Famous Instagram Dogs: Meet Oliver!
In February, we introduced Design Star Nikki Brouillette and mentioned that in addition to designing, cooking, and crocheting, she is the proud caretaker of one of the world’s most famous Instagram dogs: Oliver in Charge (@oliver_in_charge). With a community of over 15,600 followers, it’s fair to say he’s about the most famous shih tzu Instagram has ever seen—and even if he’s not the most famous, we definitely think he’s the most adorable!
In honor of National Pet Month, we sat down with Oliver and Nikki for this exclusive interview. We’d like to thank Oliver for being so generous with his time, and we thank Nikki for translating our questions into dog language (and translating Oliver’s answers to human!).
Tell us about when Nikki adopted you.
I was born on March 25, 2008, and lived with my breeder for three months before Nikki adopted me. She saw me running back and forth, took one look at me, and immediately said, “You look like an Oliver!” We’ve been together ever since.
How did you end up on Instagram?
My mom, Nikki (@eadesignernikki), started following some other dogs on Instagram. She decided I was just as cute as they were, so she encouraged me to create my own account in May 2016. We love interacting with my followers and meeting other pets and their people online. One time, Nikki posted a video of me sitting on my back paws, begging for a cookie (I LOVE cookies!), and the video got over 30,000 views!
Since your mom is an Ethan Allen Design Star, we have to ask: What’s your favorite piece of Ethan Allen furniture?
Visiting Nikki’s Design Center in San Marcos is so much fun. I love to check out all the new furniture. My absolute favorite piece is our Dylan slipcovered sofa. I love to roll around on it, rub my face on it, and take naps on it, too. Nikki loves it because the slipcovers are stain protected and double-stitched for extra durability, which makes it really pet friendly. Plus, a lot of Ethan Allen pillows can be made with high-performance fabrics for additional pet-proofing.
What do you and Nikki like doing together?
In addition to hanging out at home, making friends on Instagram, and helping out at Ethan Allen, we like to make a positive difference in our community. I was featured by ABC 7, a local TV station in Los Angeles, to help share the news when Governor Jerry Brown signed an important bill allowing people to break car windows when they spot pets in a hot car and there’s no other way to rescue them.
We’re not always serious; another thing we LOVE is spa day. I live in Southern California, so I need to look as fabulous as possible. I love to relax while I get washed and trimmed by my groomer @nikkibrillhart. There are usually cookies involved, too!
So cookies are your favorite treats? And do you have any favorite toys?
Cookies ARE my favorite treats—paws down. If you give me a cookie, I am your new best friend.
As far as toys go, I love plushies of all kinds, from stuffed animals to plush food (I have a pizza slice and a pineapple!). I love it when Nikki tosses them and I fetch them. It’s great exercise, especially when the plushy is bigger than I am—I love a challenge!
We know Nikki is a friend to you; she’s helped you become one of the world’s most famous Instagram dogs. How do you support Nikki in return?
Besides hanging out at home, spending time at Ethan Allen, and having awesome adventures to share with my fans, I do my best to be a good friend to Nikki when she’s going through tough times. When Nikki’s mom passed away, I made sure that I ran to greet her as soon as she came home, and I gave her lots of snuggles and kisses so she would know she was loved. I chased my plushies, begged for cookies, and asked her to take me on walks and car rides—anything I could to make her feel better when she was sad. She’s my best friend, forever and always. I’m so glad she’s my human.
For the Pet in Your Life
Even pets that aren’t famous Instagram dogs are important members of the family. Subscribe to our blog this month for tips on pet-friendly design, pet-friendly products for your home—and adorable pet portraits!
COMING SOON: @Oliver_in_Charge is taking over Ethan Allen’s Instagram account (@ethanallen) on May 11! Join the fun with Oliver—and be sure to follow us for gorgeous design and inspiration images. We love to see and share what you post, so make sure to
- Tag your pet images with #EthanAllenPets
- Tag your design images with #EthanAllenDesign