Dash­ing dachs­hund a so­cial me­dia star

Calgary Herald - - NEW CONDOS - DANA GEE [email protected]­ twit­

The new pic­ture book Cru­soe The Worldly Wiener Dog con­tains the fol­low­ing ded­i­ca­tion:

“This book is ded­i­cated to, well, me. Be­cause my awe­some­ness is in­con­ceiv­able, and be­cause I’m prob­a­bly the only wiener that ac­tu­ally looks good in a Speedo.” Well, Cru­soe, you got that right. As for the dash­ing dachs­hund’s bravado, it’s no won­der re­ally. As one of the world’s top an­i­mal in­flu­encers (oh, that’s a thing), he has more than three mil­lion on­line fol­low­ers and his first book (writ­ten by his hu­man, Ryan Beauch­esne and ti­tled Cru­soe, the Celebrity Dachs­hund: Ad­ven­tures of the Wiener Dog Ex­traor­di­naire) landed on the New York Times best­sellers list just a week af­ter be­ing re­leased in 2015. That in­deed is noth­ing to sniff at. “Our fans have re­ally grown over the past cou­ple of years, so it is look­ing pretty good,” said Beauch­esne, who left his ca­reer in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing three years ago to fo­cus full time on Cru­soe’s ca­reer. “I would have never guessed it would be like this. It’s quite re­mark­able.

“When I first started, I didn’t have any in­ten­tion of mak­ing him fa­mous or mak­ing it my job or any­thing like that. I’ve just al­ways needed a lit­tle creative out­let,” added Beauch­esne, who shares his Gatineau home with his girl­friend Lau­ren Dionne, Cru­soe and Cru­soe’s younger and also pop­u­lar half brother Oak­ley.

In fact, Beauch­esne didn’t even want a dog and ini­tially balked at the idea when Dionne started bring­ing up the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting a four-legged friend al­most a decade ago.

“My girl­friend bugged me for about a year to get a wiener dog. I fi­nally gave in,” said Beauch­esne. “At first I was em­bar­rassed to walk down the street as a guy with this lit­tle wiener dog, but now it has kind of come full cir­cle where she’s the one that is em­bar­rassed as I am dress­ing him up and tak­ing pic­tures and all that stuff.”

Those pic­tures are what made this dog a so­cial me­dia su­per­star, so it’s those pic­tures that Beauch­esne has re­turned to with the new book. This time Cru­soe is trav­el­ling around the globe in many be­spoke out­fits care­fully cre­ated and cu­rated for each out­ing by Beauch­esne.

Like a mo­ti­vated su­per­model, Cru­soe re­ally sells it in the shoots. For his trip to Switzer­land, he is high in the Alps breath­ing deep and pos­ing hard as a wee avalanche dog. In Cal­i­for­nia, he laps up the L.A. movie star life­style and pokes his nose into a glass of red wine in Paso Robles. In Mex­ico, he heads un­der­ground — safety wear in tact, of course — for a tour of the un­der­ground river cave sys­tem at Rio Se­creto (near Playa del Car­men). He eats hot dogs in Chicago, wails on a sax in New Or­leans and, of course, sports some leder­ho­sen for a visit to his an­ces­tral home­land of Ger­many.

As for Canada, Cru­soe car­ries the flag proudly. He gets bun­dled up in Que­bec City and digs the di­nosaurs in Drumheller. For his trip to Banff, he gives a nod to his gene pool and has a howl of a time in a wolf cos­tume. In Van­cou­ver, it’s the clas­sic tourist shot by the totem polls in Stan­ley Park then a trip over to North Van­cou­ver and the Capi­lano Sus­pen­sion Bridge.

“He would do it, but he had a very wide stance,” said Beauch­esne about Cru­soe’s feel­ings about the wob­bly bridge some 70 me­tres above the Capi­lano River. Again, this dog is no dummy. Cru­soe is small, so he fits com­fort­ably in a soft-sided car­rier that can be slipped un­der an air­plane seat. Beauch­esne says the tiny trav­eller is al­ways game for a get­away.

“He trav­els very well,” said Beauch­esne. “He loves to come with us when we go places. You should see his lit­tle face when we ar­rive at a new ho­tel room. He’s ex­cited. He loves it. He’s al­ways the first one in the door, of course. He runs around checks out ev­ery room mak­ing sure it is to his stan­dard.”

While the book is packed full of fun and games in gor­geous lo­cales, life for Cru­soe did take a se­ri­ous turn as he got the news all dachs­hund’s and their own­ers fear. He had back is­sues. In 2016 it was dis­cov­ered that Cru­soe had a burst disc. Surgery hap­pened and the lit­tle guy had to learn to walk again.

But if you want to sil­ver lin­ing this one, you can say Cru­soe in­spired Beauch­esne to be creative again, and this time he built a spe­cial ramp to help Cru­soe get up on the bed. So far Beauch­esne has sold 3,000 Dog­goRamps at a cost of $250 each.

The wiener empire shows no signs of crum­bling and oth­ers have taken no­tice.

“I get mes­sages all the time about how can I make my dog fa­mous, stuff like that,” said Beauch­esne. “I give some ad­vice here and there, but I also feel if you are go­ing to do this, it should be with the right in­ten­tions. Not that there is any­thing nec­es­sar­ily wrong with want­ing to make your dog fa­mous, but it should be a way of ex­press­ing your cre­ativ­ity, you know, adding some­thing you feel peo­ple will en­joy. The only thing I don’t like and that I have seen a cou­ple of times is where peo­ple say they are get­ting a dog just to make them fa­mous.

“Ev­ery­thing we do is based on how he ac­tu­ally is in real life, of course a lit­tle bit ex­ag­ger­ated,” added Beauch­esne. “I think peo­ple re­late and see hu­mour in what Cru­soe sees as a dog, and they re­late that to their own dog and how their own dog might see the world. A lot of peo­ple say they live vi­car­i­ously through Cru­soe and his trav­els and ad­ven­tures.”

Right now Cru­soe is get­ting ready for a North Amer­i­can book tour. His Cana­dian stops will be in early 2019.

He is one busy sausage and happy to be fre­quently fly­ing and meet­ing and greet­ing (you can pat him at his events), but he is nine now and that’s get­ting into se­nior ter­ri­tory. And sadly all dog lovers know that dog life­spans, even fa­mous dog life­spans, are way too short. Se­ri­ously, tor­toises and par­rots live for­ever. How is that fair?

With that in mind, what about cloning Cru­soe?

“It’s funny you asked that — I was just watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary on that last week. My girl­friend and I had a lit­tle just for fun con­ver­sa­tion about it. But I don’t think I would do it,” said Beauch­esne. “It just wouldn’t be the same dog no mat­ter what, right? I think it would be al­most sad to see the same dog but know it’s not him in­side.”

And there’s no guar­an­tee a clone would be able to pull off a Speedo.


Much like a su­per­model, Cru­soe the celebrity dachs­hund trav­els the world to have his pic­ture taken in a va­ri­ety of be­spoke out­fits.

Cru­soe trav­elled to Drumheller to dig for di­nosaur bones. There was no chew­ing al­lowed, though!

Cru­soe loves trav­el­ling and is small enough to fit in a car­rier un­der an air­plane seat.

Ryan Beauch­esne St. Mar­tin’s Press

Cru­soe, The Worldly Wiener Dog

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