The dog days may soon be over in the world of emojis, thanks to Chicago hot dog restaurant Superdawg.
General Manager Laura Ustick began a campaign earlier this year to advocate for the creation of a hot dog emoji, and the campaign has attracted national attention. Emoji are the colorful pictures and icons used in electronic messages to communicate things, from feelings to food.
The current dictionary of emojis contains food symbols of all kinds, including pizza, sushi, French fries and ice cream. Somehow, the traditional American cuisine -- the hot dog -- has been left out.
Ustick noticed a demand for the emoji after witnessing Twitter discussions about the absence of a hot dog. Since then, she has joined the conversation and created a prototype for the emoji. She even launched a Change.org petition asking emoji creator Shigetaka Kurita to add a hotdog symbol -- without ketchup -- to the visual library.
"We take our hot dogs very seriously," Usick said.
Ustick's design for the hot dog is meant to appeal to hot dog lovers all over the world, but its lack of ketchup is a tribute to her Chicago roots.
In her appeal for the emoji, Usick has enlisted hot dog restaurants and food celebrities all over the country, including Vienna Beef, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council in D.C., Detroit's Singing Hot Dog Man and competitive eater Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti.
Ustick believes the hot dog emoji belongs with the rest of them, so she has been using social media sites like Twitter and the Facebook page "Hot Dog Emoji Coalition" to get the word out.
"The emoji is a universal language, and the hot dog is a universal food," she said.