Friday, October 22, 2021

Barbara George: ‘My dog sleeps in the room that has the smallest wardrobe in the house’

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The pug-of-the-month competition features a husky in Ben Sheaf’s romp The Inbetweeners 2 and and her owner – who is the same person whose dog won the competition in 2014

When a dog in Ben Sheaf’s new film The Inbetweeners 2 won the Internet’s heart, the entire Internet couldn’t stop watching. Over 100 million watched the clip of Cheshire bull terrier Chloe – aka the Husky of the Month – drinking her water bowl in the bathtub before swilling some much-needed tea and causing her owner to lose her cool, while Sheaf’s character, Simon, jokes: “Something’s pissing off your cat again.”

The clip was a major hit, and by May 2015 there were over two million YouTube views. It was taken down, though, after its creator, a columnist named Barbara George, was reported for using her dog’s name to plug a book promotion. And now Barbara is back to glory, taking a romp in the kind of countryside where dogs sleep in single beds.

“My dog sleeps in the room that has the smallest wardrobe in the house,” she says. “He is a 130lb German shepherd called Axiobulous, and in his bed is the right side of his cuddly toy. We call it our lovable vessel.”

It is no joke, though. In fact, Barbara and Axiobulous are the same dog – the “perfect dog” according to the Amaboard website, which makes its money from sponsorship and advertising, such as TV shows and sports events.

Barbara won the first Inbetweeners competition for this particular husky, in 2014, by placing a challenge on Facebook, where they were listed alongside 15,000 others. So did she think it was amazing that this dog had taken it to more than 100 million people? “Not so much,” she says. “I was kind of surprised to have been nominated to go forward. I was a bit scared I’d never make it.”

Only five dogs took part in that first contest, and Barbara was the only woman, which she says could have been an advantage – “I’d have to pay more attention”. For a few months after her dog won, she and Axiobulous were living in bags in a barn.

Eventually, Barbara went into business with her husband with the help of £1m they got from a bank. “I learnt how to really market my dogs in the way I wanted to. I think you need someone to work for you.”

After five years, The Inbetweeners won’t be the last, as it comes back to screens for a 10th and final series on E4 later this year.

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