With more than 500 friends on her Doggyspace site, Savannah Scott is one popular Chihuahua. She even includes among her online buddies some big dogs, which her owner, Fan resident Bailey Adler, says the 7-pounder "hates" in real life.
"She barks at them and will even go as far as to chase them and try to intimidate them," Adler notes. But "on doggyspace.com, a lot of her friends are big dogs — so we just pretend that she would be friends with them in real life, even though she would never let that happen."
Man's best friend now has his own online networking community, launched this summer and based in Fredericksburg. Some of Richmond's most tech-savvy pooches and owners find the idea rather … fetching.
Adler makes friends for Savannah by browsing other online profiles and requesting doggy friendships on her behalf. They haven't set up a play date yet but have befriended another Chihuahua in Richmond.
Chesterfield mixed-breed Otis and his owner, Pam Powell, recently had a little virtual fun on Doggyspace: When Tropical Storm Hanna blew through Richmond, she and Otis were cooped inside all day, prompting her to write a journal entry for Otis in which he complained about the rain.
"Several dogs responded about the storm and sent [virtual] toys for my dog to play with," Powell recounts. But Doggyspace has a serious side, too — one dog in the community was put to sleep recently, and Powell offered her condolences to the owner online.
"I think it is nice to have the support of people who love their dogs as much as I do and can help each other through difficult times," she says.