Emerson students spot a new canine trend

by Isabelle Lichtenstein / Beacon Correspondent • February 18, 2016

Boston is a city with many sights to offer, from Faneuil Hall to the the Freedom Trail, but sometimes there’s nothing as exciting as spotting a dog on the sidewalk.

For animal lovers, the Facebook group Dogspotting offers a platform to post pictures of the canines they spy while out and about.

Dogspotting participants share photos of other people’s pets they happen across on the street, in dining halls, or anywhere else canines can be found frolicking, wagging tails, and drooling. 

Some of the pictures receive upward of 5,500 likes. One of the top posts from 2015 featured a fluffy white retriever poking its head into a lecture hall in Boston. The post received over 3,500 likes and was featured in an article about the group in The Guardian.

Like all worthy sports, dogspotting has rules. You’re not allowed to post photos of your own dogs, or shots of furry creatures in places they would normally be found, such as veterinarian offices or parks—all good games are challenging, of course. You’re also banned from posting selfies with the pooches. 

The trend began in 2015, and the page now has over 100,000 international members, posting from the streets of places like Vietnam and Australia. Recently, more than 30 Emerson students were added to the virtual pooch-pic community.

Senior visual and media arts major Amy Post said that she first joined the page because a friend told her that every time she visited her newsfeed, she’d be greeted with an influx of dog pictures. 

“When she just said that there was pictures of cute dogs, I said, ‘Sign me up!’” Post said. “There’s just dogs in funny situations, like there’s one of a dog in a backpack. It’s funny that people that don’t know each other see the same dogs.”

Fellow member Marni Margo-Zipper, a freshman marketing communication major, said that she enjoys the group not only because the dog photographs show up on her timeline, but also because she gets to see canines from everywhere, a feat impossible to accomplish without the internet.

“I get to see a variation of dogs from all over the world,” Margo-Zipper said. “Some of the images are adorable and some are hilarious.”

Junior visual and media arts major Dan Goldberg said in a phone interview that he joined because his girlfriend took a photograph of a dog that she wanted to share, but she didn’t want to post it herself. He said that even if you don’t post to the page, you still get the benefit of others’ pictures of dogs showing up on your Facebook timeline.

“It's a constant stream of cute dogs,” Goldberg said. “It's that feeling of spotting a cute pup on the street brought to your newsfeed.”