This week, writer and comedian Julie Klausner started campaiging to the Bush's Beans Twitter account to let her pet their mascot, Duke.
The movement snowballed, with fans tweeting at Bush's Beans lobbying on Julie's behalf. Someone started a Facebook group, 25 Milllion Strong for Julie Klausner to Pet the Bush's Beans Dog.
I wanted to find out more about Julie's intentions with this pooch, and what her qualifications for dog petting actually are. Ms. Klausner spoke to BuzzFeed over email:
What is it about Duke that makes him so desirable to pet?
I grew up watching the Bush's Baked Beans commercials with Duke in them, so I suppose one of the things about him that makes him so attractive to me is his familiarity. But on Monday night, when I saw one of the commercials, it was like realizing you're in love with one of your friends. Like, it just occurred to me how affable and cute he is and always has been, and the desire to pet him washed over me in a very compelling way. I very much want to pat his shiny, cute head, and I would also like to shake one of his paws and scratch his belly.
Have you prepared any hand or arm exercises to get ready to pet him?
I went to yoga yesterday, but I didn't focus on my hands nor arms. Nonetheless, I think I'm ready.
Have you petted a dog before? If so, how many dogs?
I have, and I've enjoyed it every time! I'd wager I've pet about 200 dogs in my life. I wish it were more. At least one more!
What do you think his coat will feel like?
I bet it will feel as silky and soft and lush as Bush's Beans are delicious! And those are good beans. They make them with bacon and brown sugar, apparently? It's none of my business how they get to point B, but the people of Bush's Beans know what they're doing in terms of making their fine product and selecting affable dogs for their funny and charming commercials.
Duke, looking eager to be pet.
Klausner's puppy petting aspirations seem innocent enough. But I wanted to hear from animal safety experts to find out if they endorse this type of doggy-touching. Kimberly Addams, social media manager of the ASPCA answered some of my concerns:
Does the ASPCA approve of Julie Klausner petting Duke?
Totally, in fact we really hope she can! It’s all about sharing the love…plus we heard a rumor that she’s got some pretty awesome stroking techniques.
What is the ASPCA's stance on petting dogs?
As a policy, the ASPCA strongly supports the petting of dogs. But we do ask that our supporters consider advancing to full-on head scratches, belly rubs and kisses. You know you’re doing a good job by the speed of the tail wagging. Bonus points if it causes actual canine rump shaking.
Are there any particular petting techniques the ASPCA recommends Julie use on Duke?
Since they’ll have just met, we’d recommend taking it slowly. Heavy petting should be reserved for the second or third play date.
Bush's Beans posted this to the Facebook campaign's wall:
Duke the dog in a Bush's Beans commercial:
Reps for Bushs Beans have not yet responded to BuzzFeed's request for comment.
Bush's Beans, we hope you do the right thing and let Julie pet that dog!