Pet Instas

Students share about the Instagram accounts they created for their pets


Photo by Tyra Lin | Used with permission

Junior Tyra Lin’s corgi Mina sits for a photo at Yosemite National Park in January of 2019.

Claire Wen and Melody Cui

She grins, tongue slightly sticking out of her mouth, ears perked up. With a fuzzy blue winter jacket wrapped around her, Mina the corgi smiles while peeking out from her shelter inside an igloo, her eyes looking toward the camera.

Junior Tyra Lin says that this photo taken during a trip earlier this year to Yosemite National Park is her favorite post from her Instagram account for her dog, @mina_corgi. She started the account soon after she got Mina three years ago.

“[I made the account] just on a whim,” Lin said. “My brother and I were competing; we made different accounts to see who would get more followers. In the end I got more, so it just grew from that. I thought it was a fun experience because taking photos and doing all that stuff with your dog is a really fun thing to do.”

Lin’s Instagram is currently approaching 13 thousand followers. However, she says her account only really started growing around a year ago — she deleted all her previous posts and restarted her feed, as she felt she had a better understanding of Instagram’s algorithm.  

“Before it was all over the place — there was no color scheme or anything,” Lin said. “But if you look now, it’s more laid out and I have a scheme of nature and the beach, because we go to the beach often.”

According to Lin, since Mina was born on a farm, she really enjoys going outside and Lin and her family will often take her outdoors, where most of her photoshoots occur. Lin tries to plan out how she wants her feed to look like, but where she takes the photo is spontaneous. Previous photoshoot locations include the beaches across Northern California, Los Angeles, Santana Row and Cupertino Main Street.

Similarly, sophomore Kyle Wong’s Instagram for his mini Goldendoodle Kabo, @kabo._.wong, consists of “cute pics of [her] doing random stuff,” such as going out on a drive or kayaking. He made the account two weeks after he first got her seven months ago, originally intending to make her a model dog but then “got lazy and slacked off.” The account has 53 followers.

If I feel like it, I go take a random photo and just post it,” Wong said. “I wouldn’t even edit it — [I just] add a random caption and throw on a dog emoji and I’m done.”

Wong’s favorite post features Cabo waving, as he thinks she looks the cutest in that video. He also observes how much larger she’s gotten since then — two times the size.

Sophomore Angela Doncsev notes how her Instagram @xangel_kittensx also showcases the growth of her kittens, Hope and Cinnamon, to her 35 followers.

“It started off as a way for me to keep track and look back at the progress that they’ve made [and] how they’ve grown up,” Doncsev said. “But I thought of sharing it with people to inspire them and motivate them to adopt.”

The pair of calico siblings had caught sophomore Angela Doncsev’s eye when she was looking to adopt earlier this year, finding the two kittens on a website for the Silicon Valley Pet Project.

“Right now with COVID[-19], a lot of pets are being abandoned and they are forced to live on the street,” Doncsev said. “So we decided to adopt two because they were rescued from the shelter.”

Hope and Cinnamon officially became part of the Doncsev family in May, soon after which Doncsev created the Instagram account. Doncsev’s account is mainly personal, with her followers consisting mostly of her friends and family. She only promotes it when a big event happens, such as the kittens’ six-month birthday. 

Doncsev’s favorite post is one where the kittens are sleeping in their cat bed next to one another, their heads snuggled together. She set this photo as the account’s profile picture. 

“I feel like it shows their love for each other and affection they show each other. And they’re siblings,” Doncsev said. “And that picture really captures that connection.”

Doncsev used to post daily, but now only does so when the kittens are willing to get a picture in.

“Sometimes it’s kind of hard because they move around a lot,” Doncsev said. “[But] sometimes I purposely try to make them pose a certain way to make it funny.”

Lin also positions Mina for her photos. Mina is often obedient, having been trained from a young age to sit and look at the camera. But she will sometimes walk away when she is nervous or excited. In those cases, Lin will try to calm her down or give her a snack.

Lin then takes the photos with her iPhone 11. She also does some basic editing on the photo, but she states that she doesn’t think it is as complicated as using software like Photoshop, before coming up with a caption for the post.

“Doing the captions is really hard for me because I’m not that creative [with] captions,” Lin said. “So sometimes I just go look on the internet and find some puns that relate to the picture. For example, if I took a photo on the beach, I [would] just find beach puns.”

Wong selects shorter captions for his posts with Kabo, often with a few words ranging from “Boop” to “Astronaut doggo.”

“I pretend to be Kabo, mentally,” Wong said. “And I try conveying what she’s thinking.” 


Corgi Pins

After going to her first Corgi Con, an event where people bring their dogs to the beach, junior Tyra Lin was inspired by the amount of merchandise shown, so she decided to create her own. Through her interest in art and her dad’s experience in making pins, she brought her idea to reality.

“I thought it was a really fun thing to do because I like designing,” Lin said. “[My dad also] thought it would be a good bonding experience for me.”

She sells her pins on Amazon and at school, with 10% of her profits going to animal shelters. Her favorite pin she’s made is a shark that hasn’t been released yet, but a sneak peek of it was on her 10,000 follower giveaway post. The other designs on the post have also not been made into pins but will soon be.

In addition, Mina recently got a fungal infection and Lin created a GoFundMe to fund the medical bills at