Flash, a black-and-tan Basset Hound who lives in Inwood, has gained more than 10,000 Instagram followers since joining the popular photo-sharing site in late June. The dog's feed features pictures of his daily life and includes shots of him with his best friend, Kalvin the Cockapoo.
Flash’s owner, Conan Carpenter, started the account in part to better get to know the community.
“I just moved up in April from Downtown,” said Carpenter, who has met many fellow dog owners in Inwood Hill Park. “I spend so much time with my dog that it was just kind of my way of getting to know people.”
Carpenter, who had a Basset Hound as a child, adopted Flash six years ago from an animal shelter upstate.
“I saw him on the street wearing a little jacket that said, ‘Adopt Me,’” he said. “I knew right away that he was special and that I wanted him.”
Flash, who is now 8, has left the shelter behind for a comfortable life that he splits between Inwood and a home in the Catskills.
Carpenter, 46, said that even before the Instagram account, Flash got a lot of attention on the street.
“I think Basset Hounds really loom large in people’s consciousness,” Carpenter said. “People often stop to pet him and they share memories of their own childhood dogs.”
Flash’s fame quickly grew beyond the neighborhood, as he now boasts followers from as far away as Australia and Japan.
In one shot, Flash — whose full name is Flash Tupelo Trousers — lays swaddled in a blanket on the sofa while Kalvin is left to the floor.
“The pampered prince and the pauper,” the caption reads.
In another, Flash stands on his hind legs with his head and front paws in the refrigerator.
Carpenter said that Flash knows how to open the fridge himself and frequently tries to root out his favorite treat: Butter.
Carpenter’s favorite place to photograph the pup in the neighborhood is on the lawn of Inwood Hill Park, near a large Beech tree that Flash favors.
The dog's owner tries to create a narrative with each image.
“I try to put humor in it and do it from his perspective,” he said. “So there are cheeky comments about squirrels or other dogs. It’s really about fun and connection.”
A fashion designer by trade, Carpenter also occasionally includes his own sketches of Flash or the world viewed from the pooch's perspective.
Carpenter may eventually compile his sketches into a book about Flash, but for now, he is enjoying connecting with fans of the dog, whom he describes as a very dutiful and friendly pup.
“Every owner thinks their dog is special, but I do really feel that he’s special,” Carpenter said. “I think he's amazing and I want to share him with the world.”