|"Loca 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"|
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
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