You can’t have a bit of glam without some growl. Just ask Alaskan Klee Kai Ripley.
Her beautiful Alaskan Klee Kai isn’t too far behind – Ripley has an impressive 237,000 followers on Instagram.
By our reckoning, she’s the most popular Klee Kai on the photo-sharing app, even eclipsing Sophie Turner’s Porky Basquiat.
This week, we got to chat with Mykie about her life with Ripley and all things Alaskan Klee Kai.
Mykie was also kind enough to share some of her Instagram and YouTube tips for anyone who has ambitions of turning their dog into a social media star.
You can follow our dogs Copper and Skye on Instagram here (@lifewithkleekai).
Note: Ripley is an Alaskan Klee Kai bred by Nordic Mini Husky.
1) How did you first hear about the Alaskan Klee Kai breed?
I saw one in person and I couldn’t believe my eyes! The most beautiful black and white boy with blue eyes. I had no idea mini huskies existed before then.
2) Why did you decide to get Ripley ahead of other breeds?
I grew up with and love big dog breeds (German Sheperds, Golden Retrievers, Labs, etc!), but I knew I didn’t have the space for a big dog in my LA apartment. It was also really important to me to have a breed that was a good companion because at the time I was going through a world of anxiety and I knew having a little buddy would help me out a lot. After doing research on their breed, seeing that they have generally great health, are meant to be companion animals, and look like shrunken huskies; it seemed like the perfect choice for me.
3) Can you give us an insight into Ripley’s personality?
She is WILD. Incredibly funny and intelligent. High energy but so sweet when she’s tired. Sometimes I forget she doesn’t understand what I’m saying to her, because it feels like we genuinely have conversations sometimes. I’ve had a lot of dogs growing up but she by far has the most personality of any dog I’ve ever seen. Klee Kai being very talkative certainly helps with that one. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t surprise me with something new.
4) What are the best things about owning an Alaskan Klee Kai?
The never ending laughter. Feeling like she’s truly my little buddy and not just an animal I take care of. Getting her is easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because she’s an endless source of happiness.
5) Have you been surprised by any aspects of her personality?
I was surprised at how incredibly wilful she can be. She’s so smart that she can learn any rule just to turn around and break it. She truly has a mind of her own and it’s really interesting to see when she wants to behave and when she wants to sass me.
6) As someone who owns two Klee Kai (2 and 1 1/2 ), has Ripley matured as she comes up on her fourth birthday?
Hahaha – I was thinking about this earlier today as she begged me to play during my workout. She’s still very puppy-like and I have a feeling she always will be. I love that about her.
7) What is the most challenging aspect of owning a Klee Kai?
Her high energy and curiosity makes her difficult in social settings. She wants to run up to every dog, she’s shy of every human, and she can get very loud, despite two trainers and a lot of socialization early on. Her wilfulness is also difficult, even though it’s a personality quirk of hers that I love too.
8) Have you considered getting a second Klee Kai?
Very much so. Watching videos of your pups (@lifewithkleekai) together especially has really made me want a second. I think she needs a buddy and I’m so in love with Klee Kai that I’d love a second one.
9) Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew before getting a Klee Kai that would have made life with Ripley easier?
I did a lot of research beforehand and I knew they have a hard time with socialization, but I still wish I had done even more to prepare her for being around different kinds of dogs and people. Whatever you think is enough, is probably half of what they really need!
10) What are the most common questions you get asked about Ripley (both in person and through social media)?
I get asked all the time what breed she is and how old she is. Everyone thinks she must be a puppy because she’s so tiny (11 pounds!).
11) Can you tell us your favourite Ripley story?
Gosh, there’s so many- how could I ever pick just one? I love always having a cuddle buddy. I love how she curls up to me when she can tell I’m not feeling well. I love how she runs right on my heels to keep up with me around the house. I love watching her discover something new, or sun bathing, or mumbling under her breath at me like an angsty teenager. I think my favorite time in recent memory is watching her teach another Klee Kai puppy how to play tug of war with a toy. She’s not one to share but she did on this day and it was a really sweet moment.
