When you think of a London city socialite shopping in Selfridges and enjoying glamorous al fresco lunches, a dog wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind.
But Chilli the Chihuahua does just that. Along with his mummy Yasmin he lives the ultimate high London life in fancy outfits that are documented on his very own Instagram.
With over 24,000 followers on Instagram, Chilli’s fans can’t get enough of his feisty, spicy attitude and penchant for dressing up to the nines. Whether it’s predicting the Euros results, celebrating pal’s birthdays or showing off his circus tricks, Chilli has been entertaining his followers for the last six years.
But it hasn’t always been so glamorous for Chilli. Several years ago Yasmin - an artist, creative and spiritual yogi - suffered a severe back injury which left her bedridden for a year.
Her limited movement left her confined 24/7 to her home with her Chilli at her side. The isolation from all activities and work left her yearning for some form of creative self-expression, so she started taking photos of Chilli and created a Facebook page for him and shared his life with the world.
This became hugely popular with dog fans across the world, but being stuck in the house triggered Chilli’s anxiety due to a lack of socialising. Chilli became her protector.
Once Yasmin’s back healed, she was faced with the challenge of helping an anxious Chilli cope with the outside world again.
Along with a dog trainer and a behaviourist, Yasmin worked with Chilli to regain his confidence and help him define his boundaries – this is where the dog emotional wellbeing and training advice aspect of the Chilliwawa website comes into play. All advice is based on real life experiences.
Yasmin, Chilli’s mummy, said: “Chilli is my soulmate and best friend. He chose me and I am forever grateful to him. He is my constant companion and we go (almost) everywhere together.
“I often get told by his fans that his larger-than-life character shines through the photos and videos, and they love his naughty spicy nature and his daily real life escapades. What really touches me is that his followers feel the big love between Chilli and me. I’d like to think it’s a contribution to adding a bit more joy and love to our world.”