This kindly Pomeranian is recognized worldwide for his striking “foxlike” features, his special connection with children – and his love for the camera!
Not all puppy mill dogs have happy endings. But Pom Pom Chewy is one of the lucky ones. Rescued from his cage by an animal shelter in northern Canada, before he turned a year old, he was small, sickly and skittish at first. But Chewy soon began to heal under the care of his loving foster family, whose home backed onto a large forest. Soon, under the watchful eyes of his caregivers, the little Pomeranian took to playing among the trees where foxes were often spotted.
Coincidentally, as Pom Pom Chewy grew stronger, he started to look more and more like a fox himself. But though he loved the woods and his lookalike friends, he was destined for a different lifestyle. He was adopted by a woman named Nicole, who took Chewy south to live with her in Toronto. Nicole decided to embrace his “foxy” roots, and spun a fun and catchy story that garnered the attention of nearly 65,000 fans on Instagram. As her endearing story goes, a fox and a Pomeranian fell in love and brought Chewy – the first “Foxeranian” – into the world.
At first, the drastic change of scenery from a peaceful northern forest to a busy urban setting caused Chewy some anxiety. He hid in the corners of Nicole’s condo, and refused to emerge. But eventually, something – or more accurately, someone – coaxed him out of his shell. “One day, Chewy had a vet appointment that ran late,” says Nicole, who is a kindergarten teacher. “I had to bring him to work with me. He had taken to sleeping in my shirt because he was scared of most things, but he stuck his head out when we entered the classroom. One of my students noticed and came over. Chewy tried to climb out of my shirt to get to her. I let her hold him and he snuggled into her.” Nicole was shocked. “This was a dog who had trouble coming out from under furniture, let alone interacting with people!”
After seeing how well Chewy connected with children, Nicole started bringing him to her classroom on a weekly basis. “Typically, I introduce Chewy to the class, we discuss the proper way to interact with pups, and then we do a lesson on animals,” she says. “The rest of the time is spent interacting with Chewy.” As he became more and more comfortable in social situations, Nicole and Chewy started volunteering with other children’s programs throughout Toronto.
Nicole quickly began to recognize that there was something special about her sweet pup. His gift for interacting with children amazed her at every turn. “The way Chewy responds to kids and the way they respond to him is such a special thing to see,” she says. “Volunteering together has become our favorite time of the week.” Gradually, Nicole started bringing Chewy to bigger events, and they now appear at Toronto exhibitions like the Toronto Pet Expo and Woofstock, and work with many organizations such as Wagaware, Red, Greendog Foundation, and several local dog shelters.
“The way Chewy responds to kids and the way they respond to him is such a special thing to see.”
Along with becoming one of the busiest canine philanthropists in Toronto, Pom Pom Chewy has also become famous on social media. As is the case with most Instagram dogs, Nicole claims it all started when she became obsessed with taking photos of her Pom. “When I sent photos to friends, I would put different-sized items beside him to show them how small he was,” she says. “All the photos went on my personal Instagram and I realized it was slowly becoming his own account.” As more people noticed Chewy’s tiny size and read the fictional tale of his foxy origins, his popularity grew. Before long, he was making media appearances and filming commercials and movies in New York City.
Needless to say, Pom Pom Chewy is much more than just an adorable face. As much as he enjoys dressing up in charming outfits and posing for cameras, this busy fellow still loves working with kids above all else. “One of my favourite stories about Chewy happened at our first Pet Expo,” says Nicole. “A little boy had just got a pair of glasses and was very insecure about them. Chewy loves wearing glasses and happened to be wearing a pair that day. I’ll never forget the moment that little boy saw Chewy with his glasses – suddenly, it was like glasses were the best thing in the world!”
Of course, Nicole always makes time in Chewy’s hectic schedule to let him just be a dog. When he’s not playing with children or working on Hollywood film sets, this cute canine enjoys swimming, strolling through urban parks, and wrestling with his brother – an even tinier Pomeranian named Solo. Chewy’s adventures are fueled by a healthy raw diet, as well as a daily probiotic supplement, a multivitamin, and as much pumpkin as he can get his paws on! According to Nicole, he’s also a sucker for natural elk bones.
Chewy’s adventures are fueled by a healthy raw diet, as well as a daily probiotic supplement, a multivitamin, and as much pumpkin as he can get his paws on!
While Nicole loves her pup’s strong connection with children, she admits that what she most enjoys is simply spending time with him between events. “Seeing the effect he has on children is truly wonderful,” she says. “But I
also love it when he lets loose and acts like a pup. He is very professional when he’s working, so when he gets a chance to relax and be silly, it’s very well-deserved and so much fun to see!”