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Stubborn Siberian husky goes viral, gets stuffed

Zeus, the Siberian husky from Allentown, poses with his Eric & Christopher brand pillow. / Photo courtesy of Eric & Christopher
Zeus, the Siberian husky from Allentown, poses with his Eric & Christopher brand pillow. / Photo courtesy of Eric & Christopher

You loved the dog. Now, you can own the pillow.

A quick thinking Bucks County-based public relations professional is capitalizing on a viral video to boost her employers’ business and help animals in need by creating a trendy pillow and tote bag emblazoned with the video of a whiney Siberian husky, who’s reluctance to go for a walk has garnered him more than 20 million views on YouTube since it was posted last month.

It turns out the stubborn husky, Zeus, who has captured the online hearts of so many, is a resident of Allentown.

He is owned by Lindsay Fleishman, a friend of Jenna Tucker, the business and public relations manager for Eric & Christopher LLC, a Perkasie-based firm that specializes in a quirky and popular brand of home goods decorated with screen printed images of animals.

The firm, which sells its wares in more than 800 boutique shops and online retailers throughout the globe, was highlighted in an article last year by Lehigh Valley Business.

“I saw she was posting all of these videos of her dog online. Then I saw one that got a crazy amount of hits, like 20 million,” Tucker said.

She thought Eric & Christopher, which got its start selling pillows with pictures of black and white screen-printed roosters, might just have its next big hit.

She contacted Fleishman, who agreed to have her temper-tantrum throwing pooch photographed for his own line of accessories.

Tucker said she knew she had to act quickly if she wanted to tap into what can sometimes be a fickle market of online fans.

“When you’re dealing with social media people you have just a few seconds to get their attention,” Tucker said. “When people are interested, they’re interested, and the next big story could be coming next week.”

She said the company acted quickly to get out a tote bag, which retails for $35 and a pillow, which retails for $70, and they are now available for sale through the Eric & Christopher website, its Facebook page and other online retail outlets.

But she doesn’t expect the pooch pillows to be just a short-lived success. Aside from the pillow and tote bags’ tie-in to the trending viral video, Tucker said Zeus is a cute dog, and she expects Husky lovers, and dog lovers in general will be buying the products for some time.

The company plans to introduce the new husky-themed items at a couple of upcoming national trade shows.

She also knows that animal lovers love to help animals. So a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the pillows and totes will be donated to a Bethlehem-based dog rescue, Harnessed to Hope Northern Breed Rescue.

Will Zeus be the company’s next breakout hit? With the trade shows still a couple of months away, and a bulk of Eric & Christopher’s business focused on wholesaling to boutique retailers, Tucker said it’s too early to say.

But she said the husky items have already started selling direct, so the dog fans are out there.

 

 

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