Meet Maxine, the internet's most famous fluffy corgi. With her owner Bryan, and over a million followers on Instagram, Maxine is known for her smile, sick shades, and signature peachy behind - here's a look!
Looking for a Change
Maxine the Corgi and her guardian, Bryan Reisberg, have taken the Internet by storm. With 4.2 million TikTok followers and 102 million collective likes, Maxine is about as famous as a puppy can get.
But when did Maxine become Bryan’s friendly kid, or, better question, how did Bryan find Maxine? In 2016, Bryan was no more than a film graduate from New York University. Struggling to get a break and off the back of a directorial debut that received 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, Bryan needed a change in his career.
Out of luck, Bryan got himself a job in advertising in New York City and was only just making enough for rent. However, Bryan wasn’t totally without blessings. In 2015, he married the woman of his dreams, Alex. In love and wishing to treat themselves, Bryan and Alex purchased a wedding present.
Born on the 15th of December 2015, Bryan and Alex adopted a little baby corgi, and they decided the name Maxine suited their little furball. Bryan told Hello Bark, “My wife Alex and I always wanted a corgi. We got Maxine when she was a puppy back in 2016.” And it was a match made in heaven.
Sharing the Love
A year into their fated friendship, Bryan was absolutely obsessed with Maxine. He began posting photos and videos on Instagram, under the handle @madmax_fluffyroad, as one of Mad Max: Fury Road’s biggest fans. He told the Free Press, “I just wanted the world to see how damn cute my puppy was.”
With a puppy as cute as Maxine, It only took a year to build a 50k following online. Wishing to take Maxine to the next level, Bryan turned to his skills. As a movie student and filmmaker, Bryan would struggle to avoid content creation for too long. But, armed with a camera, he and Maxine soon got to work.
Viral on Vimeo
Bryan decided to employ forces to get his video out there. He told the Free Press about the process, “I shot a video with a cinematographer friend in Brooklyn. Then I wrote a script and hired the voice-over actor Jon St. John; he responded to a casting notice I put on Voices.com.”
Uploaded a month before Maxine’s first human birthday, the video went viral. Instantly. The footage followed Maxine wandering around NYC, with the voice-over revealing things she does and does not like. And if the video watch doesn’t have what Maxine desires, that being Cheerios, then let’s politely say Maxine isn’t interested.
Mad for Maxine
Very quickly, Vimeo classified the video as a “staff pick,” boosting the video even more. Before Bryan even knew it, Maxine’s Instagram had blown up. People couldn’t get enough of her, with most comments praising Maxine’s adorable personality, peachy behind, and perfect fur coats.
Bryan told Yahoo, “Maxine is what’s called a ‘Fluffy.’ That’s, like, the actual name for dogs that just happen to be born with a rare gene mutation resulting in one long coat of fur as opposed to two short coats, which is like the breeding standard for Corgis.” Can we order more coats of fur for our dogs, too?
Growing Fan Base
Bryan and Maxine’s collaborations became a sensation. With everyone stuck at home in 2020, Bryan would take Maxine for daily walks, creating an endless content source. He told Yahoo, “I bring her everywhere with me, so it was a lot of content. When we had something fun, we’d put it online, and people loved it.”
Bryan expanded Maxine’s online presence by creating a TikTok for his ball of fluff. With nothing to do but scroll and scroll online, Maxine became a NYC celebrity. Bryan and Maxine would walk around the city, bumping into fans who would always say, “Is that Maxine? Omg!”
A Response to Subway Rules
When Maxine was just a baby puppy, Bryan took her to his workplace every single day. His daily commute was through none other than the subway. In 2016, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of NYC created a rule that declared dogs could only ride the subway if they were able to fit into a carry-on bag.
The MTA stated that, to ride the subway, pets had to stay “enclosed in a container.” Thankfully, Maxine was small enough to ride in a small container. However, that didn’t solve the issue of which bag Bryan would transport the fluff ball in. After much deliberation, Bryan got to the chalkboard.
Getting Too Big for a Tote
At first, Bryan thought Maxine was small enough to travel off his shoulder in a fashionable little tote bag - fitting for New York City style. That way, Maxine could lie flat and comfortably in the bag, poke her little head out for air, and take in the fresh air of Subway.
