I think by now anyone on Twitter who is involved in the Tesla community knows about Frunkpuppy and #frunkpuppyfriday. It is one of the fun things that many of us look forward to each week; when every Friday people post photos of their pets in the frunk of their car. This started out with people taking photos of their beloved dog in the frunk of their Tesla. Now it has evolved to include pets of all kinds and non-Tesla vehicles, even Bollinger Motors (@bollingermotors), got in the contest and won.
Frunkpuppy has become a big part of Tesla culture now. The official Tesla account recently responded to one of his tweets:
Another response from @Tesla here:
Elon Musk has even considered advice from frunkpuppy:
This suggestion first came from frunkpuppy and passed on to Elon Musk in this tweet:
and it happened!
Maye Musk started tweeting to FrunkPuppy too:
The publication, Inverse, wrote a story highlighting Frunkpuppy using summon on his Model 3 and Elon Musk tweeted this story as well:
That is only a brief overview of Frunkpuppy, it seems like this frunkpuppy phenomenon has touched the lives of so many people. Even the cat lovers! Which created an online Twitter battle of the frunk between the dogs and cats. You can read that story here:
The Battle of Frunkdom
The battle between the FunkPuppies and the FrunkKittens, things got a bit hairy!
Ultimately the Kittens got their day in court and now have their own photo contest; #frunkkittyfriday!
Below is an interview with Earl, the man behind the Frunkpuppy phenomenon.
[TS] Do you remember when you first heard about Tesla?
I remember searching a used car site in 2014 and they had a ‘Tesla’ choice from the drop down menu. But no Teslas. I knew of Tesla, but hadn’t ever thought about buying one. I started to loosely follow the story but didn’t really pay attention until the “more affordable sedan” rumors became more prevalent. I started to think I could buy a Tesla some day so maybe I should keep track of the company.
[TS] Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?
Watching the Model X reveal was probably a turning point for me. It was my first real exposure to Elon in that time of venue and I remember feeling excited for the company, even though I was watching the video years after it happened.
[TS] What were your thoughts then?
I felt hopeful that electric cars might really catch on. I was a Prius owner since 2008 and concerned about emissions for a long time. An EV seemed like the appropriate next step but I always thought of them as small, slow, and ugly.
[TS] How long did you have to wait before you could get a Tesla?
I would say my waiting really began in early 2016 when I test drove a Tesla model X. That was it for me. I was hooked. I couldn’t (and never have) stopped talking about the experience. The doors. The huge front window. I couldn’t believe it. I was sure at that moment I want… no NEEDED a Tesla. Reserved my model 3 day 1 and painfully waited until May 29, 2018. Fact: Teslatino got his car the same day. I didn’t know him at the time.
[TS] What model of Tesla(s) do you have?
RWD LR Black Model 3 with 18” wheels and FSD. I initially wanted silver with white Interior but my wife, Lindsey, wanted black. I’m glad I listened to her, as usual. I also simply couldn’t wait for the white interior. I didn’t want to miss out on the tax credit and there was no way of knowing at the time when that interior would be available. I held out for a whopping 6 days after I got the invite. Then I ordered.
I remember the moment I got the invite. Out with the family at our favorite pizza place waiting in line for a beer. Phone buzzes. A Tesla email. Omg…. I can order. I came back to the table looking like I won the lottery. No one else really cared to that extent! Hahaha.
[TS] How long did you have your car before you knew you wanted to start frunkpuppy contests and merchandise?
I started my twitter account in May 2018 to follow Elon, as we all do and began to play with #. Like #teslastretch #parkinglottruthers etc. I had taken a pic of my dog and thought the word frunkpuppy just had a funny ring to it. I had been bothering others to do this from time to time. No one really did. I discussed my wife’s health scare elsewhere (teslarati) but after that, frunkpuppy began to grow. It was a welcome distraction from the worst time of my life. By fall, it had all gotten out of hand. Maye Musk posted a pic and it seemed like each week there were more and more pictures. I didn’t want it to end! I reached out to several small sponsors at the time and the response was decent. I was able to offer prizes from time to time and then also give exposure (the little I had) to these venders. Jeda offered a referral code (I like those) to me for charging pad sales. Jeda was the first to support Norman even before frunkpuppy by adopting him as an official mascot. Elon Accessories has really been there from the frunkpuppy start though, offering free screen protectors then $25 off to the winner. But there have been many. 3 tray, Tesla bros, scented wedge, gift 4000, no gas no watts, the electric speedshop, abstract ocean, evannex, stats app, Rex Roi 3D, Tesla Raj ,….. the list goes on
[TS] Why did you start frunkpuppy?
