A French Bulldog from Texas has earned 786,000 Instagram followers and rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in merchandise sales — all thanks to his very unusual bark.
Walter Geoffrey, a six-year-old dog who lives in Austin, is beloved by his followers and his owner Amber Martin for his attitude, his sassiness, and his famous ‘meltdowns.’
‘It didn’t take long for me to start an IG account because he was clearly extra,’ Amber told DailyMail.com of her celebrity pet. ‘As soon as I posted one of his now-famous temper tantrums, he went viral and we suddenly gained hundreds of thousands of followers in a very quick period of time.’
The sound that comes out of Walter Geoffrey’s mouth is unusual, to say the least — and sounds more like a human woman yelling or a child crying than a dog barking.
But the bizarre sound — and the way the pup will belt it out, throwing ‘tantrums’ or howling along to music — has earned him legions of fans, who find him lovable, feisty, and hilarious.
Amber, who is in her early 30s, said she got Walter Geoffrey in her late 20s when she wanted ‘a pup that I could spoil.’
‘I decided on a French Bulldog once I learned about their personalities and attitudes. When I found pictures of the most sassy little pup I had ever laid eyes on, I had to have him,’ she said.
Before even meeting him in person, she settled on ‘Walter’ because he looked like a grumpy old man, and added ‘Geoffrey’ because ‘he wasn’t going to be like any normal pup and his name needed to demonstrate that.’
‘In typical diva fashion, he missed his connecting flight in Houston so he showed up two to three hours later than he was supposed to. Right away, I was obsessed and he’s been my favorite bratty baby boy ever since,’ she recalled.
It wasn’t long before she discovered his unusual bark. He wasn’t yet potty-trained yet, and she had to go to work — so she put him in a crate.
‘I put him in his crate, I told him I’d be back at lunch to check on him and as soon I was walking out the door he made this scream like he was in a crazy amount of pain,’ she said.
‘I immediately thought, “OMG, his paw is stuck in the gate!” So I ran back to him and as soon as he saw me he went quiet. I opened the door and checked all over his body and he was totally fine.
‘So I put him back in the crate and tried to leave out the front door, but again he let out the loudest scream of life. I ran back to him, but this time I saw him with his paws up on the crate yelling as loud as he could. I literally thought, “OMG I have a broken pup.”
He doesn’t always howl. In fact, he has a ‘normal bark,’ too — but that howl lets Amber know he is irritated.
‘Walt is definitely a diva,’ she added. ‘Hard to please, he judges everyone and everything. I like to call him “Garen” (the make version of Karen) from time to time because I can’t do a single thing right a lot of ways.
‘I swear his side eye will hit you in your soul,’ she went on.
‘He loves to be driven around town, loves to travel (road trips or by plane) with me, boss me around, medium-well steaks and fancy treats. When it comes to other dogs, he’s really indifferent… most the time he keeps to himself so he basically invented social distancing.
‘When it comes to humans he wants to make sure you see and acknowledge that he’s in your presence. I honestly feel like he thinks we are all peasants. He’s the king and we’re just living in his own world.’
She soon realized he needed his own Instagram page — and the rest is history.
His videos all get hundreds of thousands of views, he sells five figures worth of merchandise each month, and Ellen, Michael B. Jordan, Jennifer Aniston, and Angie Harmon are fans.
‘He’s unapologetically himself and I think that’s what fans love so much about him. He’s dynamic with multiple layers,’ Amber said.
‘His meltdowns are the most relatable thing on the internet and his side eye can hit you in your soulnd his side eye can hit you in your soul.
‘Everyone loves the level of attitude and sassiness he has and they always want to know more of what’s going on in Walt’s world to make sure he is treated like the King he is.’
Amber admits that sometimes he is so loud that neighbors call the police — and some have even expressed concern that she’s beating a child.
But otherwise, she said, everyone loves Walt.
‘There’s something very infectious about his aura and overall personality,’ she said. ‘He’s truly a phenomenon in every sense.
‘His meltdowns are totally relatable (I mean, if you haven’t had a meltdown or two or 20, are you even human?) and you can feel the attitude he has when around him. Most folks are really shocked when they run into us because he can be a bit more pleasant then expected. He has a lot of heart outside of his flagship tantrums!’