If you’re like us, dog and animal reels on social media are your endless source of serotonin. When the day is hard, and life seems uphill, those videos of the little furballs make us want to keep going. One of our favorites? Definitely Golden Chilaquil!

This Golden retriever debuted on TikTok in January 2023 and has been stealing our hearts ever since. But what’s his story?

FIERCE spoke with Chilaquil’s humom, Karen, about the story behind the popular TikTok account—and now we’re more in love than ever with this pup!

Chilaquil, the international puppy

Chilaquil was born in Toronto, where his humom, Karen, 29, adopted him. When her pup was still a toddler, Karen decided to travel to Mexico City.

“I started Chilaquil’s TikTok account back when we were in Mexico City. He was recovering from parvovirus, and I was just bored at home during the holidays,” Karen told FIERCE. “Honestly, I didn’t think much of it or plan for it to blow up into a big account, but here we are!”

As hard as her dog’s illness was, and despite the fear and sadness, Karen decided to tell her story through social media.

“We had lots of help from our friends and family, and he got better with treatment,” she said. “After he was all better, I told his parvo story on social media to let people know how serious parvo can be and to give hope to anyone else dealing with it.”

A bilingual TikTok star

In just one year, Chilaquil has nearly one million followers on TikTok. Behind the scenes, Karen takes us into the furry’s day-to-day life, telling us about his adventures in English and Spanish.

“I try to keep Chilaquil’s content lighthearted and humorous by incorporating Spanglish phrases and highlighting both North American and Latin cultures,” Karen said. “Nearly 90% of the feedback we receive is positive and heartwarming. We often hear from people who are either facing tough times or have overcome challenges and find joy in watching Chilaquil’s videos.”

“His popularity has certainly brought us significant work opportunities, and he gets recognized in public all the time,” Karen told us. “He gets so excited when he hears his name; it’s so cute!”


Times are wild in Mexico but I’m liking it and my Spanish is getting better ???? #perrostiktokers #dogsoftiktok #doglife #bilingualdog

♬ original sound – Chilaquil

Now, the Chilakas, as he is affectionately called, has his own website, official merchandise, and even a newsletter

Chilaquil has changed the lives of his parents and all of his followers.

The first thing Chilakas does in the morning is snuggle with his parents in bed for a good long while. Then he goes out into the yard to watch people go by. But after that, the adventures begin.

“My husband takes him on hikes to the Griffith Observatory or Runyon Canyon,” Karen said. “When he comes home, he plays—he’s very energetic. Creating content comes naturally; we usually film our daily activities and eventually compile everything into a full video. I really have fun with it!”

Before her dog rose to fame, Karen worked as a full-time freelance photographer. Little did she know that her penchant for taking her camera everywhere she went would change with the arrival of Chilaquil.

“Documenting Chilaquil’s journey holds huge importance for me; it’s a way to cherish the joy he brings and will continue to bring,” Karen said. “Now, making a living from documenting our adventures with Chilaquil feels like an incredible privilege, blending work with the joy of spending time with our dog.”

Creating a beautiful community

Now, Karen and Chilaquil are creating a community of supporters and dog lovers. They organize meet-and-greet dates and campaign for the defense of dogs in shelters or on the street.

Chilaquil and her family have already collaborated with the Mexican animal shelter Wet Noses Rescue, sharing videos that received incredible support from their audience.

“Their donations helped a couple of dogs get adopted through Chilaquil’s influence, which has been one of our proudest achievements,” Karen shared.

Along with her “Chismecito with Chilakas” series on YouTube, Karen has created a space of entertainment that undoubtedly warms our hearts. Long live Chilaquil!