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"I've Pet that Dog" kid on his first book and how the pandemic has stopped his petting

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Credit: Rachel Braunigan

(NEW YORK) — Twelve-year-old Iowa boy Gideon Kidd has become famous on Twitter for his “I’ve Pet that Dog” account, where he documents all the dogs he’s petted — more than a thousand and counting.  He’s just released his first book, Pet That Dog!, and tells ABC Audio why it’s a perfect holiday gift for any canine-loving kid.

“It would be, I think, a good Christmas gift because it’s …a pretty decently long book,” he explains. “And it has tons of cool facts that kids or adults could learn about, and it teaches you to love dogs.”

The book features tips on meeting, petting, caring for and training dogs, and also spotlights famous dogs throughout history. So, as the expert, what kind of dog does Gideon like to pet the most?

“I like really little dogs like Chihuahuas and really big dogs like St. Bernards or Mastiffs,” he reveals, noting that the little ones are “so, so, so adorable,” while the big dogs are “normally very fluffy and really playful.” 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has curtailed Gideon’s dog-petting: In recent months, he’s simply been posts photos of dogs that people send him, highlighting them as ones he’d love to pet if we weren’t all on lockdown.

“Basically, we just said, ‘Oh, that dog is really cute and he has a good amount of information on him. Let’s do this one.’ Or like, ‘These pictures are really good and this pup is adorable,'” Gideon says of how he chooses which dogs to feature. 

But, he notes, “I’m really, really looking forward to going back out and meeting some dogs.”

Gideon’s goal is to pet a million dogs — so is a world petting tour something he’d like to do someday?

“Oh my God, that would be my heaven!” he laughs. “It’d be awesome!”

By Andrea Dresdale
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