Unless you’re on a hiatus from social media, you’ve probably seen the pictures of two Pit Bull-type dogs in pajamas. Their Instagram account, @the_blueboys, boasts more than 100,000 followers and describes them as “Darren & Phillip, two very silly English Staffies from Brisbane, Australia. Best friends. Best cuddlers. Pyjama wearing blanket hoggers. Lovers of life.”
As I perused their photos, it quickly became evident why people all over the globe are falling head-over-heels in love with this adorable twosome.
How Darren and Phillip ended up as the Internet’s new darlings wasn’t intentional at all. Their owner, Jen, started sharing their photos on social media. “I started taking photos of them because of the amazing ways they snuggle up together,” says Jen. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Before I had Instagram, I’d upload photos of them on my own Facebook nestled into each other, and my family and friends would never believe that they got into the positions they were in by themselves.”
Jen and her fiancé, Lachlan, view Darren and Phillip much like their children rather than just their dogs. Dressing them up started as something they did for fun, but the pups seemed to enjoy it so much that it became part of their routine. “As soon as they are dressed in their pajamas, they immediately want to snuggle,” Jen says. “They will find a spot on the couch and bury their noses into one another, and that’s it for a few hours. I think these two share a really special bond, and it’s just so nice to be able to share it with the world.”
Darren came to live with Jen and Lachlan first. They never intended to get another dog, but Darren seemed lonely and suffered from anxiety. He acted out by barking, chewing up things that weren’t his, and displaying other stress behaviors. The day Phillip came home changed all of that. “He loved Phillip so much when they met, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Although much happier with Phillip around, Darren is still the needier of the two, requiring extra cuddles and head and shoulder massages, and earning him the nickname Captain Needy Pants. Phillip is much better at entertaining himself, though his idea of entertainment can often land him in a lot of trouble.
“Phillip’s nickname is the grocery/food ninja,” says Jen. “He has stolen numerous amounts of groceries from the shopping before and will eat absolutely anything. I’ve never seen a dog eat raw spinach or raw broccoli or tomatoes, but Phillip will eat anything!”
Despite his mischievous ways, Phillip has a bit of a lazy streak and prefers to lie around rather than join Darren and Lachlan on their 10k runs.
Jen credits social media for inspiring her to start the Instagram and Facebook accounts for Darren and Phillip. “Since social media had opened my eyes to a massive group of people and officials who think this breed is vicious, I have become more and more passionate about proving the opposite. I really do hope that our photos can change some people’s minds or at least make them think twice before blaming the breed for irresponsible human behavior.”
She also doesn’t mind that people often label her dogs as Pit Bulls. “I am more than happy for our boys to be referred to as Pit Bulls, as Staffies are a part of the ‘bully breed’ group. I love all bully breed dogs equally.”
Jen hopes to use Darren and Phillip’s Internet fame to do good in the dog community. “We are in the process of making our 2016 Blueboys Calendar now, which we hope will send an awesome message about the breed. The boys will be the subject of the calendar with the sole purpose to show off the loving, silly, happy-go-lucky personality that this breed possesses.”
This year, they will donate the proceeds from the calendars to the Staffy and Bully Breed Rescue of Western Australia, a rescue that specializes in rescuing and rehoming Staffy and Pit Bull-type dogs. You can order your calendar through their theblueboys.com.
In the future, they hope to create an online store with a number of stationery products, such as greeting cards and diaries featuring photos of Darren and Phillip. The big dream, though, is to create a Darren and Phillip pajama brand! Throughout these ventures, Jen and her family plan to continue donating to rescues they are passionate about, as well as trying to bring awareness to the cause.
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About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.