Shanna Olson will not be offended if a stranger tells her that she and her pet Pomeranian, Yum Yum, look alike.
"The best thing anybody could tell me — and we hear this frequently — is that Yum Yum and I look like twins," Olson told In The Know. "I love hearing that. People think they're going to insult me by telling me I look like my dog, and I'm like, 'No, that's the best thing I could ever hear.'"
Olson calls herself an "extreme dog mom." She has over 500 outfits, wigs, sunglasses and costumes for her tiny Pomeranian. Yum Yum's closet includes a Snooki from "Jersey Shore" costume, a dinosaur onesie, a Mardi Gras getup, a mini Marilyn Monroe dress and a Viking costume.
He also has custom, one-of-a-kind outfits specifically designed to match Olson's outfits.
"One of the most important things to me is making sure Yum Yum lives in a lap of luxury," Olson said. "I also go to extreme measures to keep him comfortable at all times. He doesn't really like to walk, so I usually take him out in a stroller instead of on a leash. He also has a fan and I keep extra little cooling pads so he's always temperature-regulated to his perfect temperature."
Olson's dedication to dressing up Yum Yum started years ago, with Yum Yum's predecessor Kobe, Olson's first Pomeranian.
"I got him while I was engaged, but shortly after, we broke up," Olson said. "So I was feeling very alone, and Kobe and I were soulmates — he was my whole world."
Olson and Yum Yum's relationship — while seemingly extreme to even the most dedicated dog owners and lovers — is not just a surface-level connection over dressing up together in extravagant outfits. Olson knows Yum Yum's outfits bring a little something extra to those who encounter the two.
"I saw how happy it made people when they would see a cute little dog dressed up in a funny outfit, and I just thought, it's nice to make people happy. There's so many difficult things going on in the world — they see this cute little dog dressed up in a cute outfit, and it makes them laugh."
Olson says Yum Yum and his outfits can put a smile on anyone's face.
"One of my favorite moments was when Yum Yum and I went to visit an old folks home, where a lot of people have dementia and Alzheimer's. And I had him dressed up for Cinco de Mayo, and one of the family members told me that was the first time they'd seen his dad smile in months."
The pair continue to coordinate outfits and venture out in the world, hoping to make strangers' days. Olson's Instagram — which has more than 10,000 followers — highlights all of their adventures together, as well as plenty of Yum Yum's costumes.
"It makes me so happy that dressing my little dog up could bring so much happiness into somebody else's life."
Watch the full In The Know: Extreme Lengths profile above on Shanna Olson and Yum Yum.