It used to be that the only way for an animal to get famous was for it to be in the movies or on TV. And really, those animals weren't even famous; their characters were. Do you know who played Marcel the Monkey on Friends? Well, her name was Katie. And now you know.
Manny the Frenchie, a French bulldog who resides in a duplex in the West Loop, has taken an easier, more gratifying path to fame: being cute and being on Instagram. His owners, Jon Huang and Amber Chavez, started an account for the now two-year-old dog and he currently has more than 250,000 followers, some of them famous in their own right, like singer-actress Christina Milian and Jenna Ushkowitz of Glee. Martha Stewart is also a fan. Manny was on the Steve Harvey Show.
"The good thing about Manny," says Huang, "is that he hasn't changed much. He still kind of looks like a puppy. He's just little and pudgy." He also farts a lot. And likes to sleep in the bathroom sink, a quirk that was interesting (read: adorable) enough for Buzzfeed to devote an entire post to it. Apparently, Manny suffers from the same kind of separation anxiety that afflicts many dogs of his breed, so he likes to follow his owners everywhere, including into the bathroom. They put him up on the counter once and the rest is history.
Manny's already released a line of T-shirts for people and dogs—American Apparel actually approached Huang with the idea, not the other way around—and now he's got a book in the works, as well as another line of T-shirts and other products. Huang says they'll be donating a portion of the proceeds to charities including the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue.
Manny can be spotted at the West Loop Dog Park. But you'll have to go to Instagram for the sink-sleeping bit.