Hall, a webmaster at USC who describes herself as an introvert, is grateful but a bit taken aback about going from one of many Internet fans to a center of attention.
"At first, she was reluctant with all these people around wanting to talk to her," Hagar said.
People asked for updates on Shaggy, who must overcome heartworms, a broken tail and a herniated diaphragm, likely from getting hit by a car, as well as learning to be around people again. But Hall wanted to separate life with her new dog from her personal life.
She started sharing photos of the dog on one of two Shaggy Facebook fan pages others had created. The week-old page has received nearly 4,000 likes. Hall started a YouTube page for Shaggy to post videos. .
Hall couldn't escape the mania even in picking a veterinarian. A nurse at a Columbia practice exclaimed this week, "I was hoping we would get Shaggy!" when she learned the famous dog was going to be a patient.
Dozens of fans offered tricks for giving Shaggy heartworm pills in response to Hall's Facebook post about the dog's vet visit Friday. The post generated nearly 250 comments and more than 700 likes in 12 hours.
Hall has grown more comfortable with the attention, interacting with Shaggy's fans by asking questions and replying to some of their comments and many of their emails.
"Yes, she's my dog, but I feel like it's everyone's dog," Hall said. "So many of these people have invested their money and their time. One person said they didn't clean their house for three days because they were watching the videos. That's why I don't resent their interest."
'Saved a Lot More Dogs'
Hall does not know how long she will keep updating fans about Shaggy. ("Being a celebrity is hard work," she joked.) But she has no immediate plans to stop.
Still, she adds, "There will be another dog of the month."
Shaggy hit a sweet spot for an Internet sensation -- the emotion of a dog rescue with plenty of pictures and videos, said Marcus Messner, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who studies social media.
"Marketers would dream of a hit like that," Messner said. "We are so skeptical of what we see online that events with real, normal people easily become a mass phenomenon."
People who don't want to become unwitting Internet stars have one choice.
"The only way to control your online persona is not be online," Messner said. "If you're uncomfortable with the spotlight, the reassuring thing is that it will move along quickly."
Hagar said he raised enough money from local contributions and donations generated by attention from Shaggy's live video to break even on his $8,000 trip to South Carolina that included vet bills. A Forest Acres rescue group, Chasing Tails Pet Patrol, organized a fundraising effort though social media site FundRazr that collected $1,900 for Hagar's trip.
Hagar's advisers questioned the excursion, noting he was traveling 2,400 miles to save one dog. But social media changed that equation.
"I didn't save one dog," he said. "I really saved a lot more dogs by prompting people to take action."
As a side result of her newfound social media fame, Hall gets advice on what to feed Shaggy and toys to help socialize the traumatized dog, which gives a low growl to strangers and runs away when they approach.
Fans also analyze photos that Hall uploads. One emailer noted Shaggy could escape her back yard by jumping on a chair that appeared to be close to a fence.
Hall said she knows that people have good intentions with their suggestions.
"I can't imagine people would be interested for so long," she said. "But we all like to see a happy ending."
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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