An intimate conversation with Boo, the world’s cutest canine traveler
Like butter, Boo, the self-proclaimed world’s cutest dog, is on a roll.
Following his 2012 appointment as Virgin Airlines Official Pet Liaison, the supernaturally charming Pomeranian released his first travel book this past summer. Published by Chronicle Books, "Boo: Little Dog in the Big City" is a pictorial account of a journey through San Francisco.
Now, with Chronicle Books, Boo has released a new video, A Holiday Adventure with Boo.
More on CNN: Insider Guide: Best of San Francisco
Curious to get the thoughts of the travel world’s latest celebrity (and, let’s face it, after Richard Branson and Bill Bryson, there aren’t many), we managed to keep a lid on our giddy excitement long enough to document Boo’s take on everything from essential carry-on items to travel pet peeves.
CNN: Your recent book finds you traveling around San Francisco. Why San Francisco?
Boo: San Francisco is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. It’s beautiful, not too hot and very dog friendly. Also, my publisher is there so it counts as business travel!
CNN: Better San Francisco song: “Lights” by Journey or “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding?
Boo: I think Journey is my favorite. Also, I can’t whistle, so it’s harder to join in on “Dock of the Bay.”
CNN: You’re a little guy -- how do you handle all the hills of Chinatown?
Boo: Our human carries us sometimes or has a dog carrier, so if I get tired I hop in there. But, Chinatown has lots of great smells, so I stop a lot to sniff.
More on CNN: Taipei Pet Show gallery: Better to be dog than human
CNN: Are you following the 49ers quarterback controversy this year -- are you a sports fan at all?
Boo: I often watch football, but my favorite game is the Puppy Bowl.
CNN: Any pooch-friendly San Francisco restaurant recommendations?
San Francisco also has a great new food cart place called SOMA StrEAT Food Park.
They all are pet-friendly.
CNN: You’ve become Virgin Airlines’ Official Pet Liaison. May we call you “spokesdog” and how did that partnership come about?
Boo: We like to fly Virgin Airlines; they’re mood lighting is relaxing. When they contacted our human, it seemed like a natural friendship.
CNN: What are your obligations and duties as Virgin Airlines spokesdog?
Boo: Virgin America said they wanted to make their guests -- two-legged and four-legged -- feel comfortable, so I offer tips on products that make pet travel easy.
I will offer tips and post photos when I travel.
One Virgin teammate said it "makes their day" when I am on the flight, so that is pretty cool.
CNN: In your Virgin photos, we can’t help noticing your post-flight fur looks a little tousled. Were you intentionally going for that look or was perhaps a bit of jet lag involved?
Boo: Who emerges from a cross-country flight looking ready for the runway? I snuggle up with a blanket when I fly and sometimes it musses my hair.
More on CNN: Hong Kong's amazing truffle-hunting dog
CNN: Has the pressure to remain adorable increased with fame? How do you stay grounded in light of your sudden notoriety?
Boo: Life hasn’t changed much for me. I like to stay home, play with toys and pal around with Buddy.
CNN: No offense, but do people ever ask if you’re a real dog or a toy?
Boo: Haha! In person, no. But on the Internet there have been debates.
My human has posted videos of me, but the rumors persist.
Gund made a plush dog that looks like me, so now we have both: real Boo and doll Boo.
CNN: Do fans ask for your pawtograph when they see you in public?
Boo: Sometimes people recognize me. I like to say hello and get petted.
But my human says no to people feeding me. Otherwise I might put on some weight from too many treats.
CNN: Having a travel buddy is great but now always easy -- what are your areas of sensitivity we should know about before hitting the road with you?
Boo: It’s funny you should say that as my best friend is named Buddy. I like to go places, and when my human pulls out the carrier I get really excited.
I do need naps, otherwise I get groggy and don’t want to play.
Traveling by plane or car gives me a chance to take a long nap in my carrier, and when I get there I’m ready for fun.
CNN: What traits irritate you the most in a travel pal?
Boo: Sometimes I like my peace and quiet, so like most people I don’t like a neighbor who is too chatty.
More on CNN: 11 places to see incredible sunsets
CNN: Got a favorite dog movie?
Boo: “Lady and the Tramp.” I’m a sucker for true love.
CNN: What did you think of “Marley and Me”?
Boo: I haven’t seen it. Is it about Bob Marley’s dog?
CNN: Lassie or Triumph the Insult Comic Dog?
Boo: Lassie! She would be fun to hang out with and would keep me out of trouble.
CNN: Paris or Beijing?
Boo: I hear that Paris is a great town for dogs, and I bet French pastries are delicious. I bet I would look good in a beret.
CNN: Beach or mountains?
Boo: Beach for sure. Here’s a tip: if you dig down into the sand it is cool on your belly.
CNN: Belly rub or behind-the-ears scratch?
Boo: Behind the ears. I like to lean into it.
CNN: What items do you always pack in your carry-on?
Boo: A squeaky toy and my favorite striped shirt.
CNN: On airplanes, do you ride in the passenger cabin or in the hold below?
Boo: Buddy and I ride in carriers under the seats. I’m close to my human and I can hear the conversations around me.
CNN: Do you travel with a stylist?
Boo: No. The reason I have this haircut is so that I don’t have to be groomed often. I have a habit of matting my hair and this is a low-maintenance cut.
CNN: Ever sat next to a cat on a flight? How would that work out?
Boo: What’s a cat?
More on CNN: Shanghai's problematic "one dog" policy
CNN: What’s the longest flight you’ve been on?
Boo: I have flown to New York before. Now that was a nice, long, undisturbed nap.
CNN: Would you ever consent to being sedated for a flight?
Boo: I can sleep through almost anything so no need for sedatives.
CNN: Are there special dog facilities on a plane where you can “freshen up”?
Boo: There is no grassy area for dogs, if you catch my drift
CNN: What do you never leave home without?
Boo: Buddy and my human. We’re a team.
CNN: What sorts of in-flight snacks do you prefer?
Boo: I have a good breakfast and then only some water on the flight.
CNN: If you competed in a cute-off with Maru, the Internet cat sensation from Japan, who would win?
Boo: Maru is funny. I have seen his videos. He has lots of talent so it might be a tough competition.
CNN: What celebrity would you most like to meet?
Boo: Who doesn’t want to meet Oprah? I also like Jason Mraz’s music. I hope he is a dog person. Alicia Keyes Instagramed a photo of me once, maybe we can become friends.
CNN: We know you’re single and, in your own words, “still having fun.” Do you lick on the first date? Or just sniff?
Boo: Oh gosh…! My face is getting red under my fur.
CNN: Are we getting too personal here?
Boo: Uh … yeah!
More on CNN: What we love and hate about hospitality industry
CNN: What’s on the front burner? Product endorsements, movie deals?
Boo: I have a paper doll set and children’s ABC book coming out in spring of 2013.
I like kids and they seem to like me, so I am excited to have a book for them.
CNN: What places do you most want to visit in the world and why?
Boo: I have many fans from Brazil who write me to say I should come visit. They make it sound like a fun place to be.
CNN: We live in Hong Kong -- if you ever come here would you PLEEEEEEEASE visit our office?
Boo: I thought you’d never ask! We can eat some ramen, go to the horse races, maybe see the big Boo-dah on Lantau. It is spelled Boo-dah, right?
Originally published August 2012; updated December 11, 2012.