This teacher’s dog has more Instagram followers than you

Emily Mulderig and Charlotte Guy

On a snowy January day in 2016, Wilson social studies teacher Matthew Burgoyne faced a trial most urban dog owners can relate to: protecting his pup’s paws from the snow-melt salt on the sidewalks. In a moment of sheer resourcefulness, he fastened Ziploc plastic bags around Gus’ paws.

Gus, a Corgi, was already a funny-looking dog with his uncharacteristically fluffy fur and extremely short legs. With the addition of his plastic-adorned feet, he was a sight guaranteed to make any dog lover laugh. Burgoyne snapped a quick video and uploaded it to Gus’s Instagram account, @dcgus. He added the hashtag #dcsnowdogs in response to a Washingtonian Magazine call for pictures of DC dogs enjoying ‘Snowzilla,’ the largest snowfall DC had seen in years.

Soon after, The Washingtonian contacted Burgoyne. The video of Gus romping through the show had stolen their hearts. Only two days later, a short article was published that featured pictures taken from Gus’ account—but the bigger surprise came in the aftermath. “We got like 2,000 followers in six hours,” Burgoyne said. Gus was featured in another Washingtonian article in July of 2017, and again recently in DC Refined, a blog about city living. Now, Gus has over 6,000 followers, more than 20 times the amount before the initial Washingtonian article.

What makes for such an incredibly photogenic dog? Burgoyne explained that Gus actually has a genetic mutation. “Corgis are supposed to have short fur,” he pointed out, adding that Gus’ “long, crazy, fluffy fur” is probably the reason why he’s so famous.

It doesn’t take much scrolling through Gus’ account to see that Gus has a lot of DC pride. He is pictured in front of various monuments on the National Mall, as well as other popular sites, including Union Market and the National Arboretum. “Gus isn’t going anywhere other than DC and so it’s cool to bring him around the city and highlight stuff that’s in town,” Burgoyne said.

If you’re lucky, you might even see this lovable dog walking around DC! If you’re not fortunate enough to spot him out and about, you can always sneak a glimpse at @dcgus on Instagram.