Pages

Loca-Motion.



"Loca the Pug"
Pugs. As much as every last breed of dog carries their own remarkable set of endearing personality traits; the drooping ease of a Bloodhound, the Collie's sharp mind, or the feisty Jack Russell temperament - as a few examples, I have always had a deeply embedded soft spot for that idiosyncratic, sensitive, loveable little creature, commonly known as the Pug. 

I’m not sure why exactly, but I think it has something to do with my belief that Pugs – much like their adoptive families, are by nature, unconventional mavericks; less outside the box than even knowing one exists. For those who have never felt the wonders of a Pug in your life; translating to a Pug in your hearts, nothing sums up these puzzled faced little charmers better, then the story of Loca; the Pug that couldn't run...

Like all things Irish, Loca is loaded in well-intentioned honesty, strong spirit, and a healthy sense of fun. And like all things Irish, a loving family play a pivotal role in the wonders of her story. Adopted as a young pup to the Orr family in Belfast; along with Pug litter brother Alife and joining Boxer siblings Layla and Lucy, it became apparent from a very early age Loca was - at least in terms of mobility, somewhat different from the rest. Born with ataxia; a harmless neurological condition which affects muscle mobility, it left Loca unable to run in a straight line using her front legs  - not that she doesn't try her hardest, causing her to wibble and wobble in all sorts of comedic fashions.

Loved regardless, and shedding light on the subject, in May 2012 her family decided to create a harmless, humorous, and upbeat melodic Irish ditty based around Loca's attempts at motion. Titled "The Pug that Couldn't Run", and expecting to generate a few hundred hits at best, the video became a viral sensation; currently sitting around a constantly rising six million views, and generating a 20,000 strong fan page for the adorable little lady; which I proudly admit to being a member of. A simple video - and the dozen follow up songs, struck the love and attention of a global audience. The question is; how did a singing, goose-stepping Pug, become so popular?

Besides the obvious fact that a flippying floppying Pug is visually unique, the answer lies in the sheer warmth of the video. Loca the Pug touches people hearts, because that is exactly where the idea for the video comes from. Had Loca's family been looking to commercially exploit or manipulate an issue others may consider a disability, the cynical nature would have shone through, and only been an ounce as popular. However, as the germ of the idea was organic, original, and pure in its intent, it affords the story an ease in human connection and empathy. If anything, Loca the Pug teaches us the importance of acceptance, being able to laugh at ourselves, and that beyond the chaos and confusion of daily living, all we really need, is love; a charismatic star who loves roast chicken and hugs, sure does help though.

"Pugs, like their adopted families - don't do conventional"
Life can often be challenging and difficult, and there are more than enough media outlets in our world to pointlessly remind us of its negative aspects. Loca the Pug is one of those humble yet remarkable stories of an idiosyncratic, loveable Pug with a silly walk, surrounded by a family of true animal lovers, who themselves are perhaps a little unconventional; just check out the awesome pug-mobile (pictured right) - it makes the Batmobile look like a dinky toy, which remind us that not only does human warmth grow around the animal spirit, but the animal spirit is nurtured in return for doing so; adding to my theory that dogs and cats (sorry Loca), truly are magical. 

While Loca is the star of the show, there is little doubt the influence of her extended family; both animal and human, are a shining light behind the curtain; and in many ways, I see the whole story as an ensemble piece; Loca being the front-Pug, of course. So from me, six million others, 20,000 fans and Pugs worldwide, I would just like to thank The Orr family - Loca and co included, for entertaining us all, and brightening the clouds of the internet with a little sunlight; even if I still can't get that fecking song out of my head...

Enjoy the video that started it all: "The Pug that Couldn't Run" 
Join Loca's wonderful Facebook page: Loca the Pug

If you enjoyed this article, supporting my writing. CLICK HERE and Like my Official Fan Page.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You not wrong Lee Loca is the highlight of my day! I'm one of her gang members La Banda Loca can't beat it, I look forward everyday to her posts!!!!

Nicole Bredeweg said...

I had a pug -- he was my special little buddy. And the policeman of our house. And the sheer character of the breed! When I first saw the video, I wanted to write and see if I could adopt Loca all to myself, but I could CLEARLY see how much she was loved. I am also proud so say that I am a La Banda Loca member. Thanks for putting into words what this video and this puglet are all about.

Anonymous said...

I too am a member of La Banda Loca. I love Loca Elizabeth Orr she always makes me smile if not laugh aloud as I did in the staffroom today.

Anonymous said...

As a La Banda Loca member I agree

Anette Smith said...

Loca is the best Pug "medicine" every day. I am a gang member as well.

Pam and the RV Pugs :0) said...

I love following Loca on FB, have the whole family into her adventures as I read them aloud. We've watched all her videos, and even have her calendar. La Band Loca members here in Prescott, AZ. :0)

Millie the colorado Puginator said...

My Mom and me are gang members. I am her first Puglet. She worked in animal shelters for 30 years and mainly took home dogs and feckers no one else wanted - it seems Pugs almost always find a home. I was given up by my first family (they were very sad, but had no money to care for me). My Mom, Kate, fostered me through Colorado Pug Rescue - for about one minute, then I was hers forever. Loca has been my webfriend and my Mom laughs and cries when she reads Loca's posts. Viva La Banda Loca!

Anonymous said...

As a person who is owned by a Pug, I applaud Loca. There is nothing like the companionship of these little rascals who steal your heart and love you unconditionally. (well that and their food) Keep them happy and keep them slim.

Anonymous said...

Loca is heartwarming and heartlifting. She makes me and thousands of other people happy everyday. I am a proud member of La Banda Loca!

Quiz_Beagle said...

Beautifully written Lee. Yet another Banda Loca here

Anonymous said...

Owned by Jesse James who used to run like billio. Now he has aa hitch from a back injury and yet he throws his head back and smiling runs as best he can. Love Loca

Anonymous said...

LA Banda Loca! Me too! Representing NC!

Anonymous said...

¡Viva la Banda Loca! It's been a grand trip to find myself among a collection of so many strong positive loving hearts, as the gang has become. It takes a charismatic soul - a soul that's simultaneously darling and badass, as we all know - to inspire so many hearts and evoke so much positive energy. Pugness (or is it puggitude) has an irresistible pull on the dog lover's heart... but regardless of the lynchpin of any such group, the more that exist, the better - it sends out strong, warm waves of loving care and energy and will inevitably improve things worldwide. Thanks for your article, Lee - I'm proud to be in a Banda with you and so many other grand souls.

Anonymous said...

I just love Loca and read her posts daily. Four years ago I bought my first pug because I was so depressed I needed something to help to cheer me up. My health was very bad for such a young person. My Pugslee changed my life so much and now I have two pugs and a bull mastiff. My pugs rule the roost and the mastiff...lol I tell people all the time when they say they have thought about getting a Pug, "Get One" They are the best fur babies in the world with attitude way bigger than they are. We love Loca up to the moon! Pugslee, Penelope, Breanne and Mamma!

Lee Gunnell said...

Good to see Loca has a such a strong and loyal following. Thank you all for reading my post too! ;-)