We Interview the People Behind Loca, YouTube's Most Recognizable Pug
Well hello my name is Loca
And I’m a special Pug
I live in Belfast, Ireland, and me favorite thing’s a hug
I love to eat roast chicken
And my friends say I’m good fun
But the one thing that I cannot do
Is I can’t feckin’ run
If you’ve watched the Loca the Pug videos, that lyric is all too familiar and will now probably be stuck in your head (as it has been mine for many months). If you don’t know who Loca the very special Pug is, take a listen:
As a fan of the adorable pooch, it was truly a fan moment for me to interview Loca’s family. Loca is a nearly 4-year-old Pug born in Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. She was adopted by Malcolm and Alena Orr of Belfast, Northern Ireland. This all sounds pretty normal: Couple finds dog, couple falls in love with dog, dog comes home, and they live happily ever after.
Everything was fine except Loca just could not feckin’ run.
“It became apparent very quickly that she was a bit different from other dogs. When she was very small, she walked like Hitler -- both front legs went straight out, up in the air every time she took a step,” Malcolm Orr says.
In reality, Loca has a condition called cerebellar ataxia, in which damage within the nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination results in loss of coordination, or ataxia.
Loca is unable to climb stairs and she is unable to jump, but she is very accepting to being carried. Her family says she lives a very normal life, and though her condition is not fixable, her veterinarian feels she will live a long and happy life. Rather than risk surgery and the complications that come with it, the Orrs are giving Loca a wonderful life.
Based on an old Irish jig
The Orrs say that they always had a good-natured laugh when all the dogs went out for a walk, especially because Loca runs and flops about. Alena says her husband has always been a wordsmith, and he started writing a song about Loca, setting it to the tune of an old Irish song called "Delany’s Donkey."
The video became a huge hit, which surprised the couple.
“To be honest, we never expected it to get the reaction it did,” Malcolm shares. “We put on the first video that if Loca got at least 1,000 likes we would give her a whole chicken. Clearly she has had a lot of chicken since then!”
As of this writing, the original Loca the Pug video has almost 5 million hits. From there, the couple launched a Loca the Pug YouTube Channel, Loca the Pug Facebook page, and a Loca the Pug Twitter account.
Follow-up video hits have included Loca going to the vet, singing about her Da’s great big trike, and asking for a rabbit as a pet.
It's a family affair
Loca has a great family, indeed. The Orrs have two Boxers, Layla (eight years old) and Lucy (seven years old), along with Pug Layla, who is the runt from the same litter as Loca. “We just couldn’t leave him behind,” Malcolm says. “So we got them both. Weirdly, he is now considerably bigger than Loca.”
All the dogs get in on the fun of making the videos, which they hope will inspire people and pets all over the world. Due to the reaction the original Loca video received, the couple was inspired to make more. “One particular comment came from a lady whose mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and who hadn’t spoken for months,” Malcolm recalls. “Apparently she watched the video over and over again and then began singing the chorus.”
So, what's next for the world’s most recognizable Pug? The family plans to continue making Loca videos and possibly turning them into a weekly diary incorporating the entire family, but that idea is still a ways off. For diehard Loca fans, she updates her Facebook page every day, so fans can engage their flouncing, bouncing mood on a daily basis.
Are you a fan of Loca? Bark at me in the comments!
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