Meet Bennie Dogriguez, Chihuahua Mascot for Pop-Punk Band Tacocat

Bennie Dogriguez with L.L. Cool J. Photo from Bennie's Instagram page.

Seattle feminist band Tacocat is bound to be the next big thing. If you’ve heard its modern, dreamy, funky brand of pop-punk, then you know what I am talking about. The band describes itself on Facebook as “Go-Go’s meets the Monkees. Kurt meets Courtney.”

I’ve been a fan since I first heard single “Crimson Wave” a few years ago, and when I found out the members live with a rescued Chihuahua named Bennie Dogriguez, who even has his own Instagram page, I loved them even more!

Tacocat and Bennie from Bennie's Instagram page.
Tacocat and Bennie from Bennie’s Instagram page.

I chatted with band members Emily Nokes, Eric Randall, Bree McKenna, Lelah Maupin, as well as their roommate Doug Meils (Bennie’s person) via email about all things dog and cat and band. Answers are from both Doug and the band.

Kezia Willingham for Dogster: Tell me about Bennie. How did he enter the Tacocat picture?

Doug: I got him from the Humane Society one day, and Bree became his aunt pretty much immediately. Eric is probably his best friend, but I think he has really been his best self since he started starring in Tacocat videos, which inspired him to start his own Instagram. Other than that, he is a blind, 9.2-pound Chihuahua with a ton of personality and a knack for running into walls, and he loves to nap and snuggle.

Bennie Dogriguez. Photo courtesy Tacocat's Facebook page.
Bennie Dogriguez. (Photo courtesy Tacocat’s Facebook page)

How old is he?


What makes Bennie unique?

LOL. Everything? Uh, he’s blind, bowlegged, a diva, and will have the occasional seizure. His bowlegs make him run a little sideways, and he always looks like he’s riding a horse. Oh, yeah, and he hangs out with famous rappers and musicians like Lil Kim and Kid Rock.

Bennie as lobster. Photo courtesy Doug Meils.
Bennie as lobster. (Photo courtesy Doug Meils)

Does he ever come on tour?

Not yet!

Does he show an interest in music?

He has a lot of musician friends — Tacocat, Lisa Prank, the Trashies, Tupac, Nicki Minaj, Kanye, Kurt and Courtney — but he doesn’t show interest in actual music. He does “watch” Prison Break though.

Bennie with Kurt and Courtney. Photo from Bennie's Instagram page.
Bennie with Kurt and Courtney. (Photo from Bennie’s Instagram page)

Do you have a favorite cat or dog website?

Doug: I like BaxterBoo to get Bennie the sleeveless shirts he wants and needs. I also like dozens of Chihuahua and Pomeranian Instagrams. My current favorite Instagram is @tunameltsmyheart.

Does Bennie have a favorite Seattle-area dog park?

Doug: Due to his blindness and his/my incredible fear that a dog will swallow him whole, he hasn’t been to a dog park, unfortunately. Maybe I will start a dog park for blind dogs only? But he did make best friends with a giant Poodle named June. BENNIE AND JUNE!

Bennie. Photo courtesy Doug Meils.
Bennie. (Photo courtesy Doug Meils)

How did you come up with the name Tacocat for your band?

Tacocat: It was on a list of palindromes we were thinking of naming our band, like “race car.” Someone told us it seemed like something an 8-year-old girl would name her band, so of course we went with it.

Do any of you have cats?

We have a house cat named Mommy and/or Peep, and she is a …wildcard. Also, Yuki lives in the trailer, and she’s the sweetest lil angel cat. Very wobbly and snuggly.

Bennie tattoo. Photo courtesy Doug Meils.
Bennie tattoo. (Photo courtesy Doug Meils)

Do any of you have cat tattoos?  

Doug: I have a Bennie tattoo and a cat tattoo. Also a tattoo of Lelah.

Tacocat: Lelah has four cat tattoos. The rest of us have yet to get one.

Do any of your songs reference cats or dogs?

Tacocat: Yes! We have a song called “Cat Fancy” about the magazine Cat Fancy, and another one called “Oscar” about the so-called psychic death cat who was visiting old people right before they died. Check out the link; it’s a true story!

You can find out more about Tacocat on its website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. The band is currently on tour in the United States.

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