Unsatisfied and uncomfortable carrying a chunky little corgi over one shoulder, Bryan decided to test other devices to hold Maxine. After different tests, he finally settled on a backpack specifically for dogs. Bryan told Yahoo, “I carried her in a dog backpack for probably six years.”
To the Drawing Board
While Bryan had settled on a backpack that satisfied him long enough, it was never the right fit. He told Yahoo, “We were getting messages, like hundreds every day, from people who wanted to know what backpack we use so they could carry their dog in a backpack. But the problem was, the product I used, I didn’t like.”
Considering Maxine was now a famous puppy, Bryan felt somewhat responsible for advising her fans when they wanted to carry their little fur balls. Instead of recommending the unsatisfactory bag, the daddy-dog duo got to work. Bryan decided he and Maxine would create a more optimized bag for themselves and everyone to enjoy.
Upgrading a Dog Backpack
Not only did Bryan spend sixteen months fundraising for the dog backpack project, but he also spent months upon months talking to experts to design the perfect bag for small dogs to travel in. After receiving $400,000 from fifteen angel investors, Bryan created the backpack of his and Maxine’s dreams.
The Little Chonk One was designed specifically for dogs to quickly get in and out of the bag. By creating a ‘runway,’ Maxine could easily toddle into the bag, get strapped in, and be comfortable for hours of travel on Bryan’s back. The only thing left was advertising the fantastic product to the people, and Maxine put on a show.
Bryan formed Little Chonk and, through his company, began selling the Little Chonk One on Maxine’s sixth (human) birthday on December 15, 2021. Sold at $120, the upgraded backpack includes neck support for your dog, water-resistant fabric, a tail hole, and much more.
The bag sold out on the Little Chonk website in four minutes. Bryan told Yahoo, “We knew there was a demand, but we didn’t know there was that much of a demand.” Rather than spending hundreds of collective bucks on different dog accessibility, the Little Chonk smashed it out of the ballpark in one fell swoop.
Maxine had become the most famous dog in New York City and possibly the planet. While Maxine was now recognizable in her dad’s backpack, strolling around the subway, no one could mistake Maxine once they saw her famous Corgi pooch. Bryan will sometimes spend hours just filming Maxine walking from behind.
Maxine, however, has her own priorities for each day. Bryan told Metro, “She’s motivated by food, loves to be comfortable at all times, and takes naps whenever possible.” Can we really blame her? Even though Bryan had turned Maxine into a full-time influencer dog, she still had particular necessities like any A-List star would.
A Day in the Life: Part 1
What would a typical day in Maxine and Bryan’s life look like? To summarize, Bryan will wake up for his day as a dogfluencer and then quickly return to sleep. When he finally gets up, he’ll prepare for the day and wait for Maxine to wake from her beauty sleep. When Maxine is ready, all systems go.
Next, Bryan will carry little-legged Maxine down the stairs of his NYC apartment because the steps are too big for her. Then is breakfast, followed by cuddling and some corgi leg stretches to prepare for her first walk. On the way to the dog park, Bryan will secure his necessary pooch videos for any future videos to post.
A Day in the Life: Part 2
Maxine keeps to herself at the dog park but still gets an excellent chance to move her little feet. Then, on a leash, Maxine will sprint home, serving as Bryan’s daily exercise. After returning home, Maxine catwalks into her backpack so she and her dad can complete the daily errands.
The first stop is coffee. Most days, Maxine will go to dog therapy, where she swims to strengthen her little legs. After that, Maxine will sometimes get treated at the dog groomer. And then, the duo head home for more playtime and one final visit to the park before settling into bed.
Off to Surgery
Things haven’t always been easy for little Maxine. Like most doggies, she has had her share of medical problems that have caused a lot of stress for her mom and dad. At the end of 2019, Maxine needed surgery to fix a problem in her limbs she’d had since she was a baby.
Bryan told the Free Press, “Maxine tore her shoulder and needed surgery. She had arthroscopic surgery, which is a $10K procedure that we paid $1K for. Pet insurance is incredibly important. The peace of mind is priceless. If she farts the wrong way, I take her to the vet.”
