Pokemon Go Gets Real

Catch The Pets Who Look Like Pokémon Characters Come To Life

By Si Si Penaloza

Pokemon Go Gets Real pokemon pets

Hold on to your bushy tails and button noses, the international cute meter just blew up with the Pokémon Go takeover of America. Japanese gaming artists, who have dangerously high levels of cute calisthenics embedded in their culture, have unleashed Pikachu and his merry band of pocket monsters to the glee of stateside gamers. Not yet widely available in Canada, the never ending spool of social media references to Pokémon Go  has given Canadians the greatest summer of FOMO since the debut of Netflix.

Now what exactly is Pokémon Go? It’s a location-based augmented reality mobile game, released on July 6, 2016 in the US and Australia by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise for iOS and Android devices. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear “in the real world” via your camera phone and GPS. Within three days of its release it was the most downloaded smartphone app in the United States.

One of the upsides of Pokémon Go is that it inadvertently gets gamers traveling to landmarks to catch monsters. As bizarre as that sounds, a great byproduct of the game is travel and tourism; people are falling back in love with their hometown, or the new city they are exploring on holiday.

But why so addictive and just what quantifies any given Pokémon as “cute”? We suspect it has to do with shape associations; let’s face it, Pokémon look like graphic versions of our favorite pets. Confectionery color markings, kitten eyes and goofy puppy grins play a major role in deciding the most adorable of the 700-plus Pokémon. To make our point, we’ve compiled a list of the cutest Pokémon characters and their in-real-life Instagram counterpart.



Any creature that looks like a dog that fell into cotton candy tumbler is bound to be cute. Swirlix looks half cotton candy, half dog, a little bit like our favorite bear coat Shar Pei, Tonkey Bear.

bear coat tonkey

We can’t keep ourselves from scrolling like mad through the @bearcoat_tonkey photo stream. This Insta-famous pup from Edmonton, Alberta looks part plush teddy bear and part floppy jowled puppy; 100% irresistible. The plush coat is hard to come by, as both parents must possess a recessive gene for the pups to manifest Tonkey’s signature fuzz.



Bidoof is that dog park clown that scores extra servings of treats because people can’t resist the charms of such a funny looking critter. The off-the-rails teeth action somehow only adds to the allure. Such is the case with our favourite English Bulldog in New York, @addiethebully.

addie the bully

Adelaide may be the most doted on dog on this list as she is the fur baby of @travelcurator Melanie Brandman. As Founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, Melanie’s clients are a rolodex of who’s who in the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Described by the media as “007 in heels,” she is one of the most credible travel experts in the business. Adelaide is certainly not lacking for love, or Hermès blankets to curl up on in the Hamptons. We love her facial expressions so much; we want to capture her in a hammock and spoon the day away.



Shinx may be short in stature but he’s a style giant in the world of Pokémon. Much like @albertbabycat, whose unique height propelled him into the big follower numbers among Instagram famous cats. Munchkins take their name from their characteristic shorter-than-average legs. In the modeling world, short legs typically pose as a roadblock to the front page of Vogue. Thank goodness the road to pet stardom is so much more forgiving than the likes of America’s Next Top Model.

albert cat

With his huge sapphire eyes and sartorial sensibilities on fleek, Albert can nail Gossip Girl preppy on the weekend, and the very next day slay an homage to Breaking Bad’s Walter White.




Buneary is that haughty Brussels Griffon in obedience class who always nails the command on the first go around. He’s perennially rocking the the perfect hair and coolest knitwear in the line up (the Golden Retriever with wandering eye has zero chance at impressing the teacher). Buneary reminds us of @brussels.sprout, the Brussels Griffon whose Instagram bio irresistibly reads, “Just trying to make it in the hustle and Brussel of NYC”.

brussels sprout

The Brussels Griffon most memorably popped into our pop culture consciousness in the the film As Good as It Gets. We think a comeback is way overdue. We would love to see Sprout cinch a cameo role in the next Amy Schumer rom-com. We wager matching sweater sets for Schumer and Sprout are a lock for comedic gold.



Although Zigzagoon is adorable and could theoretically double as a plump cottage pillow, he is not to be trifled with. This goes for another grizzly cat we love, @mycatkyle. Kyle is a delightfully crotchety cat who takes grumpy to another level.

my cat kyle

While the infamous Grumpy Cat looks like he smells like a bed of lilies, we can just tell Kyle likely smells like soggy cereal on wet fur, even when he’s dry (if you catch our drift). Still, that face and portly belly is cute clickbait in our book.