By Megan Douress
It’s no secret that Manayunk has its own community of dogs. A number of businesses in our district have shop dogs, and some even welcome four-legged shoppers. Main Street next-door neighbors Latitudes and Longitudes and Ashe B & Co. are both dog-friendly. Meredith Podob of Latitudes and Longitudes keeps dog treats on hand, while Brittany of Ashe B & Co. has an official door greeter, her Chihuahua-Puggle mix, Coco.
One day last May, while Coco was lounging in the sunny window of Ashe B & Co, Meredith and Brittany thought it would be fun to start an Instagram account for Coco, as she admired many dogs that would pass by on a day-to-day basis. But, they decided to take the idea a step further—to make an account for the entire dog community in Manayunk.
“The neighborhood is really dog-friendly, and we’ve met so many dogs just by having businesses on Main Street,” Brittany said. “We originally thought we would just post photos of dogs that would come by our shops, but if they didn’t ever come by during business hours, we would never have the opportunity to feature them. So, we started pushing the hashtag #dogsofmanayunk for other users to submit their photos for us to repost on our account.”
What started out as a fun side project for the twosome has turned into nearly 800 followers. Meredith and Brittany admit that dressed up dogs and dogs that are on theme (i.e. National Take Your Dog to Work Day) make the best posts and are responsible for the account’s large following. But while it’s become popular in just a matter of months, it certainly isn’t a popularity contest.
“We like to mix it up,” Brittany explained. “We really want to include everyone, so we’ll sit and search for 20-30 minutes looking through our hashtag for dogs who live in the Manayunk/Roxborough/East Falls neighborhoods. It’s almost been a year and we’re still finding new dogs!”
“It’s fun!” Meredith added. “We get to know the dogs before we even meet them. @simonthestaffy came into my store and I said, ‘Hey, Simon!’ His mom was so excited that I knew him.”
@dogsofmanayunk has taken social media to a new level, too. Meredith and Brittany would often promote animal-related events and information from local rescues on Instagram, but quickly realized they needed another outlet—Facebook.
“On Instagram, it’s kind of hard for people to share their photos on our page,” Meredith said. “We can see when we’re tagged, but not everyone can. On Facebook, it’s a lot easier for people to share their photos and events. We made it a community page so anyone who ‘likes’ the Dogs of Manayunk page can see what’s posted.”
“We want to be able to support events in the dog community,” Brittany added. “We can get the word out about donating to a cause or even find people on Main Street to donate to events, such as Santa Paws. We want to be a point of reference for the dog community.”
@dogsofmanayunk even inspired a new charitable project out of the Manayunk Development Corporation, the Dogs of MNYK 2017 calendar. Part of the proceeds were donated to Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. Meredith’s dogs, Luna the black lab and Penelope the boxer are featured on a page—and so is their friend Coco, along with many other Main Street shop dogs.
See their full page of furry friends here.
Visit the Manayunk Development Corporation Contact page for full contact information.
Office: 4312 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127