Ladies and gentlemen of Fort Worth, if you’re on the road and you see a Great Dane with distinct white stripes and a bandanna tied around his neck, get ready to see some serious flappage.
“When I posted on Dogspotting Society everybody started commenting about look at those flappers,” said William Booth, the owner of Melo The Great Dane. “And everything about flappage.”
Aside from the jaw flappage as Booth has coined it, the other obvious thing that would get almost anybody’s attention on the road is that Melo, well, he’s hanging out the rear passenger window of a car — wearing goggles.
“Really, just about every car you can look around and people have their phones out taking pictures and video,” said Booth.
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Booth loves cars and loves to drive, so the goggles serve a purpose.
“I really wanted to make sure I was protecting his eyes,” said Booth. “From the sunlight, from the wind and from any debris that might hit his eyes.”
But since he’s typically in the driver’s seat as he and Melo cruise through traffic in Fort Worth, Booth wasn’t getting the same view of Melo’s flappage as everyone else did. It got him thinking.
“I kind of wanted to see that point of view,” said Booth. So he attached a camera to the top of his car.
After his short videos became a hit on a few dog-friendly websites, he decided to launch Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for Melo.
“I’ve had several notes from people on Facebook saying, ‘Man this really made my day. This is the best video I’ve seen all year,’ ” Booth said.
Prototype dog goggles
The videos led to major companies like Unilad and Jungle Creations reaching out to Booth and Melo to send them prototypes of new goggles. The companies plan to host Melo’s flappage videos wearing their products on their websites and social media accounts.
For Booth and Melo, a lot has happened in a short time.
Eleven months ago, Booth’s previous dog passed away and he decided he wanted a Great Dane. His friend knew a breeder and introduced him to Melo, only a few months old at the time.
“He has distinct stripes and his feet are white, so it was a neat color combination,” said Booth. “He had a really good personality.”
Booth got Melo house-trained and worked with him before he took him on the road.
“We spent a lot of time together trying to teach him to sit and proper manners for a puppy,” said Booth. “We had a great relationship and turned into being my best friend.”
He got the idea for the goggles from watching an episode of A&E’s hit show “Live PD,” in which a police dog was wearing goggles.
“I was like, ‘Wow that exactly what I need,’ ” said Booth.
A few days later, a pair of the largest-sized Rex Specs goggles came in the mail and the pair have been on the road ever since.
The idea of 1-year-old Melo becoming a social media star is OK with Booth, for at least one reason.
“Kind of a funny conversation that I have with people is this Great Dane’s expensive,” said Booth. “He eats a lot of food.”
That’s 10 to 12 cups of dog food per day, Booth said. In a month’s time Melo will go through at least two 35-pound bags of dog food.
“I kind of had a conversation with him of, ‘Hey look I need you to start paying some rent. Start doing your part for the food that you’re taking care of,’ ” said Booth.
If social media stardom is in the cards for Melo, he seems fine with doing his part — as long as the windows are down, the wind is in his face and his goggles are on.