“It truly started as something meant for just me and maybe some of my friends to see his growth and keep the memories of every stage and event with Wiley."
Dogs of all sizes and age are cute, and there's no refuting that. However, it seems like this little pupper is winning hearts all over the world. The pup, now older, rose to fame on the internet because of his unique heart-shaped marking placed squarely on his face. He's got over 162k followers on Instagram and they just can't get enough of him. His human mom, Lexi Smith, 26, describes Wiley as, “54 pounds of goofy, clumsy, sassy, hungry, cuddly, curious, wild, crazy, silly, happy love." She also added he's just as lovely as he is in real life as he is in the photos.
“No amount of pictures on could ever fully capture all that he is and all that he means to me, he’s my best friend.” They were destined to be because Wiley found his way to Smith, who lives in Colorado, from Oklahoma on Saint Patrick’s day a while ago. However, Smith adds that his cute boop is not the reason she chose him. “He came from a litter of 11, and 8 of them were boys, so I had a tough choice in choosing him."
"The heart was there, but not fully formed to the point where I believed it would stay since dalmatian spots change so much as they grow. I chose him because the breeder told me that all he did was sleep, snuggle, and eat, so we already had a lot in common.” The sleepy little pup she met first has bloomed into this ball of energy, says Smith. Well, the sleepy little pup she first met is no more and the 26-year-old said, “Wiley has more personality bundled up into his little body than any dog I have ever met.”
Wiley seems to be one lucky doggo because Smith and Wiley reside in an area where it is possible for him to release some of that energy instead of having to keep it all pent up. Smith said hiking is one of his favorite activities, “We are so lucky to live in Colorado and have the biggest most beautiful places to play in and explore. He loves hiking or going to one of the many massive dog parks here.”
“He also enjoys car rides and sits where he can look out the front window like a true copilot. But when he gets sleepy, he really, really LOOOOVES to snuggle.” Mom Smith adds that when Wiley isn't snuggling, he tends to be quite stubborn, which actually is a very common trait among Dalmatians. “Wiley’s truest dalmatian traits are constantly making me laugh."
"Usually, it’s a giggle paired with shaking my head, laughing off total frustration from his stubbornness, but that’s part of owning the breed. If you can’t laugh it off and be creative in finding a solution and training the naughty traits out of them, life with a dalmatian would be such a challenge.” But, Smith adds that she can handle all of Wiley's stubbornness, but she wouldn't trade it for the world.
“I have been really lucky with Wiley, though. He has the best heart, and I’m not talking about the one on his nose. He loves everyone he meets and is always so excited to make new friends. He has been relatively easy to train and has made the best little adventure partner I could ask for. He requires so much attention and he’s basically attached to my hip, but that’s what I love about him.”
However, Smith now has to share Wiley with his fans. Thanks to his huge internet following, the star pupper gets recognized when he's out on the streets. “Some people recognize him as “that dog from the internet,” a lot of people notice the heart nose, but mostly it’s just people shocked to see a dalmatian. “I haven’t seen a dalmatian in so long,” or “I’ve never seen a dalmatian in person,” are the most repeated comments I hear when I am out and about with Wiley.”
Smith’s decision to share Wiley with the internet began with her love of photography. “Photography has always been something that I have toyed and experimented with, and suddenly I had an adorable puppy who made the perfect model. I have a personal account, but creating a separate one dedicated specifically to Wiley seemed like a great way to kind of store all my photos of him and keep a running timeline of his life.”
“It truly started as something meant for just me and maybe some of my friends to see his growth and keep the memories of every stage and event with Wiley. When the account first started growing I remember thinking ‘Wow, what if he hits 5,000 followers!’ I never in a million years could have imagined it would be what it is now. And it’s STILL GROWING. I am constantly amazed, shocked, but mostly so grateful. It has been a fun little adventure, that’s for sure," she stated.