Dedication and Dogsistance
How did Maxine become as active as she is now, even with surgery and an ongoing limb problem? Bryan spared no expense when it came to his fur ball. Maxine was on track for recovery with weekly physical therapy, laser treatment, water training, daily stretches, and exercises every night at home.
Now, not only is Maxine healthy and moving around like any dog should, but she is just about the fastest dog in the dog park. Sprinting after the other corgis and batting interested male dogs off, the expensive surgery and consistent therapy have made Maxine as energetic as a puppy but as strong as a Rottweiler.
Maxine’s Twin Sister
In March 2021, Bryan shocked the world by releasing photos of him with Maxine and another dog identical to Maxine. In the caption, Bryan wrote, “We’ve been keeping a secret for the past 5 years. We actually live with two identical fluffy corgis. One is named Maxine, and the other is named Stephanie.”
Fans were confused, some horrified, and others wanted to meet ‘Stephanie.’ How did this dog magically appear? Thankfully, a few days later, Bryan shared a video revealing he had edited the videos to make it seem like there were two dogs. These film graduates are impossible to trust!
As a former filmmaker and a graduate of one of the world’s most prestigious film schools, Bryan absolutely loved movies. And let’s say he had seen a lot of them. Armed only with a good-quality camera and excellent Photoshop skills, Bryan has shared his love of films with Maxine.
Bryan told Metro, “[Maxine] became a creative outlet for me. We got her around the time that Mad Max: Fury Road came out. We absolutely LOVED the movie. So we thought we would have some fun with her handle, and we decided to make every caption a movie quote.” What he created, well, it speaks for itself.
Posing for Pictures
After almost eight years of raising Maxine, carrying her around in a doggy backpack, and making millions of people worldwide smile, Bryan discovered something about her he had never noticed before. While posing with a group of people on their daily commute, Bryan realized Maxine was posing for their photos.
Upon looking back at his footage of fan interactions with Maxine, Bryan realized she poses for all photos with fans. Whether a simple selfie or a plethora of paparazzi cameras, Maxine always turned to flash a smile. Naturally, Bryan decided he and Maxine needed some professional pics together. And the results were spectacular.
Riding on the Stars
With fame, so too comes the benefits. Going to fancy events, paid promotional collaborations, and meeting other celebrities. Now that Maxine had gathered a following of 250k on YouTube, 1 million on Instagram, and 4.2 million on TikTok, some stars were begging Bryan to introduce them.
One of those celebrities was global pop singer Ed Sheeran. Having become too famous for even Ed, Maxine was largely unfazed by the Thinking Out Loud singer upon meeting. On the other hand, Ed kept repeating, “This is amazing,” after putting Maxine on his back. Maxine needs to teach Ed about keeping his cool around celebs.
Only the Best Groomer
With millions of fans and hundreds of thousands from New York City alone, many dog owners wanted to know where Maxine gets groomed. With a consistently perfect cut and a trim that makes her peachy pooch look delectable, Bryan naturally had the best groomer in town. However, he wasn’t about to share his contacts.
Finally, Bryan decided to share his groomer with the world. Also known as the ‘Corgi Expert,’ Shiro had been grooming Maxine since she was born. One of the few groomers to trim entirely by hand, Shiro uses a Japanese technique. What do people now ask Shiro when they take their corgi for grooming? “Like Maxine, please!”
Silver Screen Star
Maxine has become recognizable, and no one identifies a financial opportunity more than a brand selling something. As such, the chance to become the face of some products has been more about picking the right ones than just accepting all of them. From TV commercials to photoshoots, Maxine has done it all.
In one commercial, Maxine and Bryan were flown to the West Coast to LA to promote a product. There, Maxine enjoyed all the pleasures commercial filmmaking has to offer. While it took eight takes for Bryan to get his cues right, Maxine had her performance down from the get-go. Leave it to the professionals, Dad.
Rock Climbing with Jared Leto
It’s not often you get DMs from Oscar-winning celebrities to meet up. Well, unless you are Maxine, because that happens pretty regularly. When Bryan received a message from Jared Leto to meet up while he was in NYC for Fashion Week, he was expecting a regular meetup. A couple of photos, and then hello and goodbye.
