Social networking has gone to the dogs

By Joanne Carroll

Dogs can now stay in touch online. Photo / Richard Robinson
Dogs can now stay in touch online. Photo / Richard Robinson

There's Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Twitter ... and now Dogbook.

Even your animals can now socialise over the net, with your help of course.

Dogbook, or Facebook for dogs, is allowing Kiwi dog lovers to connect with others all over the world.

It is one of several Facebook applications for pets, called Dogbook, Catbook, Birdbook, Fishbook, Horsebook, Ferretbook and even Rodentbook.

Pet grooming and dog walking business Pet Partners owner Deb Bodger, of Tauranga, is one of 722,336 Dogbook users.

Her four dogs, Bonnie the chihuahua and labradors Benji, Charlie and Emma, all have Dogbook profiles.

Bonnie's profile lists her activities as: "Keeping the labs in check, looking utterly gorgeous, nose licking, lap snoozing, cuddles and chasing".

Bonnie gives her friends pets and cuddles and can share virtual toys such as an Idog, a barkberry, Chewnel No 5 perfume and Grrrona beer.

"It's a bit of fun," Bodger said. "Animals are in your life for enjoyment and Dogbook is an extension of that. It's a way to share information and connect with like-minded people who are passionate about their pets.

"There was a time a dog stayed outside. Then, the dog came into the lounge. Now they often sleep on the bed.

"They really are part of the family now and a bigger part of life than they've ever been."

Jodie Thorne joked her dog Fletcher - who sports six photos - was the "cool dude of the family and the social queen of the family".

"She deserves to have a Dogbook page," she said.

Davey Van Gooswilligen, said his tabby cat Ruby, regularly appeared on his own Facebook page. "I'll update my status, then update hers. It's kind of expected."

- Herald on Sunday

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