Facebook really needed something that wasn’t dumb to go viral, and this is very far from dumb.
A fan page called “Photo Doggies for Anthony” became a viral hit almost overnight on Facebook with a very simple premise: send your cute dog photos so a sick kid can be cheered up by them.
Sixteen-year-old Anthony Lyons is in Phoenix Children’s Hospital, according to FoxCT.com, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He is visited on occasion by therapy dogs that are brought to the hospital, but they don’t visit every day. Since the dogs provide such a boost for Anthony, his mom decided to start a Facebook page to keep him smiling when the therapy dogs weren’t nearby.
“I cannot express the joy we have gotten from these photos. We have looked at each and every photo and video and we laugh and sometimes cry just from the outpouring of support,” said Kristen Lyons, Anthony’s mom, on the Facebook page. “I will never be able to thank you all enough and all of you are the amazing people that have your best friend pets by your side day in and day out. We are so incredibly thankful for you sharing and loving your pets as much as we love ours. Thank you thank you thank you.”
Coming on the heels (no pun intended) of an awkward viral string of posts known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” where people were faced with the decision to donate to ALS research or pour a bucket of ice on their head – or both, in some cases – this campaign doesn’t seem to have a downside. It’s just ordinary people doing something great for a kid, and we all get to look at pictures of cute dogs in the process.
It’s also a really nice start to a new year on a social media site that’s typically filled with so many spam posts and political rants that it’s hard to tell up from down sometimes.
Of course, no matter how innocent and well-meaning something can be, there’s always one person out there looking to spoil it. The page reportedly had to be shut down after a Facebook user was posting pictures of a “dead roasted dog,” according to AZCentral.com.
Good going, asshat.
But the idea wouldn’t be down for long. The page has been relaunched as a Facebook event, and thousands of people have resumed posting pictures of their dogs.
Take a look at a few of the adorable posts that have been sent to the new page and consider submitting your own, if you have a pet.
Photo: Facebook/Britton Jackson