"Ginny's so smart she even does crossword puzzles! Although, when she realized the answers to the clues for the crossword had nothing to do with food or sleep she gave up. Ginny isn't interested in something if it has nothing to do with food or sleep."
That caption, for the photo above, and the photo itself pretty much sums up Ginny, a Jack Russell terrier that has an extraordinary following on Instagram with over 306,000 fans. Between Ginny's adorable antics in the photos and the captions written by her human, Chelsea Hope England, the duo have become celebrities among the dog-loving users of the popular photo-sharing app. They've even made a "bacontini" a thing. We caught up with the human half of the team and asked about the back story of this cuddly terrier.
MNN: Ginny has a full-blown personality on Instagram — a nap-loving, bacon-snacking, inferior-human-indulging, rules-the-world-with-confidence personality. Tell me about how you see Ginny.
Chelsea Hope England: I often think about how I see Ginny or what Ginny means to me, and I guess really I see Ginny as my everything. She's a best friend that doesn't talk back ... and that's perfect. I've been told countless times before that I'm way too attached to Ginny, but I genuinely think that unless you've owned a dog before, you can't understand what a dog means to their owner. Every morning Ginny's by my side of the bed begging for a cuddle, and in the evenings she's next to me on the sofa resting her head on my lap or begging for whatever I'm eating. I love Ginny and everything about her.
"There's Olympic swimming, Ginny wants to know why there isn't 'Olympic standing in a paddling pool doing nothing' as well? She doesn't like swimming, but she would win gold for being lazy in a paddling pool."
When and how did Ginny come to be part of your life?
Oooh this is something I could talk about for hours, but I'll spare you and give a slightly shorter version of how I got Ginny. Six years ago, I was a volunteer with a local shelter and dog boarding company. My boss had noticed a dog by the side of the road on her way to work. I live in the countryside, so there's a lot of roads with miles and miles of fields by them so she had assumed the dog had just been taken for a walk and had gotten lost. After pulling over and getting a close look, it was apparent this dog had been tied to a gate by the road and left there. She untied the dog and brought her to work where I was to call the appropriate people to help. This dog was Ginny.
She was skinny, her fur was thin, and she was covered in bites and fleas. She had the sweetest eyes I've ever seen in a dog, though she'd clearly been through a lot. I loved her instantly. I couldn't leave her side, and stayed while vets rescue groups were called to see what could be done for her. The day passed by and it was decided by someone my boss knew that Ginny would be taken by them to be treated and eventually be taken to Ireland to be trained to hunt rats on a farm. I was absolutely against that — I didn't want this dog who clearly needed a home and a hug to be put through that. So, I took her home with me instead.
I took her to be treated for her skin conditions and to treat the fleas. She also needed treatment on her neck, whatever was used to tie her to that gate by the road was far too tight and she had problems eating because of it. After several months and lots of treatment and medication she was given a clean bill of health. I'm forever happy I chose to adopt Ginny and bring her home with me, it took a lot to get her to where she is now, but it was all worth it. I can't imagine not having Ginny in my life.
"We saw the ice cream man on the way home from our walk this afternoon; as far as Ginny's concerned this is the best day ever."
It's more than just you who is glad you brought her home with you! You have an incredible following on Instagram.
It still baffles me that many people follow Ginny! I'll never get my head around it. I don't think anything else had helped to be honest, I kind of just credit Ginny's cuteness to the amount of followers she has now. We have been on Instagram for almost three years ... and now I think about it I suppose posting pictures for that long has something to do with the amount of people following Ginny's shenanigans.
"Hey human, what's your Netflix password? I want to log in and watch ... something. Yeah okay, I want to log in and see if there are any shows about baconology on there. Don't judge me human."
Do you come up with ideas for your photos beforehand, or do they just kind of come to you in the moment, like playing cards with Ginny or giving her a blanket, books and sunglasses on a warm day outside? Tell me a little about what photographing Ginny is like for you, and what you get out of it.
It's a bit of both; sometimes I will plan a photo out and other times I'll just have my camera with me and decide to take a photo. Most of the time my photos of Ginny are taken on a whim. Most photos of her outside are taken without any planning — I'll just be with her and she looks so content or cute in that moment that I want a memory of it. I get to capture Ginny's happy, crazy and darn right weird moments forever through the photos, and for me that's priceless. I will admit I spend a lot of time just looking through Ginny's photos and laughing.
Most important question: When did the bacontini begin?
Hahaha, ah the beloved bacontini. Well, Ginny is very fond of her bacon treats. Bacon treats were one of the first treats I gave her and she's a bit of a treat snob so they're really the only treats she'll eat. I remember about two years ago I was watching James Bond and of course Mr. Bond has his martinis shaken, not stirred. Ginny was next to me asleep while James Bond was on and my friend who had come over with her dog said, "Ginny looks like she could do with a Martini." I immediately said back to her, "No, Ginny's too good for that. She'll have a bacontini instead." My friend laughed at how disgusting and crazy a bacontini sounded, and the next day I put a few of Ginny's bacon treats in a glass and posted a picture of the bacontini creation. The bacontini is probably our favorite thing now. For those wondering too, Ginny isn't that fussy so she'll take her bacontini shaken or stirred!
"Another wild and crazy Friday night for Ginny. While the weather's bad she's going to stay snuggled up with a good book ... to use as a pillow."
"Ginny's ready to practice her swimming with her doggles on! Although she doesn't like swimming — it involves too much movement — she'll probably just work on her belly flops."
"I think it may take more than a warm towel and a snuggle with her teddy to cheer Ginny up after I took her for a walk in the rain again. She's considering digging to Hawaii now so she can enjoy a bacontini on the beach."
"Pretty sure if Ginny has a visible thought bubble this is what it would look like. Of course she thinks about other things ... like sleeping and how cute she is."
"Ginny has the worst poker face ever, she just looks too happy ... although that could be because she's seen food."
"Ginny likes to use an inferior human to practice her high fives on, that's how she gets them so perfect every time!"
"It took Ginny 14 hours to find a puddle to run through. She managed to stay clean for an entire 14 hours after her bath, that's a personal record for Ginny."
"It's dangerous to go through Mondays without a Ginny high five, so Ginny's handing them out now for you all!"
"Ginny assures me she hasn't just been sleeping all day, she's really just been resting her eyes or she put herself into deep meditation to prepare for Monday tomorrow... she isn't sure which excuse to go with."
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