Amazing Insta-Dog sensation @TunaMeltsMyHeart has been shimmying his cute strawberry blonde butt around the UK on tour for his book Tuna Melts My Heart The Underdog with the Underbite. Luckily, his kind dog mum carved out some time in their jam-packed schedule to talk to Barkarama.
Basil and I caught up with the pair last week at dog-friendly Megan’s – a café, grill and bar on the King’s Road in Fulham…
How are you feeling today Tuna?
Full of anticipation! I’m heading to Birmingham shortly for a book signing. I’m tired too, as I had late night meeting my lovely London fans yesterday so I’ll definitely be grabbing a puppy power nap on the train.
What’s been the highlight of your UK trip so far?
Being a guest on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with a lovely chap called Nick Grimshaw. It was lots of fun and really relaxed - I especially loved dorking around with Nick for photos. They also let me stand in for Tina Daheley to read the houndlines, as my new news-reading alter ego Tuna Daheley.
Being a dog about town, which of London’s dog-friendly venues have you enjoyed checking out?
Megan’s where we are sat right now. The staff keep me topped up with bone biscuits and fresh water, and it's a great place to hangout and make new doggy friends.
For a luxe nap, I was fortunate enough to stay at the South Place Hotel in London’s Shoreditch. The Pet Concierge service at PetsPyjamas set up my stay and as part of the package, I had my own special pooch bed, bowl and a personalised pet travel treat box. I heard mum mumble something about their Michelin-starred restaurant too so that must be where my delicious late night snacks came from.
When mum needs to catch up on my busy inbox, we head to The Ace Hotel, which is also in Shoreditch. They hosted my London book signing and gladly welcome well-behaved dogs and their laptop-wielding humans in their lobby café.
You’re going to be in the UK for Valentine’s Day. Will you be doing anything to celebrate?
Apart from spreading the love to my Insta-fans, it will be a low key-affair of cuddles from mum. I was dating a Frenchie called Fiona back home but she couldn’t cope with the long-distance thing so she’s hooked up with another dog. I’ve got my eye on a little chick called Lulu but I don’t think she’s interested so you heard it here first ladies – Tuna’s single and ready to mingle!
You have an enviable collection of petwear and accessories. What doggy style advice can you share with our readers?
I love fun pet accessories as much as the next cool pup but for me function comes before fashion. Hailing from the sunnier climes of California, I really feel the chill when I’m in the UK so warmth is key, which is why you often see me wrapped up in my fleecy onesies or luxe cashmere jumpers from stylish pup-wear designer, Ruby Rufus. I even have my own signature Tuna Melts My Heart jumper (shown below) that Ruby designed with me in mind in a cool chevron pattern - with a portion of each sale donated to Dogs Trust.
We’re always seeing you rubbing paws with famous people. Do you have any celebrity pals – hound or human on speed dial?
I’m great pals with social dog-stars Marnie the Dog - the cute one who thinks every day is #tongueouttuesday, and Harlow, Reese and Indiana, who are a famous trio of two Doxies and a Weimaraner. Lady Gaga has my number so I’m hoping one day she’ll call, as a puppy play date with Asia and Koji would be cool.
Question to Tuna’s mum Courtney… we know you get lots of comments and emails from people about the impact Tuna has had on their lives. Can you share a few examples?
Just this week at our Leeds book signing, we met a lady who suffers from agoraphobia (a fear of open or public places). She rarely goes out and if she does she has panic attacks. She told us she HAD TO meet Tuna so coming to the signing was such a huge step for her. We were honoured.
Another was from a girl who posted a comment about her mum being diagnosed with stage four Cancer. Her mum was a huge Tuna fan so we sent pictures of Tuna we'd taken for her especially, which the family placed around the hospital room where she was receiving treatment. Sadly she passed away but her daughter informed me that Tuna's photos were a big source of encouragement and joy in the darkest of times.
You have an army of fans, your own merchandise range, a luxury doggy cashmere sweater designed in your honour, a book, an international tour – what's next for Tuna?
Dog mum and I are keen to continue our adventures through The Travelling Tuna – a new area of my website where we plan to fly the flag for dog-friendly restaurants and hotels, offering our honest reviews. We hope to be Trip Advisor for doggies!
Lastly, you are one of the most famous dogs in the world and a role model to over a million hound and human fans. What advice can you offer to others wanting to follow in your paw-steps?
Be yourself and celebrate your differences! My mum always says ‘true beauty captivates our hearts and not just our eyes’. I couldn't agree more.
Tuna Melts My Heart – The Underdog with the Overbite is filled with more than a hundred all-new photographs and witty commentary to give fans an intimate and hilarious look at the Internet’s most prized pup. Teaming up with his owner, Courtney Dasher, Tuna shares a behind-the-scenes look at his daily exploits, which include sleeping, sunbathing, wearing bow ties, playing with toys, and melting hearts. ORDER YOUR COPY at Amazon.co.uk.