Viral Freeport ‘Grinch Dog’ brings Christmas cheer to millions

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 8:04 AM CST
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - You’re probably familiar with “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” story, but one Freeport pup has taken on the role of the green beast―and he surely isn’t a mean one.

Every member of the Spielmann family likes Christmas a lot, including their Grinchy miniature schnauzer, Rizzo.

“We love Christmas in our house. I’m pretty sure our kids watched the Grinch, like, every night last year,” said Rizzo’s owner Ashley Spielmann. “This is the first Christmas we had with him,” she added. Naturally, she reached out to Rizzo’s groomer to see if it was possible to make his hairstyle extra festive.

“I messaged her, and I was like hey, can we turn Rizzo into the Grinch, and she was like sure why not; I’ll order the dye.”

What started as a creative way to get Rizzo into the holiday spirit quickly gained attention across the globe. Spielmann posted a video on TikTok after dyeing Rizzo, and the video has nearly a million likes and even more views.

“You don’t really think, wow this is going to blow up with ten million views and go on all these news stations and radio stations,” said Hailey Degner, Rizzo’s groomer. Degner and Spielmann say while many are delighted by the dye, some have accused them of animal abuse.

“People were saying, ‘oh he looks sad’, well he’s a schnauzer,” explained Degner. She says the dye, is vegan, non-toxic, and pet-safe.

Spielmann says Rizzo’s cheer has spread to some who need it most this holiday season.

“I saw somebody on TikTok, she reached out and said she was going through radiation,” she said. “So one of the hardest things (this viewer) has gone through ‘and your dog made my day.’”