From death row to Instagram stardom: Bacon, a very expressive dog

A dog named Bacon has become an Instagram star thanks to his Oscar-worthy facial expressions.

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The Pekingese-dachshund-Chihuahua-Shih-tzu mix, also known as Old Man Bacon or ‘The Baconator,’ has been compared to leading Hollywood character actors including William H. Macy as his fame has spread.

An Instagram star is born

Bacon, 4, has amassed over 22,000 followers on Instagram, with fewer than 500 photos. His story can’t help but recall that of the 1950s movie star James Dean, who remains a household name despite appearing in just three movies. But Bacon’s life has not always been the bed of roses that his legions of fans see today.

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The Baconator has a background that would make Don Draper weep. He was found wandering the streets by animal control and stared euthanasia in the face during his time on doggie death row. It was only when scouts from Guardian Angel Dog Rescue spotted his troubled little face that he received a stay of execution. But his troubles were far from over.

From death row to a Florida lawn

Nobody knows what sort of life the Old Man led before he rejoined society. Following his brush with death, Bacon’s first two adopting families soon returned him to the rescue home. It seems Bacon’s personal demons were resurfacing through his erratic behaviour. The gallows beckoned once more.

That’s when Tampa, FL., dog lover Meg came into the picture.

“We went to go do an in-person meeting with the rescue, and fell in love as he waddled down the driveway,” Meg told People.

At his new Florida home, Bacon began a steep learning curve, taking high-five and paw-shaking classes in an attempt to regain some kind of normality. His party trick is rumoured to be his ability to sit up like a meerkat.

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However, it is his tremendous emotional range that caught the imagination of his owners. They now document Bacon’s lifestyle wherever he goes, be it the sofa, the bed, or on a chair.

A normal life like yours or mine

In his publicity images, Bacon’s moods appear to sway from exasperated, to cynical, to deeply concerned, like a wispy James Belushi. As with all reality stars, it is difficult to tell just who the real Bacon is beneath his carefully-managed persona. It is likely that a raging inferno of mixed-up emotions continues to burn inside the belly he so keenly offers for rubs and scratching.


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But like many of our most celebrated stars, it is stability at home that has enabled Bacon to enjoy his successes without going off the rails. Bacon’s significant other is Baloo – a retriever who avoids the limelight and appears to be some kind of Labrador mix. Baloo has so far resisted pressure to begin an Instagram career of his own.

Read Also: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry name their new dog at last… and it’s very easy to spell

John is a filmmaker and freelance writer. Specialising in leadership, digital media and personal growth, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. He grew up with a golden Labrador named Abba (both of them were children of the '70s) and is nicknamed "G-Dog" for his dogly approach to life. He lives in London but is always on the move.