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The Wildest Awards: International Dog Day 2021

August 26th is International Dog Day. To celebrate, we’re honoring 10 Instagram VIPs (Very Important Puppies) from around the world — from best dressed to best #mood.

by Charles Manning
August 25, 2021
Tika wearing a pink outfit

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It’s August 26 and that means it’s International Dog Day. Yay! Or should we say woof? Either way, the point is: DOGS! Amiright!? So cute, so lovable, so freaking photogenic. In celebration of the wonder that is dogs, we’re shelling out awards to 10 of the best good boys and girls Instagram has to offer. Yes, sort of like senior superlatives!

Now I know what you’re thinking: how were these selections made? Was it done by committee? Is there any data I can peruse to justify these...? No, stop it right there. Bad human. BAD! You’re overthinking it. Just relax and let the cuteness wash over you like so many sweet, slobbery puppy kisses.

Best Smile 

@marutaro (Japan)

Look at that face. Couldn’t you just die?! At 40 lbs, Maru is pretty husky for a Shiba Inu (the smallest of Japan’s native dog breeds) but all that extra plush just makes him look that much snugglier. His human, Shinjiro Ono, bought him from a pet store about 12 years ago. He didn’t plan on getting a dog, but every week he would pass the shop and notice that while the other, more svelte dogs quickly found homes, chubby little Maru remained. “I became worried,” Ono said in an interview in 2020. “What happens if I don’t buy him?” How anyone could pass up this plump little unit, we’ll never know. But it doesn’t matter now, because he’s found his forever home and he couldn’t be happier. Just look at that smile. “I think Maru's smile catches people's heart,” Ono said. “It brings peace and makes people feel happy.” Indeed!

Best Dressed

@tikatheiggy (Canada)

Did you know that “Tika” is French-Canadian for “Fashion?” Oui, absolument! (Well… not technically, but spiritually, emotionally, metaphysically — 100%) You’ve no doubt seen the viral video of her showing off the haute ensembles she was unable to wear due to the pandemic. Or, at the very least, you’ve seen one of the many homage and copycat videos it inspired. Hysterical and chic is a very difficult balance to strike, but Tika does it flawlessly.

Cutest Thing on Two Legs

@turboroo (USA)

TurboRoo was born without front legs, but that has never stopped him from being active, happy, and vibrant. He just needs a little extra help getting around. Luckily, he’s got a 3D-printed set of wheels to help with that and a vet-tech mom who loves him just the way he is!

Best Shag

@lecorgi (UK)

Corgis are the favorite breed of reigning British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, so it’s no surprise that they are massively popular across that country and around the world. What makes Marcel particularly special, though, is his longer-than-average coat, which gives him a sort of rakish aristocratic look, don’t you think? Luxurious and sort of haphazard. Very to-the-doghouse-born! He’s also got the most expressive little eyebrows, which — in combination with his lovely, shaggy coat — make one think that if Dumbledore were an animal, he might have looked something like Marcel.

Best Buds

@wat.ki (USA)

Watson and Kiko are always hugging. OMG. My heart. I just. I can’t. I gotta sit down. 

#Bestlife

@kittyetlola (France)

Traveling around France and being pampered with your best friend by your side all the way? Not a bad life, if you can get it!

Best Tongue-to-Head Ratio

@itsdougthepug (USA)

Doug has the tongue of a dog twice his size and god bless him if he isn’t the cutest little slobber monster around. He also really knows how to work a lewk. I mean, his costume game is on point. And those rolls! Ugh, what a little heartbreaker.

Best #Mood

@tunameltsmyheart (USA)

That overbite! That face! Could Tuna be any more of a #Mood? Also, doesn’t he look exactly like Amy Sedaris’ iconic character, Jerri Blank, from Strangers With Candy? If Amy ever does a reboot, Tuna must be brought on board. 

Best Advocate for Adoption

@lifeofpikelet (Australia)

Pikelet Butterwiggle Still was saved from a kill shelter and now helps foster other dogs and remind people that all dogs are worthy of love and it is always better to #adoptdontshop.

Pouffiest Pouf

@bichon_tori (Korea)

I mean, there’s floof, and then there’s flooooooooof. Tori looks like she’s made of cotton balls and if you groom her too much she’s liable to disappear, which would be a real shame because she is Just. So. Cute.

Charles Manning

Charles Manning is an actor, writer, and fashion/media consultant living in New York City with his two cats, Pumpkin and Bear. Follow him on Instagram @charlesemanning.