Is Boo the 'cutest dog' in the world a Facebook plant?

Boo, unquestionably the cutest dog in the world (except for yours, of course).
Boo, unquestionably the cutest dog in the world (except for yours, of course).Facebook / Today

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By Suzanne Choney

With nearly 5 million "likes" on Facebook, a book out about him and a 2013 calendar to boot, Boo is one popular pup, legitimately dubbed "the world's cutest dog," whose sweet eyes and face — in fact, just total adorableness — are unquestionable. But there is a "secret" about Boo that now has been revealed: Boo's owner is an employee at Facebook, the social network that put Boo on course to canine celebrity.

Boo's owner has never sought the spotlight, even this week when her name was made known, revealed by Mike Isaac of AllThings D. No press conferences or media alerts were called, or defensive YouTube testimonials posted.

Wrote Isaac:

Two of my tipsters say that Boo’s adoptive human mother of the past six years is Irene Ahn, a dyed-in-the-wool Facebook employee working in a leading position in the company’s finance department. After working for Yahoo and PayPal in the past, Ahn has been with Facebook since December of 2008.

Lots of people post Facebook pages in their pets' names, and those pages often do quite well. Let's face it, a pooch or kitty won't give you a load of sass back, and a pet only seeks to be "liked" on Facebook, just as in real life. There's not a lot of heavy lifting social network-wise. It's just pure fun.

Boo's Facebook page.Facebook / Today

Boo, of course, has become something of an Internet cult canine phenomenon, with celebrities sharing pictures of Boo on their own blogs and tweets, a book  "Boo: The Life of the World's Cutest Dog" published last year, and near-fainting status after false Internet postings earlier this year that the Pomeranian had passed away. 

But some are questioning Boo's vault to fame, saying Facebook is behind it all because his owner works there, and because she has stayed so very behind the scenes.

"Curious, isn’t it, that Mr. Dog boasts close to 5 million fans on Facebook, where his owner’s boss is banking on that kind of user engagement?" writes Jessica Roy on Betabeat. "And with a powerful parent like that, he surely didn’t earn those fans through sheer cuteness alone."

At The Atlantic Wire, Jen Doll says, "This is worse than that time we found out that 'House Hunters' lied."

Isaac said that since he discovered Boo's owner's identity, "I’ve tried getting in touch with Ahn multiple times for a quick interview (or better, a quick game of catch with Boo!), but to no avail. She won’t return my messages, obviously preferring to keep Boo front and center."

TODAY.com has contacted Facebook about this latest "situation," and we'll update this piece if we hear back.

The cynic in me says, "Aha!" The Boo fan in me, however, just says, "Awww!" Let's give it a rest and keep seeing more photos of Boo on Facebook, like this recent one below. He brings a smile to so many of our faces. And that's a really hard thing to come by these days.

Boo, in a recent photo shared on Facebook.Facebook / Today

 

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