At the end of a long year of 4 million TikTok fans and teaching the world that it's OK to have a "No Bones" day (especially during a nearly two-year-long pandemic), Noodle the pug took the time to speak with The Spruce Pets. Alright, so it was his owner, Jonathan Granziano, who did the talking, but Noodle was there, too!
Jonathan and his 13-year-old pug, Noodle, rose to fame earlier this year when their TikTok videos of Jonathan checking to see whether Noodle “has bones” (aka whether he can stand up in his bed or flops back down) went mega-viral. Since then, they’ve landed on The Today Show, done countless collaborations, and become the unofficial oracle of the internet as millions of people tune in daily to find out if it's the kind of day they should spend marking off items on their to-do list or curl up under a weighted blanket and watch a Nancy Meyers movie.
Unsurprisingly, Jonathan never expected any of this to happen when he adopted Noodle six years ago. We spoke with the 31-year-old Social Media Marketer at GoDaddy about Noodle’s newfound celebrity, the utilitarian origins of "Bones" or "No Bones," and lots more, while Noodle stood watch over Jonathan in a sweater outside of their favorite New York City bar.
Here are the10 things you probably didn't know about Noodle, 2021's TikTok sensation.
It's All About Fate
Granziano: “I had just gotten this job at BarkBox where I was able to take a dog to work with me. It was just circumstance, this woman came up to me at an event and said she knew I was looking to adopt a dog and asked if I had any interest in a 7-year-old pug named Noodle. I hadn’t thought too critically about it, but she showed me his photo and I was just like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ There was very something ‘the wand chooses the wizard’ about it. He just came to me and he had this sweet little photo and I was like, ‘What if I took care of this old pug for as long as I can, and here we are almost 6 years later. It’s amazing.'""
"Bones" and "No Bones" Is Not New
"What we figured out within the first week is that if this dog is not ready to sit up or go on a walk he’s totally fine to just let his body go full Flubber to the ground with a smile on his face and then sleep for the next two hours. He’s very comfortable doing that."
"It really is born out of an actual utility of, if this dog doesn’t have bones, the consequences of me taking him out and seeing if he’s ready to go on a walk could be that he doesn’t slump on something soft. It’s close to the ground as it is, but it’s different if your dog just splays out on the ground versus just flops in their bed. There really is a utility for me to figure out, is he ready to go hold himself up yet today? Is he ready to go on a walk?”
Noodle is Always No. 1
“My relationship with [Noodle] hasn’t changed because all of this is all Noodle first, Noodle first, Noodle first…There are some days where this dog is sound asleep at like 9:45 in the morning, and I'm not going to wake him up for a TikTok video. That would not be putting Noodle first. You can't really force this nor would I want to. It's not fun if Noodle is not comfortable and in the right space for this. It's not right. It’s not fun; it's not fun for him. It's just not something that we will do. I always have to keep Noodle in my focus no matter how many people want to see a reading in the morning. If Noodle is not into it, it’s not happening, and that’s just how it is.”
Noodle Has Long Been a Star
“Working at BarkBox he’s used to [being on set]. He just wants to be involved in things and have snacks. So he was so good at BarkBox because they would be like, ‘Jonathan, we need a dog who will sit still with a small hat on for like five minutes while we get a shot. Can Noodle do that?’ I was like, ‘If you will provide treats this dog will sit there with a smile on his face.'
"His OG owner sent me some photos of baby Noodle growing up and she had, like, clothes. Noodle had polo tees and hoodies and t-shirts. When he showed up he was a pro, so when it came time to be like, ‘So you think he’ll put this shirt on?’ I’m like ‘I think he will, I really, really do. He’s used to the spotlight in a lot of ways, it’s just a lot bigger now.”
Noodle Inspires His Dad
“Being home for almost two years now, he’s always been my buddy, but he’s really my companion right now. He’s the one who keeps me focused on the day. He’s the one who keeps me from spiraling with existential dread. [Dogs are] blissfully unaware of what’s going on, and there’s something comforting about that.
"He brings me truly so much joy every single day, and I think there’s something universal about that. Everyone’s dog is the very best dog that there’s ever been, I think that’s just the universal truth. Noodle is my very best dog that’s ever been.”
Jonathan Keeps It P(aws)itive
“It’s so wonderful to be able to really be a part of people’s lives. There’s something very communal about it. People can lean on each other, you see it in the comments. Now you see people gassing each other up. There were just random people on the internet motivating each other because of this, How often does that happen? I’ve learned a lot about nurturing communities, but I have no idea how this happened.”
Friends and Family Help
“They’re so happy for me and they’ve been incredibly supportive. ‘What can we do to help?’ ‘Do you need to talk to someone?’ ‘Do you need a break?’ They’ve been so good about checking in with me and helping me to navigate all of this craziness that’s been happening. They’ve done wonders for my confidence. The internet is a tough place, even when you’re doing well on it and getting a lot of attention. It’s tough to get those messages if there’s a day when I won’t post. My friends have been so incredibly supportive of me...They’ve kept me grounded that I have the right to not post if I don’t want to because I have to keep Noodle in my focus.
Noodle's Star Rose Fast
"We had 100,000 followers on Tiktok on October 3, so we had definitely seen people start to pick up on this. It was great, but there was this one day I just posted a video I’ll never forget. It’s only been up for 20 minutes; I was refreshing my page, and it was jumping by 50,000 views. For two weeks after that, every single thing we posted was being served to millions of people, and it was remarkable. I was in a daze. I don't really remember that time. There was one day just a switch flipped. We’d gotten a million followers in a day and it was just like, 'I’m not Jennifer Aniston. What is this?'"
Noodle Is a Loud Boy
“Noodle is a very loud dog. If I hit the buzzer to let someone in, Noodle will be sound asleep and wake up from his slumber. He will start walking and hobble to the door. His bones might be stiff, it might be very ‘no bones,’ but he’ll jelly-bone his way there somehow. Noodle is a high-security pug, and he is quite chatty.”
Animal Rescue Remains the Goal
“One of the best things that come out of all of this is that I've been able to use this platform to try and encourage people to rescue dogs and to adopt dogs and to foster dogs and to share Noodle’s story. All dogs are great dogs—whether you go to a breeder or a shelter—all dogs deserve homes. But it’s so important for me that I’m able to share Noodle’s story about being adopted and how many amazing, wonderful rescue dogs there are out there that are just looking for homes."
"The attention is great, the brand deals are great, but the best thing that has come out of all of this is that I think people have adopted dogs because of it. That’s the best thing in the world.
Noodle Lightning Round
Favorite food: french fries
Favorite toy: N/A (Noodle doesn’t play with toys)
Favorite spot: At The Wallace
Favorite celebrity fan: Kate Walsh
Favorite activity: outdoor people watching