Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog, Calls a Facebook Employee “Mom”
He’s the self-proclaimed “World’s Cutest Dog” — a 6-year-old pomeranian with a carefully coiffed hairdo, his own book deal, and nearly five million Facebook fans.
He’s especially popular inside of Facebook, too. That’s convenient — because Boo’s mom happens to work there.
No, not his birth mom — I’m pretty sure dog labor is against OSHA regulations. Two of my tipsters say that Boo’s adoptive human mother of the past six years is Irene Ahn, a dyed-in-the-wool Facebook employee working in a leading position in the company’s finance department. After working for Yahoo and PayPal in the past, Ahn has been with Facebook since December of 2008.
Her little boy Boo is something of an Internet cult hit. His growth in popularity was initially gradual, when Ahn first started a Boo Facebook Page in 2009, but it ended up skyrocketing after celebrities caught wind of it. Pop star Ke$ha tweeted a link to Boo’s Facebook page back in October of 2010, calling Boo her new boyfriend. Four days later, Khloe Kardashian posted a picture of Boo to her blog. And I can’t help but think perhaps knowing a few of the right Facebook engineers helped Boo go viral a little bit faster.
Until now, Ahn has kept her identity a secret to most of the world.
While Boo did a guest spot on Good Morning America last year, Ahn remained off-camera the entire time, opting to let Boo take the limelight. Even when Boo’s book came out in 2011, Ahn opted to publish it under a pseudonym, J.H. Lee, without any credit to herself in print.
Ahn’s rationale for the secret identity has been to keep all of the attention on her adorable pup. On his Facebook Page, Boo and his brother Buddy, a fellow Pomeranian (though mainly unshorn, sporting the typical shaggy mane of the breed) stay front and center. The page has been mostly photos, with sassy captions written by Ahn in Boo’s voice.
But ever since I heard Boo was massively popular among Facebook employees, I had to find out who his owner was. Especially after the freakish daylong scare in April, when a prankster spread word on Twitter that Boo had suddenly passed away. It ended up being a hoax, quickly debunked by Ahn through a spokesperson at Chronicle Books, which published Boo’s hardcover last year.
(As an aside, I actually know how the death rumor was started, and who started it. Funnily enough, it spread much the same way as did Boo’s rise to popularity — it all began as a joke, and escalated wildly from there. Sorry, I’m not naming names.)
Since I discovered her identity, I’ve tried getting in touch with Ahn multiple times for a quick interview (or better, a quick game of catch with Boo!), but to no avail. She won’t return my messages, obviously preferring to keep Boo front and center.
It’s a bummer, as nothing would have been more fun than a video interview with Boo. Next time I’m down at Facebook HQ, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled, my camera at the ready, and pray I can score a TMZ moment with the dog himself.
For now, we’ll just have to be satisfied with the endless, adorable pictures of him on his Facebook page.