Most pet adoption listings try to make the cats and dogs up for adoption as appealing as possible. But not the Humane Society Silicon Valley, which last week published a creative, funny, and unusually honest listing for a tiny tornado of a Chihuahua, “Eddie the Terrible.”
It’s an awesome piece of writing—rough edges and all—by Finnegan Dowling, who works with the shelter. And it’s the ridiculously good writing that’s making this pint-sized demon dog a mini viral sensation.
Eddie’s traction might not be massive—but it’s gargantuan for this small Silicon Valley shelter, which typically sees a fraction of that level of activity on its listings.
See what good writing can do?
“How does so much naughty exist in a small dog?” begins the listing, A Full Disclosure Blog: Three Reasons You DON’T Want To Adopt Eddie The Terrible.
“We know, we know. He is adorable. All small and yellow and fluffy. A little bit tubby which makes him seem more softer somehow, like a dog you can trust with your secrets. Don’t be fooled.”
“He’s not going to pull Timmy out of the well,” Finnegan told HuffPo.
More hilarious, terrible truths about awful Eddie:
Eddie hates other dogs.
“We’re pretty sure somewhere out there exists someone patient enough to work with him on this or someone who frankly doesn’t give a bean if he likes to scream his head off for a few seconds at the neighbor’s Lab. But in the interest of full disclosure, we have to be honest.”
Eddie is socially awkward.
“We’re in Silicon Valley—if we started throwing out the socially awkward no one would ever have another piece of new technology again.”
Eddie has specific sleeping demands.
“While Eddie is crate trained, he has a weird thing about sleeping in the crate. And by weird thing we mean ‘nope, not happening’. A bed in your room? Awesome. In the bed with you? Better. In a crate? Let him sing you the song of his people….”
Eddie is not low-maintenance.
“[I]f you’re looking for a floor-sleeping, speed bump of a dog that minds his own business, strike Eddie clean off your list.”
Eddie is “a little rough around the edges.
“Actually he’s kind of a jerk. But he’s a jerk we believe in. We’re not expecting you to want to meet him but if you must, we really can’t deter you.”
I’m a fan of ridiculously good writing and of dogs. I support Cavalier Rescue USA (the best dog on the planet, Abby, is a Cavalier rescue, as were my beloved Simon and Gigi and Chile). And if I wasn’t in marketing, I’d be a dog walker.
Which is all to say… I believe in Eddie, too.
Find out more about adopting Eddie the Terrible here.
And if you’re outside of Silicon Valley and in the market for a dog… Adopt, don’t shop.
UPDATE, 1/2/2015: “Mission accomplished,” says Finnegan Dowling, social media manager for the Humane Society Silicon Valley.
Just prior to Christmas, Eddie was adopted by a “reasonably-antisocial retired couple who don’t have children. It’s paradise for him and it’s made a huge difference.”
“He’s been back for a Good Morning America interview at the shelter and we’ve seen footage of him at home on Inside Edition. He’s a laid back little guy who is always perched on his new dad’s lap. Yes, he did try and nail a cameraman but he wouldn’t be Eddie if he didn’t.”
More broadly, Finnegan said, the shelter has also experienced an slight uptick in donations in December as a result of Eddie’s celebrity, although it doesn’t have final numbers yet.
“It’s my sincerest hope that we can use this deluge of publicity to bounce a couple of other long term kids out of the shelter,” Finnegan said. She described the publicity and coverage of Eddie’s adoption listing as “a huge validation,” and an antidote to the so-called Sarah McLachlan-ads: the notoriously gut-wrenching shelter photos with sad, solemn soundtracks.
“The most common reason people won’t come to shelters is because they feel it would be depressing — an expectation created by that sort of marketing. We knocked it out of the park with a shelter animal story that had nothing to do with trauma, sadness, abuse, negligence, et al. We’ve been putting these pieces out forever but this one got noticed. And when it was noticed, people loved it and they rallied around our Eddie. So there we go.”