Dave Lascio knew his dog, Mya, was cute -- after all, he made an Instagram account just for her.
But he was still surprised when she skyrocketed to internet fame this week after Buzzfeed published an article about her.
“My friend sent me a link to Buzzfeed and said, ‘Dude, your dog’s all over the internet,’” Lascio told The Huffington Post. “I was like, holy smokes!”
Now the internet seems to have fallen in love with Mya and her unique fox-like appearance. But Mya isn’t a fox. Lascio said she’s a 2-year-old pomksy, meaning a mix between a Pomeranian and a Siberian husky. (It's crucial that the mother be the husky -- otherwise the too-large puppies can present serious health risks to the mom and pups.)
The two spend lots of time together going to dog parks or hiking.
“She’s a hit all over the place,” said Lascio, who lives near Philadelphia. “She’s friendly with everyone.”
Mya is clearly an awesome dog who is loved and well-cared for, and Lascio says he got her from a responsible breeder. But if you’re one of the many people who saw photos of Mya and thought, “OMG I NEED ONE,” there are a few things it’s important to keep in mind.
Many "pomskies" don’t look like Mya. There’s a huge range of what the cross-breed dogs can look like in terms of colors, patterns and size. And when a pomsky is a puppy, there’s no way to determine how large the dog will grow.
And while this should go without saying, a dog is a huge responsibility and getting one isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Any type of animal suddenly becoming "trendy" can have devastating consequences when people rush out to get them, then wind up abandoning them when the novelty wears off, or the animal isn't what they expected. This happened with chihuahuas, which surged in popularity in the early 2000s.
Speaking of shelters, with millions of animals in animal shelters and rescue groups across the country, it's always a good idea to check there first if you want a furry companion.
But if you do buy any type of pet from a breeder, it’s crucial to do your research and find a responsible one. Otherwise you’re risking bad health in your future pet, and potentially supporting the horrific practices of puppy mills. The ethics of dog breeding can run into even more trouble when it comes to “designer dogs” like pomskies and Labradoodles, since reckless breeders are tempted by the high prices the pups can bring, but do little to ensure the health of the dogs.
You can learn more about how to find a responsible breeder here.