This is how “ruff” riders roll!
A “puppy bus” in Alaska has gone viral and built a steady following on both TikTok and Instagram thanks to the cuteness of its passengers. The popular social media accounts give followers a peek into the dog-walking business Mo Mountain Mutts, which picks up local pooches in a bus customized to transport canines on adventures.
“I look in the rearview mirror of the bus as I’m driving sometimes. And I see all the dogs back there. And I can’t believe we do this for a living,” Mo Thompson, who runs the business with her husband Lee, told local station KTOO.
Mo Mountain Mutts organizes three off-leash pack walks daily and collects its canine clients in a passenger bus with seatbelts for dogs. The business started documenting the bus rides not long ago and found that animal lovers couldn’t get enough. One TikTok video of the dogs’ adorable bus boarding process has been liked over 9 million times on the platform!
As part of the pickup routine, dogs enter the bus, receive a fun obedience drill, find their assigned seat, and get harnessed in. About 12 dogs join each bus trip, and the riders often greet each other after boarding, per the Washington Post. Mo Mountain Mutts seat the canines based on each dog’s personality, age, and manners. The younger dogs stay in the “licky puppy corner,” where they often spend their time — unsurprisingly — licking other pups.
“Specific areas of the bus are better suited to the dogs,” Mo, 31, told the publication.
Based in Skagway, Alaska, the business began to take shape when Mo started walking friends’ dogs at work.
“I started working with some teachers at the school. And it just kind of was a ripple effect of ‘Hey, I heard you’re really good with dogs. Can you help me? Hey, I heard you’re really good with dogs. Can you help me?’ And then I needed a second pack walk because I started grouping dogs together by their personalities,” she added. “So we had our morning crew and our afternoon crew. Then it just grew to the point where I needed some help from Lee.”
The dog-walking duo began to go viral last year thanks to the cute clips they posted of their canine clients and officially hit a million TikTok subscribers on New Year’s Eve 2022 — the business also has over 265,000 Instagram followers. Mo only started posting on social media for the dogs’ owners, per the Washington Post, but things quickly took off.
“Lee and I together are just a couple of goofballs. So Lee just started pointing the camera at me or he would have a silly idea on the bus. And that’s really what went viral,” Mo told KTOO.
Dog owner Jim Higgins told the Post that his dog Murray joined Mo Mountain Mutts a couple of years back and “can hear the bus coming down the alley, and he gets very excited.”
“They’ve kept all of our spirits up,” Higgins said.