Behind the Meme: Q & A with Nelson aka “Walter” and His Owner

Behind the Meme: Q & A with Nelson aka “Walter” and His Owner

One of my favorite memes is the @PupperNelson face. But it goes deeper than just this one image. The subreddit r/WalterLore, which I also happen to be a moderator of, is filled with made up lore and more memes centered around Nelson, and other bull terriers, who are all referred to as Walter and some other names. It also plays into the Doge canon. ?the internet is weird man?.good weird.

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Image for postThe ?Dog Looking at Camera? meme, posted to the @PupperNelson twitter account

I frequently post these memes and make my own to share around, my Snapchat following also loves them. So, I decided to kick off the new year with a gift to my fans, to myself, and to the world. I think all us fans of the meme want to know more about the famous Bull Terrier and his owner! I also have dreamed of doing a behind the meme series, and what a way to start it.

I will answer the first question everyone asks though. Why is he called ?Walter? and not ?Nelson?, his real name?

The origin is due to a mashup of two memes, both popular at the same time.

In late 2018, not long after the viral ?Dog looking at camera? photo was uploaded to the @PupperNelson twitter account. It had started to gain some traction on Reddit. The subreddit r/OkBuddyRetard latched on to it, so much so, it ended up being banned by the moderators as there was just a little too much.

However at the same time, the ?Walter Clements? meme was also trending on r/OkBuddyRetard.

Image for post?Walter Clements? meme, originally posted to r/YoungPeopleYouTube

It wasn?t long before the r/OkBuddyRetard users began mashing up the ?walter? reply with other memes and texts. Eventually Nelson?s face was photoshopped into pictures and named Walter like so:

A ?Walter Clements? and ?Dog Face? meme mashup posted on r/OkBuddyRetardA ?Walter Clements? and ?Dog Face? meme mashup posted on r/OkBuddyRetard

So that is the origin of the name Walter. Now onto the Q & A with Nelson?s owner, Victoria.

Bold text are the questions, answers from Victoria are in quotes. The other stuff is my attempt at comical responses to the answers.

What is your name (the owner)?


Care to share a little about yourself?

Sure. I?m a 26-year-old nerd, born and raised in Texas. I?m currently working as a freelance writer, with aspirations to return to school for a second bachelor?s in marketing (my first degree was in English). I love classic, animated Disney movies, Dr Pepper, and Broadway (I try to visit NYC once a year and would love to live there someday). I believe in the Oxford comma.

A writer??hope my newbie writing skills don?t disappoint! PS I suck at commas so sorry ahead of time.

How old is Nelson?

Nelson is about two and a half years old. He was born on July 15, 2017.

How do you feel about people calling him Walter?

The whole thing is sort of a surreal experience, honestly. I hardly bat an eye anymore at Walter/fire truck/moster truck comments, but I still don?t think I?ve quite wrapped my head around the fact that he?s a part of the greater Doge canon. Sometimes my anxiety whispers, ?People only like him because he?s ~Walter.~ No one really cares about your social media posts!? But I know that?s not true.

Personally, I love the Nelson posts on Instagram & Twitter. The notifications stay on.

What breed is Nelson?

Bull terrier.

What was the context behind the famous Nelson picture?

We were sitting on the couch together. Nelson sat up and started barking toward the window across the room. Always alert for a good photo opportunity to share on Twitter, I decided to snap a few pictures from various angles. The viral image was taken right in between two barks ? which explains the pinned ears and overall tension in his face. It really was just a lucky shot, which is why I?ve never been able to recreate it, despite requests!

How long have you had Nelson?

I brought a round, soft, 8-week-old Nelson home on September 10, 2017.

What is your favorite Nelson/Walter meme?

I love the wholesome memes, especially ones that portray Walter as a youngster. The perfect mix of funny and adorable. This one is probably my favorite: ? This is another BIG favorite of mine: ? Also this:

Does Nelson like fire trucks and monster trucks?

He had a stuffed toy fire truck for a while that he really loved until it got too many holes in it and had to be thrown out. Monster truck dog toys are seemingly impossible to find, but he *did* recently get to see a real life monster truck and seemed to have a good time. Pictures will be posted one of these days? 🙂

How much of a good boy is Nelson?

He?s a great boy. Sometimes he can be a pain in the ass ? like when he has at least 12 chew toys on the floor but refuses to chew anything but my furniture, bookshelves, or wall ? but I love him. He brightens my days, and it?s wonderful to have someone to go on walks with and romp around in the backyard with.

What are some of Nelson?s favorite toys?

He loves opossum toys. He loves actual, real opossums, too; his body count is up to four at least. I buy him stuffed opossums to try to fill that prey drive need and keep the neighborhood marsupials safe. He?s a big fan of all plush toys, though. And things that squeak loudly.

Me: *squeaks so Nelson will like me more*

What are some of Nelson?s favorite things to do?

Eating. Nelson loves eating.

Nelson also loves napping in the hole he made made in one of my old couches; it?s like his wolf den. He loves hanging out in the backyard, with or without me. And like most dogs, he loves walkies.

Napping and eating. That?s the life.

Does Nelson get recognized in public?

Believe it or not, he hasn?t been recognized as the Walter dog by a random stranger yet. Most often, people just recognize his breed, calling him the Target dog, Spuds MacKenzie, Chico, or General Patton?s dog. The local pet resort/dog hotel he goes to when I?m out of town knows he?s a social media/meme dog, but that?s because I put his Twitter handle on his travel bag (with toys, blanket, food, etc.). Haha.

How I picture Nelson using his celeb status at the pet resort:

Image for post

Does the popularity ever bother you?

Not really. On the contrary, it brings me a lot of happiness knowing that so many people love and appreciate my dog. Knowing that he can put a smile on someone?s face, that he can inspire them to make a meme, that he can make their day a little better, is really crazy.

Do you have any other pets?

I do! Nelson is actually the most recent addition to my family. I also have two cats, Baxter (male tuxedo cat) and Pippa (female tortoiseshell, with one eye!), and a betta fish named Wolverine (named after the University of Michigan mascot, because he?s blue and yellow; he goes by ?Wolfie?). Soon I?ll be adopting two female leopard geckos (names TBD) from someone who is looking to rehome them. My first ever reptiles! In my childhood, I had gerbils. Basically, I love ALL THE PETS.

A picture of the whole squad is needed!

Anything else you want to share?

Just a big ol? thank you to everyone who holds any interest in my weirdo dog. I originally made his Twitter account just to serve as a personal scrapbook of his life. The fact that thousands of perfect strangers follow it and find value in his experiences is amazing to me.

You can find Nelson on social media at these links:Instagram: (though Victoria says she doesn?t post there much):

Victoria?s Twitter is @byVictoriaLeigh

You can also get yourself some Nelson / Walter merch over at

All proceeds go right back into his rawhide/food/toy budget ? Victoria

Remember?Nelson does like to eat.

That?s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed this behind the meme and feel free to email me: [email protected] to suggest future behind the memes.

You can find me on Twitter: @apocsnap and Snapchat: @brandonrules13

This series is brought to you by my company


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