However, Jared is different from your average Joe. Instead of a boring meetup, Jared suggested he and Maxine go rock climbing. Knowing the actor was a very proficient climber, Bryan agreed. Geared up, Jared took Maxine up a vertical rock wall, not once but twice. And Maxine had the biggest smile on her face all the while.
I’m Flying, Maxine!
It’s known that Maxine is as much of a movie lover as her filmmaker dad. And like any distinguished lady, Maxine has her own taste in film. Among her favorites is Toy Story, which Bryan snapped a video of Maxine obsessively watching. Like her parents, Maxine also loves James Cameron’s Titanic.
In October 2021, Bryan and his wife, Alex, created a Halloween costume to make Maxine proud. Bryan dressed up as Rose, with Maxine as Jack on his back while he told her, “I’m flying, Jack.” To really sell it, Alex dressed up as the iceberg and even played My Heart Will Go On on the recorder. Cinematic.
New Year, New Maxine
Maxine loves a party and will waste no opportunity to celebrate a new year. When Bryan’s dad, Maxine’s grandfather, told her she had to come home to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Maxine ensured she brought her most festive spirit to the High Holiday and the season of celebration.
Paired with a bright blue yarmulke and black glasses to read the Jewish Holy Book, Maxine brought in the New Year with style. Her favorite is listening to the shofar, the horn that brings a new year of joy. While Maxine can’t eat the apples and honey, we imagine her year will be just as sweet as ours.
Farted Herself Awake
Given his full-time job as a dogfluencer, Bryan has endless content about Maxine being adorable, photogenic, and the most popular dog in New York City. However, it’s not the moments of perfection that define Bryan’s love for Maxine; it’s when she’s not performing for the cameras that makes him love her most.
When HelloBark asked Bryan about his favorite moment with Maxine, he said, “We think everything that dog does is hilarious. She just has so much personality. But one time, she farted herself awake. Like, her own fart scared her. That was pretty funny.” Dogfluencer, filmmaker, and husband, Bryan is, at his core, a dad.
Throwing the First Pitch
As a New Yorker with NYC pride from his fingertips to his toes, Bryan was highly nervous when Maxine was invited to throw the first pitch at a Mets game. On the other hand, it was just another day at the park for Maxine. Quite literally. When they introduced Maxine the Fluffy Corgi and Bryan, crowds cheered joyfully.
While crowds were loving Maxine, Bryan was no less terrified. Thankfully for Bryan, Alex and his dad joined him at the game to support him. While Maxine’s grandfather may have told Bryan, “You better reach,” the duo didn’t waste the opportunity. Reach, they did! And yet another bucket list item was ticked off.
Loves to Love
Maxine has a lot of loves: her dad, mom, movies, the subway, and running around at what looks like the speed of lightning. However, Maxine has no passion more significant than her obsession with Cheerios. Surprising, yes. But who are we to blame her? The delicious cereal is too crunchy to resist.
As the new master of viral video making, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelas from Live wanted to learn how Maxine gets famous on social media. So, they invited her and Bryan to the show to learn from the best. Mark got precisely what he was looking for by popping Maxine on his back with a pair of matching sunglasses.
Benefits of Fame
Since starting their jet-setting life of fame and fortune, Maxine and Bryan have been lucky to meet some of the most remarkable people and try things that some people dream about. From walking for New York Fashion Week to kissing Charlie Puth, Maxine can get away with anything. Pretty dog rights?
Bryan told HelloBark, “We have been invited to hang out backstage with comedians like Iliza Schlesinger and John Hodgman and have been featured in publications like The New York Times, Cut, and Vogue.” He added, “We feel very lucky every day that we have the opportunity to do that.”
Expanding Little Chonk
When Bryan was accused of designing the Little Chonk to get women’s attention, his wife, Alex, quickly denied these rumors. But seriously, Bryan spent months combining his experiences with expert opinions on dog comfort and safety. As such, Maxine can travel around the country and world in comfort and style.
While Little Chonk began as no more than the Little Chonk One for little dogs, Bryan and Maxine grew the company exponentially in the space of only a few years. Now, Little Chonk sells an upgraded version of the bag, custom patches, and even a bag for doggie snacks called, of course, Snacc Pacc.