12) How does Ripley fit into your lifestyle as a YouTube star?
She’s the real star! Sometimes my friends joke about how Ripley has the second most followers in the room and that always cracks me up because it’s absurd to me that so many people follow her- I never really anticipated that. People love her because I get to share her personality online in my videos or on her Instagram and I always feel like she steals the show. She’s so unique and funny that I love to put her weird little quirks on display whenever I can. If you really want to see a highlight reel of that, check out the video where I turned myself into Ripley using makeup. Her weirdness is on full display in that one (and probably mine too).
13) Does Ripley react to your different looks? If so, was there one memorable reaction?
Hahaha, no. She’s completely indifferent. She can always tell mom is under there and she’s not phased.
14) What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting a Klee Kai?
It’ll be one of the best decisions of your entire life, but once they have all their shots, get them out to a dog park every single day until they’re very comfortable around new dogs and people. Other than that, they’re angelic, always fun, and such wonderful family members.
15) Ripley is the most followed Alaskan Klee Kai on Instagram (even beating Sophie Turner’s Porky!). Why did you decide to start an Instagram page for Ripley?
SHE IS?! This is news to me and we are honored and baffled hahaha. There are SO many beautiful, funny Klee Kai on Instagram that deserve many many many more followers (your babies included!!). I started an Instagram for Ripley so I wouldn’t be tempted to overload my main audience with pictures and videos of her, in true dog mom fashion. Ripley has grown quite a loving fan base and I get really excited to see other Klee Kai pages interact with hers. Feels like we’re part of some club- a club where we all know how much of a life necessity lint-rollers are.
16) As someone who is clearly very creative, do you find it easier to be creative on @mykie or @glam_and_growl?
I don’t know about creative, but I definitely feel like I get to have more fun on @glam_and_growl. I just imagine what I think Ripley, the sass queen, must be thinking in the moments I take the picture and I get to have fun with the caption. The comments are also always hilarious, too.
17) Given your huge following and huge success on both Instagram and YouTube, what are the pros and cons of both platforms?
The pros of Instagram are that it’s quick and easy to share and connect with your audience, and it tends to have more positive comments in my experience. I do find it hard to connect to new accounts now that Instagram has removed the chronological feed, so that’s a downside. Youtube is great for storytelling, which coming from a film background is something I really enjoy. I also have my bigger audience there so I feel most connected to others on Youtube. I may see more negative comments pop up on Youtube, but I also get far more feedback there which I really value. The downside of Youtube is it takes far more work to produce content and is difficult to predict the success because of Youtube’s mysterious algorithm and changes.
18) For someone who is thinking about creating an account for their dog, which platform would you recommend to have the most fun and to be the most original?
Definitely Instagram. It seems there’s a bigger audience for dog related content on there and it’s much easier to get started than Youtube.
19) Do you have any tips for our readers on how to step up their Instagram / YouTube game?
I think there’s one of two roads (or both if you’re really fancy!) that dog parents can focus on for Instagram; the funny aspects of your dogs’ personality, or high quality beautiful pictures. I tend to only focus on the first for Ripley’s Instagram, but I love following both kinds of dog accounts. Remember, you dog is unique and you want to highlight what makes them unique. For Youtube, I would focus on creating a story or adventure around your dog’s day, or make it informational to other dog owners. Everyone’s perspective can be helpful, especially for first time dog owners.
20) What other Klee Kai accounts do you enjoy checking out?
Yours for sure! Skye and Cooper (@https://www.instagram.com/lifewithkleekai/) are two of the most beautiful Klee Kai on the internet. Kobi (@Kobikleekai) is another favorite because his pictures crack me up. He is truly a superstar. I love following Goku (@goku_kleekai) because he looks so much like Ripley in some pictures that it freaks me out. But I genuinely love any Klee Kai account I come across because it’s fascinating to me to see how much they all share these super strange and hilarious personality traits that I’ve never seen in another breed. Klee Kai are unlike anything else.