A designer Chow Chow with a massive social media presence was stolen Wednesday. Its owner, 29-year-old Jamie Green, says the dog’s newfound viral fame may be the reason Misiu was taken from Green’s Stanmore, northwest London home.
Green spent the equivalent of $US2,500 on Misiu to surprise his girlfriend, Joanna Gluminska, only five weeks ago.
One of Green’s friends posted a picture of Misiu on Instagram shortly after Green adopted the 3-month-old pup. From there, someone posted the picture on Imgur, the image-hosting website associated with Reddit. “Someone on Imgur put a picture of him up, went to sleep, woke up, and Misiu had 2 million hits,” Green told Business Insider.
“We did a Google image search like they do on ‘Catfish,’ and found his picture on over 300 websites. Reddit had it as one of the most popular pictures that day. He was on BuzzFeed and he got 80,000 likes. He was on Virgin Radio and got 300,000 likes and he was seen by 30 [million] or 40 million people. This dog has become a celebrity overnight.”
Green told us he and his girlfriend have been alone in his family’s house while his mother is out of town on vacation. On Wednesday, Green came home from work and noticed that Misiu wasn’t scratching at the door like he normally would.
When he walked into the kitchen, he noticed the back window was smashed in and the back door was open, and when he looked in his backyard, he noticed the fence was broken. Misiu was nowhere to be found. The burglars did not take Green’s other dog, however.
A photo posted by Misiu Green (@misiu_green) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:24am PDT
“I called the police and said, ‘There’s been a burglary, and I think someone’s stolen my dog,'” he said.
A police spokesperson confirmed the disappearance to ABC News: “A dog was inside the property at the time of the offence, and has gone missing” but also added, “It is not known if the dog has run off as the rear door was left open or if the dog has been stolen.”
Green told us that Misiu, which means “little bear” in Polish, and some of his mother’s jewelry were the only things the burglars took — no electronics or other valuables were taken. He says Misiu’s popularity likely was the reason Green was burglarized. But it’s unclear how a robber would have known where Misiu lives.
“Misiu is loved by everyone, not just me. That’s why I made a Facebook page for him,” Green told us.
“I couldn’t believe how quickly his popularity spread, and to be honest with you, there’s been a few people I’d say have been stalking him based on the messages they have been sending me on the Facebook page. I should have kept him to myself. I shouldn’t have shared him with the world. Misiu’s been with us for five weeks. He’s like a baby.”