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You’ll want to sit and stay for this news. Pippin, the face of @dog_rates, has died.
In an announcement posted on Twitter Friday, the owner of @dog_rates, Matt Nelson, said his death was due to “complications of old age.”
“But he’ll live on with every post,” he tweeted.
This is Pippin, but you know him better as my profile picture. He was the catalyst for the kindest online community ever and his intense expression will never be matched. Pippin passed away this week due to complications of old age, but he’ll live on with every post. 15/10 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZEPWXfPOY4— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) December 21, 2018
The post includes pictures of the pup with a surprised look on his face. It was that perplexed look that caught Nelson’s attention at the beginning of his @dog_rates journey in 2015.
Nelson found Pippin’s headshot after a quick Google search. He was looking for the perfect image to encapsulate his account; when Nelson saw Pippin’s picture, he knew it was the one, he told BuzzFeed. Nelson licensed the photo, and when the account started gaining traction, Pippin’s owner reached out.
“It’s such a weird relationship. He wasn’t my dog but he meant so much to my entire online community,” Nelson explained to BuzzFeed.
And that online community is vast. With over 7.5 million followers the account has grown, just like followers’ love for Pippin’s weird expression.
The loss has hit Twitter hard.
Possibly the first and only 16/10.— Chappell Chancey (@Chappellch) December 22, 2018
RIP Pippin 😢
Definitely a Pippin/10. He’s now a legend. RIP and he can tell all of our doggos in heaven how much they’re missed.— shirley_tweets (@shirley_tweets) December 22, 2018
Rest is squirrel chasing Pippin. You're a not a good boy, you're the best boy.— Deke D. (@dekesask) December 22, 2018
Many are hoping the good boy will say hello to their pets who have gone to the other side too.
So very sorry, play forever now Pippin <3 Say hi to my Sophie for me.— NastyCoCo (@HeadOColettuce) December 22, 2018
Say hi to my Daisy for me Pippin ❤️ pic.twitter.com/S1U4SPsnX1— Sarah Christine (@LovelyDinos) December 21, 2018
Rest easy Pippin. Say hi to Max, Cooper and Sadie for me!!— #RollinWithMahomies (@bigceej33) December 21, 2018
Godspeed, Pippin. Say hi to Emmy for me and please tell her when I said I’d love her forever I meant it. https://t.co/fbnrsLp2v7— Ellen Stanley Booth (@EllenSB) December 22, 2018
Hey Pippin, say hi to my Reilly. He's been waiting for you.— lads2018 (@reilly628) December 22, 2018
“It’s crazy to think that one picture has turned into so much,” Nelson explained to BuzzFeed. “I’m just thankful the family has been so welcoming and such good sports to allow one picture to be turned into a brand.”
Rest easy, Pippin. Infinity/10.
Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.