film specific adventures or activities to create educational content.
Fi: Have you ever faced any challenges or negativity on social media, and how have you dealt with it?
Athena’s Human: By being candid about my reality as a service dog handler, I have received negative comments about both myself and my dog. I deal with a lot of comments calling disabled people like myself 'weak' or people saying things like 'your dog never has any fun and that's evil.'
In reality, these people don't recognize that my dog loves to help me and be around me. She lights up every time I say 'want to go to work?' On the internet, people often pass judgments because it's easy to hide behind a screen, and sometimes it's best to pick your battles on when to educate or not engage.
Fi: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own dog influencer account or share their dog on social media?
Athena’s Human: Do it! It’s so fun. I think my number one rule is to not take it too seriously and be open to meeting people and learning new things! You may just be surprised!
Fi: How has your dog influenced your life outside of social media?
Athena’s Human: Athena is my lifeline. She keeps me safe and gives me independence. More than that though, I have many reasons to be grateful for her. She's the reason I've met so many of my friends, like other service dog handlers at school or people who were just curious about my dog on campus. She also teaches me about being less stressed and taking life day by day.
Fi: Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or funny moment you've had with your dog during one of your photo shoots or adventures?
Athena’s Human: When I first got Athena, I wanted to document our training journey to becoming a service dog, so I could look back on all of our memories and learning experiences. Eventually, I became part of a larger community of dog lovers, trainers, and service dog advocates. I started sharing more about the unique day-to-day experience of having a service dog, and I was met with both curiosity from those who don't have service dogs and solidarity from those who do. I'm so thankful for the many connections I've made through Athena's account!
Fi: What is your favorite thing about being a dog influencer?
Athena’s Human: The community! I love meeting people and forming genuine, supportive friendships with people who are similarly close to their dogs or also have service dogs. I also love getting the opportunity to work with some of my favorite brands, like Fi!
Fi: Lastly, what's next for you and your dog on social media? Any exciting plans or projects in the works?
Athena’s Human: We are working on producing more educational content and even travel related content as a service dog team!
We hope that Athena's story has inspired you to appreciate your furry friend's unique personality and share it with the world. Being a dog influencer is a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to prioritize our dogs' health and wellbeing as well.
Remember to always create content that is positive, wholesome, and showcases your dog's individuality. And in the face of negativity, it's important to stand up for fellow dog lovers and keep the community positive. We hope that reading about Athena's journey as a dog influencer has brought a smile to your face and reminded you of the special bond between us and our beloved pets.
For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
Want to know more about TryFi.com? The Fi Dog Collar is a GPS tracking collar that not only keeps track of your dog’s location, activity levels, and sleep patterns, but it also alerts you if your dog escapes your backyard. This is the fastest way to find your dog after an escape. Try the Fi Dog Collar today!