The ‘I’ve Pet That Dog’ Kid Is Now Having To Virtually Pet Pups He Finds Online

Gideon Kidd is an eleven-year-old boy who loves petting dogs – so much so that he and his mom, Rachel Braunigan, would actually walk or drive around the community in search of dogs to pet. Of course, they always asked the person’s permission first before petting a dog. If the person with the dog said “yes,” then Rachel would take a picture of Gideon petting the dog or dogs.

Needless to say, it is estimated that in the two years of doing this, Gideon has managed to meet and pet more than 1,000 dogs. All these precious pups’ pictures have helped Gideon gain thousands of followers on his now very popular Twitter, “I’ve Pet That Dog.” However, the recent pandemic has put a wrench in Gideon’s plans to go out and meet more dogs.

As Gideon shared with The Gazette, “Because all the experts are saying stay home, me and my mom decided we shouldn’t go out and pet dogs anymore.”

While dogs themselves can’t pass on COVID-19 to others, their owners most definitely can. Since social distancing is the only way to help flatten the curve of this pandemic, it was with a very heavy heart that Gideon and his mom made the decision to stay home and not go out and pet dogs until the pandemic is under control.

However, that didn’t mean that Gideon had to give up his dog project entirely. Thanks to technology, Gideon decided that the right move would be to reach out to dog owners to send him pictures and a short biography of their dogs in order for him to continue running his Twitter page in a virtual environment – something that is safe for everyone!

Rather than Gideon petting dogs, his Twitter will momentarily feature pictures of the young boy holding up pictures of dogs who were sent in to him by dog owners from across the country.

A recent tweet of Gideon’s read, “I would love to pet Clyde. He is a 3-year-old St. Bernard who weighs 170 lbs. He doesn’t realize how big he is. He lies on the couch and sleeps until noon. He likes milk. Even if you have a tall glass with only a little bit left, Clyde can get all the milk without spilling it.”

However, the move to a virtual space has not slowed down Gideon’s page one bit. In fact, since going fully virtual, “I’ve Pet That Dog” has received thousands of pictures from proud pet parents everywhere.

As Gideon stated, “I feel happy about that. It’s kind of fun and nice. I really do miss petting dogs, but at least I still get to see the dogs, and I get to learn about the dogs.”

The overwhelming amount of submissions has meant that Gideon is having a little trouble replying to all of them.

However, his mother Rachel said, “It’s been amazing, but it’s very overwhelming. You feel that need to respond to people, especially when they’re sharing these adorable sweet dogs, but you can’t.”

Rachel has been happy with the response, believing that it is helping to bring her son a sense of normality in face of all the school closures and other interrupted routines.

Rachel mentioned, “Like the rest of the world right now, we’re worried, we’re cautious, we’re trying to keep safe. I’m glad we’re trying to keep up with this project. It brings us happiness, it brings others happiness with its simple purity. We need that now, the little distractions that aren’t so serious.”

If you want your pooch to be a part of this fun project, feel free to send Gideon a photo of your dog either through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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