Noodle the pug spoke with The Spruce Pets at the conclusion of a long year of 4 million TikTok followers and reminding the world that it's OK to have a "No Bones" day (particularly amid a nearly two-year-long epidemic). Okay, so it was his owner, Jonathan Granziano, who spoke, but Noodle was also present!
Jonathan and his 13-year-old pug, Noodle, became famous earlier this year when their TikTok videos of Jonathan checking to see if Noodle "has bones" (i.e., can stand up in his bed or flops back down) went viral. Since then, they've appeared on The Today Show, collaborated on numerous projects, and become the unofficial oracle of the internet, with millions of people tuning in every day to see if it's a good day to cross things off their to-do list or curl up under a weighted blanket and watch a Nancy Meyers film.
Jonathan, understandably, never expected any of this when he adopted Noodle six years ago. While Jonathan stood outside of his favorite New York City pub, we chatted with the 31-year-old GoDaddy Social Media Marketer about Noodle's unexpected notoriety, the utilitarian roots of "Bones" or "No Bones," and much more.
Here are the10 things you probably didn't know about Noodle, 2021's TikTok sensation.
It's All About Fate
"I had just landed this position at BarkBox where I was able to bring my dog to work with me," Granziano said. This woman approached me at an event and said she knew I was trying to adopt a dog and asked if I would be interested in a 7-year-old pug named Noodle. I hadn't given it much thought until she showed me his photo, and I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it.' It had a definite 'wand selects the wizard' vibe to it. He simply came up to me with this cute little photo and I thought to myself, "What if I take care of this elderly pug for as long as I can?" and here we are, almost six years later. It's incredible.'""
"Bones" and "No Bones" Is Not New
"Within the first week, we discovered that if this dog isn't ready to get up or go on a stroll, he's perfectly comfortable lying down on the ground with a smile on his face and sleeping for the next two hours. He's perfectly at ease doing so."
"Whether this dog doesn't have bones, the repercussions of my bringing him out and checking if he's ready to go for a stroll may be that he doesn't droop on anything soft." Even though it's near to the ground, it's different if your dog splays out on the ground rather than flops on their bed. Is he ready to go hold himself up today? Is there a utility for me to find out? Is he ready for a stroll?"
Noodle is Always No. 1
"My feelings for [Noodle] haven't altered since everything revolves around Noodle first, Noodle first, Noodle first... I'm not going to wake this dog up for a TikTok video if he's sound sleeping at 9:45 a.m. on certain days. That would not be prioritizing Noodle. You can't force it, and I wouldn't want to. It's no fun if Noodle isn't at ease and at the appropriate location. This isn't right. It's not enjoyable; it's not enjoyable for him. It's simply not something we'll do. No matter how many people want to watch a reading in the morning, I have to keep Noodle in mind. It's not going to happen if Noodle isn't interested, and that's the way it is."
Noodle Has Long Been a Star
"He's used to [being on set] because he works at BarkBox." He only wants to be a part of things and eat snacks. So he was great at BarkBox because they'd say things like, 'Jonathan, we need a dog who would stay still for five minutes with a tiny cap on while we get a photo.' Is Noodle up to the task?' "If you feed rewards, this dog will sit there with a smile on his face," I said.
"His original owner showed me some images of Noodle as a newborn, and she was wearing clothing." Polo tees, hoodies, and t-shirts were available at Noodle. He was a pro when he arrived, so when it came time to ask, 'Do you think he'll put this top on?' 'I really, truly believe he will,' I say. In many respects, he's used to being in the limelight; it's just a lot bigger today."
Noodle Inspires His Dad
"He's always been my pal, but now that I've been home for over two years, he's really my company." He's the one that keeps me on track throughout the day. He's the one who stops my existential dread from spiraling out of control. There's something soothing about [dogs] being blissfully unconscious of what's going on.
"Every single day, he brings me so much delight, and I believe there's something universal about that." Everyone's dog is the finest dog that has ever existed, I believe it to be a universal truth. "Noodle is the finest dog I've ever had."
Jonathan Keeps It P(aws)itive
"It's incredible to be able to truly participate in people's lives." It has a strong sense of community. People can rely on one another, as seen by the remarks. People are now gassing each other up. How frequently do you see random folks on the internet inspiring each other because of anything like this? I've learnt a lot about community building, but I'm not sure how this happened."
Friends and Family Help
"They're ecstatic for me and have been really supportive." 'How may we be of assistance?' 'Do you need to speak with anyone?' 'Are you in need of a break?' They've been wonderful at keeping in touch with me and assisting me in navigating all of this chaos. They've boosted my self-esteem tremendously. Even when you're doing well and getting a lot of attention, the internet remains a difficult place to navigate. It's difficult to obtain such messages if I don't post on certain days. My friends have been wonderfully encouraging... They've reminded me that I have the right not to publish if I don't want to since I need to focus on Noodle.
Noodle's Star Rose Fast
"On October 3, we had 100,000 Tiktok followers, indicating that people were starting to notice. It was wonderful, but there was one day when I submitted a video that I will never forget. It had hardly been up for 20 minutes when I refreshed my page and saw that it had increased by 50,000 views. Every single thing we posted for the next two weeks was fed to millions of people, which was incredible. I was really disoriented. I don't recall anything about the period. One day, a simple switch was flicked. It felt like, 'I'm not Jennifer Aniston.' We'd received a million followers in a day. 'What exactly is this?'"
Noodle Is a Loud Boy
"Noodle is a noisy dog." If I press the doorbell to allow someone in, Noodle will be sound sleeping and awaken. He'll begin walking and limp to the door. His bones may be rigid, and he may appear to be 'no bones,' but he'll jelly-bone his way there. Noodle is a high-security pug that likes to talk."
Animal Rescue Remains the Goal
"One of the nicest things that has come out of it all is that I've been able to utilize this platform to try to urge people to rescue, adopt, foster, and share Noodle's story." All dogs are wonderful dogs, and all dogs need homes, whether they come from a breeder or a shelter. But it's critical for me to be able to share Noodle's story of adoption, as well as the many other fantastic, lovely rescue dogs out there waiting for homes." "The publicity is fantastic, the brand deals are fantastic, but the nicest thing that has come out of it all is that I believe individuals have adopted dogs as a result of it. That is the most wonderful thing in the world.
Noodle Lightning Round
Favorite food: french fries
Favorite toy: N/A (Noodle doesn’t play with toys)
Favorite spot: At The Wallace
Favorite celebrity fan: Kate Walsh
Favorite activity: outdoor people watching