The internet would undoubtedly be a far worse place without the important work of dogs, and one pupper in particular had a body of work that transcended her species.
Bailey, the ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ dog, became famous in late 2011 according to her owner John Nebbia, thanks to photos like this one, which people lovingly captioned with the phrase: “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“I posted about 30 pictures to Facebook and people absolutely loved them,” said John, who got Bailey for his 21st birthday. “I didn’t know it at the time but a friend of mine shared the picture of her on the computer with Reddit.
“Someone else added the ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ caption and the next day I had friends from around the country telling me she was on the front page of Reddit.”
From that moment Bailey became an internet sensation, with John posting more pictures that fitted the “I have no idea what I’m doing motif. From sausage-making sessions to fine dining, it was clear to John that if Bailey didn’t have a talent for knowing what she was doing, what she did have was a talent for posing.
“Obviously I was biased but I could tell she was a very cute dog even by golden retriever standards,” said John. “She also had a propensity to pose that I hadn’t seen in other dogs, but we didn’t notice that until she was about two years old.”
Sadly, Bailey passed away in 2016, news John shared with the internet this week in a celebration of her life along with 100 pictures of the magnificent golden retriever.
“She passed away in February 2016,” said John. “The first we told her fans was last week. She was famous but she was also our dog and family member so we wanted to take our own time to process her life before telling the masses.”
And while the news that Bailey had died was sad, the post on Reddit saw people fondly remembering her wonderful life, as well as sharing dog stories of their own.
“We would add to her collection in spurts when we felt like having a photo shoot,” said John. “There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to it, we just did it for fun.
“We didn’t want to over-do it and I wanted to make sure that every picture we took of her was as good or better than the last.”
Behind the scenes of course, Bailey was just a down-to-earth dog, unaware of the huge impression she was leaving on millions of people.
“She didn’t necessarily get any extra attention other than the extra treats that came with more photo shoots,” said John. “She was a star to the folks that knew her before she was actually famous.
“She loved to swim, nap, and chew bones,” he continued. “I don’t think she ever actually retrieved anything, and she wasn’t a fan of fetch, but she would play with Rosie and the rest of my family’s dogs quite a bit.”
And if John could take one more photo with Bailey, what might it involve?
“She loved to swim so I wish we’d had a more water-friendly camera and could’ve taken more pictures of her enjoying swimming,” he said.
“If we could take one more photo with her I think it would be something capturing her at peace or looking majestic.”