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Fur-ever friends: meet the Insta-famous pets of Buffalo

Sir Kingston Lewis The French Bulldog

I’m Sir Kingston Lewis, but you can call me King. I’m a 4½-year-old French Bulldog. My human, Sam, knew I was “the one” from the moment they laid eyes on me. A Frenchie had always been Sam’s dream dog with our personalities, quirks, and cute squishy face, and I fit the bill.


Finding a reputable breeder was a top priority for Sam, given the health issues Frenchies can face. It was pure luck that the breeder had a litter available with no waitlist in years, and just like that, I became a cherished member of the family within a week.



My owner says I have a staring problem. I’ll lock eyes with you until you give me attention. It has made for some hilarious elevator rides, let me tell you. And when I want something, I make Kermit the Frog sounds. It gets the message across loud and clear.


Sam and I are inseparable. I tag along everywhere—on walks, out to eat, you name it.

If the distance is too much for my little legs, Sam pops me in a backpack, stroller, or just

carries me. I’m a lap dog through and through, happy to sit on Sam’s lap and people-watch wherever we go.


We’ve discovered amazing pet-friendly spots around Buffalo, like The Beer Keep, Overwinter Coffee, Ballyhoo, Remedy House, and Hydraulic Hearth, and we love visiting Letchworth State Park. Vacations are a blast with Sam by my side. We’ve taken road trips to Louisville and Toronto, and I love stroller rides. Sam regrets not bringing me to dog-friendly Asbury Park, NJ, but we’re planning to go soon.


I’ll eat just about anything, but my absolute favorite treats are the pumpkin treats from The Buffalo Barkery. As for toys, my favorites change daily. I come up with new games all the time. There’s this one go-to game I made up, in which I put a toy at each end of the hallway and do a shuttle run like human children do in gym class. Maybe I need a furry sibling to play with!


Sam says I’m the best dog ever! I’m friendly, lovable, and I let Sam dress me up for the most ridiculous photos. I’m the perfect little sidekick, and we’re lucky to have each other.


 

Potato's Hedgehog Adventures

Hi there! I’m Potato, but my humans call me Tater Tot or Mr. Potato Head. I’m a 3½ year old African Pygmy hedgehog living with Marisa and Sal. My journey to become part of this family was remarkably quick. Sal surprised Marisa with a stuffed hedgehog for Valentine’s Day, and when she wished for a real one, he challenged her to find one in Buffalo. Challenge accepted! The next morning, they went out, and I won their hearts as soon as they met me.


I have some pretty fun characteristics. Nocturnal, I run up to 10 miles every night on my wheel. I’m quite the swimmer too! But when it comes to food, I’m a picky eater. Despite the wide variety of foods my humans offer me, the only things I’ve ever enjoyed are sweet peppers, Thanksgiving turkey, and green beans. Oh, did I mention I’m a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan? GO BILLS!



Marisa and Sal love spending quality time with me. We go to the park, swim in the pool, and explore new restaurants and coffee shops around Buffalo. Some of my favorite spots include Niagara Falls, Delaware Park, and all the charming coffee shops in town. While I don’t get to go on every vacation, I come along when my humans drive. Unfortunately, planes don’t allow me to fly, even though I could easily fit in Marisa’s purse without anyone noticing!


My favorite treats are green beans and crickets. I enjoy spending time with Marisa and Sal, keeping them company and providing endless entertainment. Unfortunately, they had to relocate me within the house because they’re expecting their first human baby in October (they keep assuring me it’s not a demotion). Life with Marisa and Sal is always full of love, laughter, and new adventures!


To see my adorable antics, follow my Instagram account @hitherepotatohere.




Tips for Hedgehog Ownership

Hedgehogs are very solitary animals; they cannot live with other hedgehogs and are not naturally social animals. You can only get them as pets as babies or they will never adapt. When they are scared, they roll up in a ball and you cannot tell where their head/butt is. For the first 2-3 months we owned Potato, he never once came out of his ball; our vet kept telling us to be patient and to let him get to trust us. They cannot see well so they rely on their hearing and scent to navigate the world, so at first he slept with pieces of fleece in our shirts and put them in his tank, and would constantly talk and sing to him so he could learn our voices. Now, he is comfortable with us and unrolls as soon as he hears our voices; it is so special!


