Blogging Along the Brandywine: Pluto went viral

It was sometime around mid-March of this year. It seems like an eternity ago.

I was well into what I call my “COVID Freak-Out Period.” And after my first 6 a.m. trip to the Giant wondered if I’d have to resort to paper napkins or paper towels for — you know — toilet paper.

It was about that time my sister received a viral YouTube from a friend in Sedona, Az., which my sister, knowing the abysmal mood I was in, forwarded to me.

It was a miniature Schnauzer named Pluto with a pink collar, her mouth, and voice digitally altered making it appear she was talking.

“Hello Internet, It’s Pluto here. And I’m getting the feeling there’s kind of a crisis with the two-leggeds.”  The video was only 1:58 minutes long.

But this began the international love affair with a 13-year-old, mostly deaf and blind little dog with a touch of dementia from Canada.

What followed has been weekly YouTube shorts from Pluto commenting on life during quarantine and other philosophical lessons. For it seems when the truth is spoken by a little dog, well let’s just say Pluto can get away with more than your best friend, or even Dr. Fauci.

In the weeks that followed we learned:

“I’m a girl Pluto… but I don’t really get offended because my gender expression is pretty fluid.”

“No, I’m not reading a teleprompter, I mean seriously, I can’t read — I’m a dog.”

“Cat’s aren’t that important,” referring to her nemesis Neville, a fluffy black beauty.

During that first long lockdown, Pluto suggested designating a wall in your house as a worry wall, giving your kids some markers, pens and maybe some Chanel lipstick that you don’t have any use for now and, ”Ohhhh I can hear the gasps all the way over here now,” Pluto interjects, “Not my Benjamin Moore Blissful Blonde wall”

I practically fell off my sofa.

Pluto is the creation of Nancie Wight, from Montreal, Canada. In Pluto’s own words, Wight is an “un-renowned” wildlife photographer from “Poutine-ville” in the “Canada Lands”.

Wight’s curriculum vitae on Linkedin sounds like the true Renaissance woman that she is, with life experiences ranging from stand-up comedian, a lecturer at Concordia University, creative consultant in social media strategies for companies including HBO and Disney, to her present calling, an amazing African wildlife photographer shooting scenes and detail so stunning it can take your breath away.

According to interviews, Wight said she had been doing videos of Pluto just for her friends and family when one of them urged her to make, “Pluto Addresses the Internet in This Time of Crisis,” public.

By the end of the second day, Pluto’s site had 2 million hits, more than Wight’s wildlife photography site,, had seen in a decade.

Wight said the response has been, “Overwhelming.”

Five months later, Pluto has followers all over the world and counts celebrities among her devoted fans.

So, sit down, put your feet up, click on, and let go of today for a while. And when you hear a little voice saying, “Hi everyone, it’s me, Pluto.” You’ll know you’ve found that little corner of happiness.

And by the way, if like me, you didn’t know what Poutine is, look it up on “Mr. Googley” (one of many Pluto-isms), and as soon as the cool weather sets in, you’ll be itching to make some of Quebec’s famous comfort food with French fries, gravy and melted cheese curds.

About Sally Denk Hoey

Sally Denk Hoey, is a Gemini - one part music and one part history. She holds a masters degree cum laude from the School of Music at West Chester University. She taught 14 years in both public and private school. Her CD "Bard of the Brandywine" was critically received during her almost 30 years as a folk singer. She currently cantors masses at St Agnes Church in West Chester where she also performs with the select Motet Choir. A recognized historian, Sally serves as a judge-captain for the south-east Pennsylvania regionals of the National History Day Competition. She has served as president of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates as well as the Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford where she now curates the violin collection. Sally re-enacted with the 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment for 19 years where she interpreted the role of a campfollower at encampments in Valley Forge, Williamsburg, Va., Monmouth, N.J. and Lexington and Concord, Mass. Sally is married to her college classmate, Thomas Hoey, otherwise known as "Mr. Sousa.”



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