Cute Dog Pics Helped a Woman Mourn Her Bulldog; Now She Shares Snaps of Her Pups in Costume to Pay It Forward (Exclusive)

Jen Berger overcame her own loss with Instagram and is helping others find their smiles again the same way

<p>@eggnogthebulldog</p> Eggnog and Igloo the bulldogs


Eggnog and Igloo the bulldogs

After Jen Berger’s beloved English Bulldog died, she turned to the bulldogs of Instagram to cheer herself up.

“I would look at bulldogs all day to make me happy,” she tells PEOPLE, “just to pick me back up.”

When she eventually adopted her next English Bulldog, Eggnog, she created the Instagram page @EggnogtheBulldog to pay it forward.

"I figured now that I have this precious joy, let's make other people smile," says Berger, 42. A post about her dog's intricate house went viral.

“Howard Stern was talking about, Oprah. It was just everywhere, and it got 30 million views,” Berger recalls. “It was crazy to me that something that I did to better her life was all of a sudden being noticed by the world.”

Berger is now a full-time Influencer in Stormville, New York. She chronicles the adventures of Eggnog, now 8, and her little sister, Igloo, who is nearly 7.

Related: Dog 'Wedding' Raises Hundreds for Charity on National Puppy Day: 'A Happy, Funny Experience'

<p>@eggnogthebulldog</p> Eggnog and Igloo the bulldogs


Eggnog and Igloo the bulldogs

“I get to make people laugh. I get to make people smile every day,” she says.

She loves that the dog's antics (and adorable costumes) spread smiles to “hundreds of thousands” of people.

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“I get hundreds of messages a day just telling me, 'My kids can't wait until we get into bed at night and they say, 'What is Eggnog doing today?' ' Or I get messages, 'My mom is sick in the hospital and all she wants to do is watch videos of Eggnog because it makes her smile.' I had a woman tell me her father has Alzheimer's, but yet he remembers every day to look at Eggnog. It's things like that that I didn't realize how much we really impact people's lives with just our little lives," Berger shares.

RELATED: More Stories to Make You Smile

She says her dogs love dressing up, cuddling, snacking, looking out the window, and going for (short) walks.

“They're like little watermelons with legs,” she jokes.

She describes her dogs as little old men.

“They drool, they burp, they fart,” she says. “They're like little meatballs.”

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