Care of Hedgehogs

They are warm-climate animals, meaning they need to be in an environment that is between 72-78 degrees. Potato lives in an aquarium tank in which we keep a heat lamp on to stay at temp; he cannot be outside in Buffalo’s winters. They also require wheels in their tanks as they do a lot of running at night. We have a light in his room that goes on every morning at 8am (when he goes to sleep) and off every night at 8pm (when he wakes up) to help regulate his schedule. Some hedgehogs can even be potty trained (Potato is!). He eats dry grain-free cat food, but only about 1 TBSP per day! And we clip his nails biweekly. Other than that, he is pretty low maintenance as long as his environment is stable.


 

Tail-Wagging Adventures with Tucker, the Cockapoo

I’m Tucker. I’m three years old and humans call me a Cockapoo. My person, Emily Polonkiewicz, calls me Tucky, Tuck, or Bubba, and we have amazing adventures! Find me and my cuteness on Instagram @lifewithtuckerthecockapoo.


Emily fell in love with me the moment she saw my adorable face. She says I’m playful, loving, energetic, and intelligent. My superpower is spreading love to everyone I meet. It’s my best trait.


Emily and I have a blast together. We love going for walks, exploring farmers markets, and getting yummy ice cream treats. We even go on exciting rides! Our favorite local spots include Lucia’s on the Lake, Mulberry Italian Ristorante, and El Canelo. Emily is a foodie who loves trying new places.


Emily takes me to amazing places like First Line Brewery, Resurgence Brewery, The Grange Community Kitchen / The Grange Outpost, New York Beer Project, and Taffy’s. Wagging tails and warm welcomes make me feel like a VIP.


While I usually stay at a boarding facility during Emily’s vacations, I love our camping trips. I’m a “go with the flow” kind of dog! If you bring your furry friend on a trip, be sure to pack toys and treats for them.



Let’s talk about my favorites! I can’t resist ice cream, bacon, cheese, and pup cups from Dunkin or Starbucks. Yummy! My go-to toys are my ring, Rosé All Day bottle, and boy do I love all of my balls; I could play with them for hours.


I’m quite the character! I know when Emily spells words, especially “Greenie.” I love chasing every leaf that blows in the wind. I try to catch them and carry successful scores around. I also LOVE daycare. Whenever Emily just asks if I want to go to daycare to play with my friends, I get so excited I’ll cry, whine, and jump until we leave!


That’s me, Tucker, the lovable Cockapoo. Follow my adventures for more wagging tails and furry fun. See you around, fur-loving friends!


 

The Tale of Two Bunnies Tulip and Teddy

We are Tulip and Teddy, inseparable bunnies who bring immense joy and fluffiness into the lives of our people, Katherine and Darren. I, Tulip, a white and grey 7-year-old Holland Lop, and my friend Teddy, a mischievous brown 3-year-old Mini Lop, make the perfect duo. Follow our adventures on Instagram at @tulipmeetsteddy.

Photo: Nicole Argo Photography

Initially, I enjoyed a quiet life until Katherine and Darren decided I needed a companion. Bonding bunnies is quite a personality-based process and after a thorough search, my people matchmakers found Teddy, a bunny with an easygoing, fearless personality who had been abandoned in a field. The moment we met, Teddy and I became inseparable. We eat and sleep together, and we even give each other little kisses throughout the day. Teddy has helped me come out of my shell, and I follow him to places I otherwise find terrifying.

We are free to roam the second floor of our people’s home, which we love. I love head pets, and if a human finds the right spot, I melt to the floor in complete bunny bliss. Teddy’s favorite activity is treat time. He sits in his ball pit and stares at the humans until they go to the treat jar. When the jar is open, Teddy hops on our bed, waiting for them to serve him the treat on his throne.


When Katherine and Darren go on vacation, we stay home, cared for by our “Bun-gram” and “Bun-gramps.” Our daily routines are maintained as closely as possible, providing us with a sense of security. Our people set up cameras and leave a piece of clothing with their scent to comfort us when they’re away.


Our humans don’t give us treats often, but when they do, we LOVE bananas. When we eat them, we do an excited butt-twitching dance. We get to play with a variety of toys like a ball pit, houses, tunnels, and chew toys, which is fun, but Teddy’s favorite “toy” by far is the toilet in the people’s bathroom.


Last year, I had a flare up of E. cuniculi that sent me to Cornell for over a week, which was terrible. I suffered some permanent neurological damage and now have a slight head tilt, but at least I’m alive to share this life with Teddy and our humans. I guess my strength and courage inspire Katherine and Darren every day.


Tips for Bunny Ownership

Bunnies make wonderful pets; however, they are considered exotic animals and require specialized care. We encourage others to do research on proper house rabbit care (rabbit.org) before making this 10-12 year commitment.

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