Lobsters, lighthouses and Stephen King are the things most people think about when they think of Maine. But if you’re a regular user of TikTok, three of the most popular accounts on the platform that hail from Maine aren’t about any of those things at all.
Instead, they’re focused on three smart, adorable dogs and their owners, who have made their canine companions into TikTok stars through a combination of silly voices and their real-life relationships with each other.
The most popular TikTok account in Maine is MisterMainer, featuring a bull terrier mix named Biscuit and her doting owner, Dmitry Pepper, 25, a native of Whitefield. MisterMainer has nearly 12 million followers and Pepper’s videos have been shared a whopping 416 million times.
Pepper and his family adopted Biscuit from the Underhound Railroad, a midcoast-based dog rescue. Pepper started MisterMainer during the pandemic, just as a fun distraction. In January 2021, however, a series of videos of Biscuit lip syncing to music and dancing each got millions of views. Things skyrocketed from there.
Today, MisterMainer videos routinely get more than 5 million views — not that Biscuit has much of an idea that she’s TikTok famous. In her videos, she wears wigs, hats and costumes, “dances” with her owner, and sometimes just does typical dog things, like play fetch, chase squirrels or frolic in the snow.
“It has not been easy becoming Maine’s most popular TikToker,” Pepper said. “While Biscuit leads a life of a normal dog, I work as a full-time content creator. I joke with my fans that Biscuit is the mastermind behind all my videos. She does not know she is famous, but she enjoys being with me and working with me.”
Pepper has turned his viral fame into a second career, with partnerships with Animal Planet, PetSmart and popular singer Charlie Puth, though he still works as a production assistant with a film production company and as a photographer for VolunteerMaine, documenting the work of AmeriCorps members around the state.
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Biscuit’s not the only Maine dog that has found TikTok fame, however. In Hermon, Tatum, a mixed breed rescue dog owned by Charles and Nicole Lever has found his own fan base with Tatum Talks, a TikTok account run by the Levers, featuring Tatum in a variety of scenarios being voiced by Charles Lever.
With 3.3 million followers, the Levers have built a brand around Tatum, selling a variety of merchandise and posting new videos on TikTok several times a week. Charles Lever’s distinctively goofy voice for his famous pup has attracted advertising opportunities for pet food brands and for the recent film “Dog,” starring Channing Tatum.
While Biscuit and Tatum lead typical dog lives as household companions, Marek, another TikTok famous Maine dog, has a job with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office as a K-9 patrol dog. His handler, Deputy Tim Davis, created a TikTok account for his German shepherd partner that now has more than 800,000 followers and has received more than 13 million likes.
Davis and Marek have been out on patrols together since 2019, with Marek also accompanying him to his DARE classes at local schools. When a student in a Knox County school challenged him to get “TikTok famous,” Davis took her up on the challenge.
Marek and Davis’ TikTok account not only has silly TikTok dances and other typical viral content, it also answers questions from viewers about police dogs and policing in general, and shows off Marek’s skills in the field. And for Davis, it’s a way for him to connect with people and humanize police officers.
“My motivation behind it is really to let people know they’re loved, and they’re cared for,” Davis told NewsCenter Maine last fall. “Even if it’s a 30-second interaction with me, hey, if that’s what I can give them, that’s what I can give them.”