Boo Does NYC: How Did ‘The Cutest Dog in the World’ Get So Famous?

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Photo by Don Heiny / TIME for Kids

Boo, the cutest dog on the Internet.

He’s undeniably cute. But how did he rocket to fame? TIME talks to Boo’s “human,” J.H. Lee.

The accolades keep rolling in. He’s been called “the world’s cutest dog” and “Facebook’s most popular dog.” The 5-year-old Pomeranian has a whopping 1.6 million Facebook “likes,” but his owner never expected the fame that has been afforded to him.

J.H. Lee (a pseudonym, as she wants to keep the spotlight focused on Boo) tells NewsFeed she started putting Boo’s pictures online in the spring of 2009. “My friends loved looking at pictures of him. We started the first Facebook page as a joke,” she says. But with an appearance so adorable, he was bound to be discovered.

(WATCH: A Day in the Life of Boo)

Khloe Kardashian, among other celebs, helped introduce Boo to the masses when she posted Boo’s picture on her blog in October 2010. Music star Ke$ha tweeted about Boo, with the simple statement “new boyfriend.”

“We always joked he’d get discovered by Oprah,” Lee says. But that joke quickly became reality as his Facebook page began to garner thousands of “likes” a day. But despite the masses hungry for photos of Boo’s cuteness, she says it’s a job that’s still fun: “I try to post photos twice a week, whenever I see him around the house doing something cute.”

And the cuteness is indeed overwhelming. But would you believe he wasn’t always so aww-worthy? Boo’s white fur is naturally long and wiry, and one day it got so matted that shaving him was the only choice. “The groomer said they wouldn’t even be able to get a brush through him,” Lee says. “I was really upset when I heard that. But when I picked him up, I found he was actually really cute that way.” When he started attracting much more attention around her California hometown, she knew Boo could be a star. Now she gets Boo groomed every other month to maintain his utter cuteness.

But the 32-year-old Lee, like a typical mother, sees the beauty on the inside. Her favorite part is not Boo’s appearance, it’s “his personality, he’s by far the easiest dog. He’s always happy,” she says. “Nothing really gets to him.” With an attitude like that, Boo sounds like an ideal celebrity. And we can only hope he continues the trend of cuteness into posterity.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

(READ: Boo Gets a Book Deal)