Mostly covered above but what I love about it is the celebration of pet and the love that their owners have for them. Frunkpuppy offers a real playful and creative outlet for EV owners. That might be my favorite part.
[TS] What was the biggest challenge you had going from concept to reality with this?
The leg work. I’m all for tweets and ideas but it’s work. Actual work. So I Formed the Frunkpuppyfriday board to help find the pics and set up voting. Members have come and gone but there is a real core of amazing people who helped cement frunkpuppy on a weekly basis. The board also is an endless source of ideas. I could write an article about each member. Aside from the board I teamed up with Julissa who was integral in setting up the website, blog, and working with artists to design merch. She also has repeatedly told me to trademark the word and branch out to other social media venues. Without the help of the board and Julissa frunkpuppy May have stalled months ago.
[TS] How long have you been doing this?
Frunkpuppy started last summer and the website (frunkpuppy.com) launched this year.
[TS] What kind of reaction have you had from the Tesla community?
Wonderful. Frunkpuppy led to my first interview by Teslatino and then invites to other shows such as The Boring Podcast and Model 3 Owners Club. Frunkpuppy is really tied into the community in a pretty amazing way. Also, many YouTubers have worn FP merch or discussed FP on their shows… without me! My favorite is still the one from Alex Venz at the auto show. Fantastic work.
[TS] Any specific stories or experiences you would like to share about what you are doing or about any individual experiences with Frunkpuppy contests or the merchandise?
We raised over 3k last year to help cover vet bills for pets caught in the CA wildfire. Also teamed up with the wonderful dogs of Tesla account (marge) to raise some funds for the rally for good. We gave away some frenchy T-shirts and helped push the go fund me link. I hope to do another project like that soon. The other cool project was #marchfrunkingmadness which had 64 pics compete. We are now at the final 4! My favorite merch currently is out frunkhopper t-shirt. But I’m announcing a new merch line soon. Stay tuned!
[TS] How has doing this changed you, either this product or just being a part of the Tesla community, how do you see this whole experience has changed you?
It’s brought out an entrepreneurial and artistic side of me that’s been buried for awhile. It’s hard to separate my changes from Lindsey’s health scare and recovery though. We’ve all changed. However FP pushed me to get on camera and take part in podcasts and YouTube etc. so that’s new. I had to get over that hump. I’ve also been more open and trusting. Really using social media to be social. This last week I was on the phone the 5 times. 4 times with people I’ve met on twitter. LOL.
[TS] If you could meet with Elon Musk for lunch, what would you want to talk about?
As a psychologist I’m fascinated with what makes him tic. Why he’s doing all this and how he handles the coordinated attacks. Oh and I would ask to see the pick up truck. I can’t wait for that.
[TS] What about you, what inspires you?
The Tesla community is inspiring and usually so positive. I feed Off of others’ joy of science, space, tech, Elon, Tesla, etc etc. I’m most inspired by my wife though, as I’ve been in the front row seat as she has recovered.
[TS] Do you have any advice for any other budding entrepreneurs wanting to do their own thing?
Go for it! Start small. Make mistakes. Do videos. That voice that says you Can’t is probably wrong. Goals are important. Where do you see your project going? Tie in your product to your passions.
[TS] Is there anything else you would like to share so people know a bit about the human behind frunkpuppy?
People probably don’t know about my passion for neuroanatomy and also working with the military. I’m very proud to be an active duty Neuropsychologist and assessing for TBI effects and conditions such as dementia. I keep that separate from my account.
[TS] What about Norman, I think people want to know more about Norman?
He’s very opinionated and strong willed. Actually, he’s a bit of a jerk. But we love him.
[TS] Is Norman the official mascot of frunkpuppy?
[TS] What kind of dog is he?
Parti Labradoodle from Ohio.
[TS] How old is he?
He’s about 1.5
[TS] Does he have a favorite toy or acitivity like playing fetch?
He’s not a fan of fetch. He’s a fan of the dog park. The little guy runs his heart out. He’s really fast and won’t quit till he gets other dogs to run with him.
[TS] How well does he travel in the car, does he like to go for rides?
He’s a good traveler. Mostly sleeps.
[TS] What about the other dog we see in pics, who is that?
That’s Wilson. I’m planning a “Wilson week” soon so people can get to know him. He’s the best dog. Don’t tell Norman. A gentle strange dog.
[TS] What is the best way for people to find you and about frunkpuppy?
frunkpuppy on twitter: @frunkpuppy , @28delayslater
Here is an instructional video for anyone wanting to participate in #frunkpuppyfriday
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Wade Anderson is a Model 3 performance owner, he runs the Tesla Social website and YouTube channel.