by Taylor DuVall
Photos by Greg Rhein
When you read, “Death row inmate from Georgia gone NYC model in high demand,” your first thought is not “cute little dog saved from Georgia shelter becomes New York City Instagram sensation.” But that’s just because you haven’t met Jonathan yet.
Jonathan is a Chihuahua and Italian Greyhound rescue dog with one fabulous life in the big city. “He was made for NYC,” his owner and BFF, Amanda, shares. “The cars don’t bother him, and he’s totally fine hanging out on the sidewalk.” And now that New York City has removed their patio laws, Jonathan “can’t be stopped.”
Tiny Jonathan’s big-city adventuring is done, like all good New Yorkers, in high fashion. While nonchalantly sitting the middle of the city’s chaotic hustle and bustle, Jonathan can be seen sporting everything from an understated bowtie to chic doggie pants or a classic argyle sweater.
Jonathan found his fame by happenstance, with the help of a photo shoot for Martha Stewart. “I was doing something for work, and they were having a photoshoot,” Amanda said. “The dog they hired was just not behaving. Jonathan was sitting there like an angel, so they were like, ‘can we use Jonathan instead?’”
Word’s out that Martha even called him “the most handsome man.”
As if Jonathan needed one more accolade on his resume, let’s add jetsetter.
Jonathan’s BFF Amanda had a traumatizing experience when her jet got caught in a tornado storm. To help Amanda heal, her doctor recommended that she train Jonathan as an Emotional Support Dog to accompany her on every flight. Now, he travels all over the country.
Jonathan takes his role as the calming, nurturing presence very seriously. “He’s actually prescribed to me by my doctor now,” Amanda says, “so he travels with me literally everywhere I go. This summer he’s been to [Los Angeles], Utah, Miami…Clearwater Beach.”
Through Instagram, Jonathan and Amanda advocate for animal rescue and adoption.
Jonathan is perfect, but he didn’t come from a specialty breeder. .
This beloved pooch was a rescued shelter dog from the wonderful Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) in Connecticut. Amanda had been fostering dogs and found Jonathan with the intention of fostering him until he happened upon a forever home. Before Amanda brought Jonathan into her NYC home, he was malnourished, alone, and – really – an undiscovered star.
Through this fostering and adoption journey, Amanda noticed that many potential adopters fear rescue dogs because of their histories or unpredictable personalities.
Amanda hopes Jonathan breaks these negative stereotypes. She shared with us, “I hope that people will see that this dog is living such a great life and he has such a great personality, but he wasn’t purchased. Even though he’s a stunner, I don’t just love him for the way that he looks.”
Though the pictures capture his life so adorably, it’s Jonathan’s voice that truly lets you in on his personality. The tone of this pup’s Instagram account is funny, sassy, and witty. We asked Amanda about this sense of humor. Is it hers? “I think that the voice is totally him,” she responded. “If you were hanging out next to him, you would think to yourself, ‘Yeah, that is totally what this little guy would be saying!’”
It’s the cute little details such as calling Cyber Monday “Cygrrr Monday” or the “Yogurt to be kidding” as he sits right next to a lovely bowl of Fro-yo that highlight this wit.
Combine this bundle of personality with their beautiful adoption message, and it is easy to see why over 11,500 people follow Jonathan on Instagram. What else could you expect from the cutest four-legged city slicker around?
**All clever hashtags were Jonathan’s and can be found with all his other brilliant photos and quips on his Instagram channel @jonathanwarrenofficial**