Ringo visits Soda City Market almost every Saturday alongside his owner, Jody Wilson, and Wilson’s dad, Wayne Wilson. (Photo by Char Morrison)
It’s not every day you see a dog in overalls. In Columbia, it’s every week.
“He has jeans on!” one passerby exclaims.
Another points him out to her parents, saying this is the dog she was telling them about.
On Saturday’s at Soda City Market in downtown Columbia, you’ll see Ringo, a 5-year-old Boston Terrier sporting his overalls and red bandanna.
He comes here almost every Saturday with his owner, Jody Wilson.
“I just want to see people smile, you know,” he said.
Javier Fernandez, a second-year pharmacy student at USC, stopped to give Ringo head scratches.
“He’s just like a staple,” Fernandez said. “Like, I come here expecting Ringo.”
Part of what makes him a celebrity is his temperament — he doesn’t bark, growl, or get aggressive toward kids, adults or other dogs.
“Kids just … stoop down beside him and hug him, and he just stands there and let them do it,” Wilson said.
Ringo The Boston Beatle
Wilson started an Instagram page for Ringo in early 2018, inspired by other insta-famous dogs such as Walter Geoffrey the Frenchie, a French Bulldog who has 766,000 followers on his profile.
Walter the Bulldog is known for the vocal “tantrums” he throws when he’s upset.
Ringo has nowhere near the following of Walter. But even with just under 700 followers, @RingotheBostonBeatle has been fun for Wilson.
“I think it’s great,” Wilson said. “I never expected it to be like it is.”
Having an account for a pet is no simple task. Wilson is meticulous about what he posts. Each photo or video has to be something that “people would get a kick out of.”
“I edit photos. I just don’t throw stuff up there,” he added.
Wilson and his wife Tiffany take Ringo “pretty much everywhere” and are recognized by followers in Charlotte, Charleston, Greenville and even Asheville.
Some recent posts include a photo of a sleepy Ringo waiting for breakfast, a video of him snuggled under a comforter and one of admirers holding him at Soda City Market. There are, of course, photos of Ringo in his signature overalls and red bandana.
Ringo’s wardrobe also includes a leather jacket, a Hawaiian shirt and bucket hat, a Dunder Mifflin T-shirt from “The Office” TV show (one of Wilson’s favorites), a pumpkin costume, a plaid winter coat and a cozy orange sweater.
Wilson said he has owned two previous dogs, both also Boston terriers. However, Ringo is the first with a wardrobe.
Dressing Ringo started on a whim when he was a puppy sporting a pair of doughnut pajamas. Wilson said he just “couldn’t resist” buying the outfit.
Ringo’s wardrobe expanded over the next three years, but it wasn’t until Wilson and his wife found the overalls that Ringo became a star.
“I was like, ‘Why not? It’d be funny,”’ he said.
Ringo didn’t seem to mind the outfit, so it stuck.
“People would just flip out,” Wilson said.
Ringo now has a baby brother — a human one.
Wilson said Ringo has done a great job so far, letting the 1-year-old Stone play with him and take naps on him. In return, Ringo likes to lick Stone’s face, which Stone doesn’t seem to mind.
The only thing he gets in trouble for is taking his brother’s toys and running under the bed with them. But the punishment will not include losing Soda City privileges. Ringo has a public to entertain.
Ringo’s wardrobe has clothes for summer too.
As Ringo plays tug-of-war with his leash, Wilson chats with those who pass by at the market. (Photo by Char Morrison)
Other dogs also look out for Ringo. A Great Dane approaches. Ringo almost stands up on his back legs and reaches his front paws around the much larger dog’s face — as if giving him a hug. Ringo tends to do this with bigger dogs, Wilson says. (Photo by Char Morrison)
Ringo sports his 2022 Halloween costume. He decided to be a cow this year. (Photo by Char Morrison)
Ringo, looking ready to go for a ride (Photo by Char Morrison)
Ringo stays fashionable throughout the winter. (Photo by Char Morrison)
Ringo’s Daily Routine
Ringo starts his day early, waking up with his dad around 4:45 a.m.
One of his stranger habits is sneaking up on his water bowl. He slowly creeps toward the bowl, lifting one paw at a time, like a lion stalking his prey.
Wilson said he has no idea why he does this, but it happens every time.
Ringo then goes outside to do his business, while Wilson makes himself a cup of pour-over coffee. Wilson said Ringo isn’t much of a morning person and sometimes dozes off waiting for his breakfast.
He then gets fed his breakfast of special kibble, the only food he is allowed to eat due to his IBS. After he enjoys his meal, he heads back to bed to curl up under the covers with his mom, Tiffany.
Some days he travels from Irmo to West Columbia with his mom to work his day job as a mascot for her hair salon, Lotus Roots. His duties include greeting customers, keeping them company during services and taking naps under haircut capes.
Wilson said her clients “actually get mad” when she doesn’t bring him.
On days when he’s not at work, he stays at home and keeps Wilson’s dad, Wayne, company.
Once everyone gets home, Ringo goes outside again, takes an evening walk and enjoys a dinner of the same kibble.
Around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., he gets his daily “zoomies” burst of energy.
“He’ll look at me, and just take off bouncing off the walls,” Wilson said.
Once he wears himself out, he hits the hay in his bed in the kitchen, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
On the weekends, when Wilson doesn’t work, Ringo hits Soda City.
Once Ringo is a bit tuckered-out, they’ll stop and sit and wait for friends new and old to greet.