Crusoe the dog isn’t shy — at least if the grandiose name of his debut book is anything to go by. Titled Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund, Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire, the tome takes readers inside the life of this Canadian-based Internet sensation, who found fame by virtue of his love of dressing up as different characters and charming the world with his cocksure personality. (You can check out his Weiner Dog Minions series of YouTube shorts for a snappy summation of this Dachshund’s appeal.)
I spoke to Crusoe’s owner, Ryan Beauchesne, about Crusoe’s worldwide stardom, his tips for any other dogs looking to join the celebrity circuit, and how this plucky Dachshund’s presidential ambitions include a peace treaty with cats.
Dogster: How would you sum up Crusoe’s appeal?
Ryan Beauchesne: Crusoe is well-known for his calm, easygoing personality. We did a TV interview once where Crusoe sat on a chair in his captain uniform next to me — he just sat there the whole time, and later everyone commented on how shocked they were at how chill he was! This is another big part of the reason he wears costumes and outfits so well — he’s just super cool with it!
Is there another side to Crusoe’s behavior?
Yeah. As any owner will tell you, Dachshunds are small in body but big in character. He knows exactly what he wants and when he wants it, and will tell us by scratching at things. He wants to go outside — scratch the door. A drink of water — scratch the bowl. A blanket — scratch the bed. A new squeaky ball in the drawer — scratch the cabinet. A bed in the sun — he’ll scratch the floor where there’s a patch of sunshine to tell you, “Hey, move my bed over here.”
So how close are Crusoe’s online persona and real-life personality?
Although we give a voice to Crusoe, we feel that the personality you see online is a reflection of his real personality. He loves adventure and exploring new places, and for a small dog, he’s very brave. He loves to play and squeak from morning till midnight, but is also not very cuddly or kissable (hence his tough guy image online).
He’s also quite demanding and expects to be treated like a human most of the time. He likes to sit at the dinner table, and will always be very polite. He’ll just sit there with his paws on the edge of the table, patiently watching the conversations but never touching a plate or anything unless offered.
Sometimes, I wonder if Crusoe is actually a special dog or if it’s just this online character we’ve built that makes him seem special. But people — even those who do not know he’s a celebrity — comment over and over how handsome he is or how human-like he is. So I think there is something different about him. He was meant to be a celebrity.
What tips does Crusoe have for any other dogs looking to follow in his paw prints and become a canine celebrity?
Find a unique voice or appeal to your dog, but base it off of their real personality — that way it will make it feel real and relatable. Obviously people only see your dog online, so you have to do a great job of communicating their character. Use your creativity in whatever way suits you and the dog best.
For us, it was giving Crusoe a unique voice where he thinks he’s more of a celebrity than he really is and allowing him to sport a variety of costumes, which he wears so well. For you it could be different, but one thing you definitely need is a good camera.
Does Crusoe’s brother, Oakley, ever get jealous of his fame?
I still don’t think Oakley realizes Crusoe is famous or that he’s even related to a celebrity!
Crusoe’s online profile likes to boast that he’s a “seeker of sexy ladies.” Which celebrity dog owners would he most like to take on a date?
Actually, Crusoe’s not really into dating fellow celebrities — too much drama. Plus, he has plenty of fans who would be willing to date him at a moment’s notice. Actually, we even had a human fan once comment, “Crusoe, if I were a dog I’d date you.”
On a previous date, which you can see in our new book, Crusoe had two ladies over at the same time for a romantic evening of spaghetti, prepared by Chef Crusoe and followed by casual dinner conversation. Things got interesting; let’s just say Crusoe learned not to invite two chicks over at once.
He’s also become something of a champion for the cause of wiener dogs. What are the main misconceptions about them?
There’s many, but the biggest one is probably that a small dog is somehow not as active or able to do the things a big dog does. Not true. Dachshunds are hunting dogs, not lap dogs. Actually, they were bred to hunt badgers, which are pretty ferocious animals. Dachshunds need exercise and definitely employ their hunting instinct when in the outdoors. Some people may also think a small dog can’t walk as far, but we’ve hiked up mountains in Switzerland with Crusoe before and he always kept up — or, rather, we barely kept up.
There’s also a perception that Dachshunds are not easily house-trained and are yappy. There may be some truth to this, but Crusoe is the exemplary opposite. He’s very well behaved and people are often very surprised at that. So, it just goes to show that a Dachshund can be a very good and well-trained dog!
Crusoe recently announced his candidacy for the presidency. What’s his campaign slogan and what sort of policies would he like to introduce?
His campaign slogan is “Let’s Get Real with Crusoe,” and the replying chant from supporters is “We’re voting Cru, aren’t you?”
Crusoe is proposing a lot of great policies, like a peace treaty with cats, treat-giving equality, the shutting down of puppy mill institutions, putting his face on every monetary bill, heavy enforcement of the law (especially for speeders), and protection of the Earth — grass, forests, lakes, rivers, and oceans — because he loves fishing and can only poop on grass.
He’s also made some promises to the people, such as to save everyone from crime via his alter-ego BATDOG. Well, as long as he’s not away on vacation at the time …
Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund, Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire is out now via St. Martin’s Griffin.
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