Watch These Silly Rescue Dogs Live Up to Their TikTok Reputation as a Pack of Potatoes
The first time Nicole Schmidt adopted a dog, it was an accident. The then-high schooler was just going to pick up food with her boyfriend when she spotted a "Puppies for Sale" sign and went to investigate. Immediately, she fell in love with a Boxer mix, naming him Tank and taking him home—without even alerting her mom of the major decision. "I had no right to get a dog that day," she recalls now, although she certainly has no regrets.
A few years later, Schmidt was in college when a friend's brother discovered an abandoned, flea-covered puppy in a box in the dorms. She brought the German Shorthaired Pointer Mix home and named her Jo, but only planned to keep her temporarily. That didn't quite work out. "My plan was to get her into a good home. I did do that—it was my home," she says. "So I just kept her."
A few years after that, Schmidt went to the animal shelter after work and met Mama, an American Staffordshire Terrier with heartworm who had been one of the shelter's longest-term residents. Despite the pup's condition, Schmidt knew she had to take her home due to her affectionate personality. "I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, this is the sweetest dog I've ever met,'" she recalls.
Realizing there were so many other loving dogs like Mama stuck in shelters waiting for families, Schmidt decided to start helping out, volunteering at a local shelter to wash dishes, walk dogs, and organize adoption events. One afternoon, she looked out the window to see her husband, Sebastian, taking selfies with an American Bully named Simba, and it seemed possible that the duo were about to add a fourth dog to their home. Yet Simba got adopted by someone else, and Schmidt and her husband felt certain they had made a mistake by not bringing the pup home themselves, she remembers.
Then fate stepped in, and two months later she got a text asking if she was still interested in fostering Simba; the dog needed a new home after being kicked out of his owner's apartment by the landlord for ripping up the carpet. "He came back to us and that same night, we said, 'This is our dog, he's never leaving again,'" Schmidt says.
While life with four energetic dogs proved to be chaotic— "There's truly never a dull moment," she says— it also felt exactly right for Schmidt and her husband. "Simba completed our pack," she explains. "He felt like this weird little brother glue that held the rest of the pack together." All four dogs' have different personalities: Tank is the "diva grandpa," Jo is a "girl boss," Mama lives up to her nurturing name, and Simba is all about the fun. Together, they're an adorable, playful group of best friends—or, as Schmidt likes to call them, a "pack of potatoes" due to their cute and lazy nature. (She calls herself the "queen of potatoes," fittingly.)
Despite having their own close bonds, the pups are always welcoming to newcomers, playing with and teaching the foster dogs Schmidt and her husband care for often. The animals have such a great time together that several years ago, Schmidt began posting videos of their exploits on TikTok under the name @packofpotatoes. The clips—which often feature her hilariously "roasting" her dogs for their behaviors and quirks—quickly gained an audience, and today, the account boasts over 350,000 followers.
Schmidt hopes that viewers see through her videos that all rescue dogs deserve to find their forever homes. "There are tons of dogs with so much potential sitting in shelters waiting for a family that can invest time and energy and love into them," she says. The fact that two of her own adored dogs spent years in shelters "just blows my mind," she adds.
As she continues to help more dogs get adopted, Schmidt is grateful for the family she and her husband have created with their pups. "My whole world revolves around them because of the love I have for them," she says. "I truly can't imagine a life where any one of us were missing from it."