explainer

A euthanised dog and a cancelled adoption: The YouTube couple everyone is talking about.

American family vloggers Nikki and Dan Phillippi are no strangers to controversy.

The Nashville-based Christian influencers have been documenting their lives on the internet, via Nikki's YouTube channel, for 10 years now, amassing 1.7 million followers in the process. 

But earlier this month, the pair became widely known for their decision to put down their nine-year-old dog, Bowser, after he "nipped" at their son's face when he tried to take the dog's food.

Watch: Nikki and Dan explain how their son, Logan, interacted with Bowser. Post continues below.


Video via YouTube

What happened to Nikki and Dan Phillippi's dog?

On May 4, Nikki and Dan uploaded a video to Nikki's YouTube channel titled: 'We have some really sad news'.

In it, they shared that they had decided to put their bull terrier Bowser down after he nipped their one-year-old son on the face.

Nikki and Bowser. Image: Youtube. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"It wasn't bad, but Logan still has a little mark," Nikki said of the bite, adding, "It wasn't like Bowser attacked Logan, Logan stole food from him."

The family explained that they had been considering re-homing Bowser before the incident as they were getting ready to move houses and, according to Nikki, "there's a lot that goes into transporting Bowser, and finding a home for him.

"We contacted the humane society and we had a long discussion with someone over there, and she made it clear to us that re-homing him would not be an option because he's been with Dan since birth."

Following the call, the pair kept Bowser.

Throughout the video, the pair explained that their bull terrier couldn't go outside as he was aggressive with other dogs, and they were "waiting for something to happen".

"It got harder the older [their son, Logan] got, because when [Logan] was a baby, Bowser wasn't going to go out of his way to aggress on him... But once he got older and could move, it was Logan in Bowser's space," Nikki said.

"Logan couldn't help but grab at him and try to steal things from him or interrupt him while he's eating or scream at him, so it was almost unfair to Bowser..."

Dan added that Bowser would sleep in the corner and if Logan was "in the mood" he would "grab on" to Bowser, and he would growl, get up and move away.

Image: Instagram. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Although the incident that lead the couple to their decision was not talked about in great detail, Dan said: "In the moment... I wanted to pick Bowser up by the back of the neck and take him to the backyard and put him down right there."

Following the release of the video, several high-profile YouTubers expressed their discomfort with the couple's decision. 

ADVERTISEMENT

There are others, however, who say there are issues with rehoming dogs who have a history of biting children. 

Why didn't Nikki and Dan adopt from Thailand?

Days later, a clip of the couple uploaded in 2018 resurfaced, where Nikki and Dan explained their decision to not adopt a child from Thailand.

The couple said they had wanted to adopt, but part way through the process, were made aware of "unique laws" that meant they would not be allowed to share photos or videos of their child online for the first year.

"I mean Nikki's got a YouTube channel and we share a whole lot," Dan said.

"When that hit we literally were like 'Oh what?" Nikki said. "So we were like going round the houses like trying to figure out how this could work like 'Hashtag baby blur face...'

"We're like alright, let's pray about it, let's sleep on it and then let's see how we feel in the morning."

After consulting with family, they decided to stop their application altogether. 

Since receiving backlash for their decisions, Nikki and Dan have turned their Instagram accounts to private and are yet to respond to the criticism.

Other commenters, however, acknowledge that - even for a more private family - it would be difficult to not be able to share photos of a child. Some also said it was a positive that the couple had decided against adoption before they had gone further down the process, rather than going through with it and changing their minds. 

There's one undeniable fact, thought: the lives of YouTubers never cease to keep us entertained.

Feature Image: YouTube