Loca the Pug, the adorable Irish pooch who was the subject of a much loved, viral YouTube video, has died, according to a post on the Facebook page for the dog. A video of the dog first went viral in 2012 when her owner circulated a video that showed the adorable pug’s “difficulty running due to a mild brain disorder.”
Sadly, the dog’s Facebook page confirmed her death on October 20, writing that the pug died peacefully, and noting, “We will miss her always but we thank God that we had her in our lives, even though her time was too short.” During her life, the pug from Belfast, Ireland was adored by millions of people who watched the YouTube video her owners made and who found the engaging ditty in it – sung from the pug’s perspective – impossible to get out of their heads. The small pug’s disorder caused the animal to harmlessly roll, topple, and fall over, which charmed millions.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Pug Became an Internet Hit Known as the ‘Pug Who Couldn’t Run’
The dog, Digital Spy reported, “became an internet hit when her owner Mal made a video of Loca ‘singing’ about her problem. Initially intended just for family and friends, it’s gone on to be viewed” millions of times. You can watch the original Loca the Pug video below. The initial video has had more than 16 million views, and it starts with a sing-song voice saying, “Well, hello my name is Loca, and I am a special pug,” as the adorable dog prances and dances throughout the yard. The song continues, “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.”
The pup became known as “Loca: The Pug that couldn’t run,” as its Facebook page reads. The dog even had its own book, available for sale on Amazon. Its owners frequently updated the Facebook page in the pug’s voice. For example, one post read, “Hey my gangsters, As you can see from the sun shining on my particularly cute little gub we have arrived in Spain 🙂 But more about that in a second. I was on flipping tee-vee last night. Do you remember the doctor-mentory that Row-Non made ? Well it was on. Oh my hairy word darlings you would have been so proud of me! I shared my episode with some fair-its (absolutely gorgeous wee creatures and I need one asap btw) and a family with 6 dogs!! I was shocked to the core that any family would have 6 dogs until Layla pointed out that’s how many we were at home hahahaha. I’d never got round to counting us :-)”
2. Loca Died After Suffering Brain Damage, the Page Revealed
Sadly, the Facebook page for the dog revealed Loca was dead in a lengthy announcement posted on Friday, October 20, 2017. Loca the pug also has a Twitter page, although it hasn’t tweeted since 2016. The message posted on the Facebook page that confirmed Loca’s death. “Hi all,” it starts, before adding, “In the early hours of yesterday morning we had to say goodbye to our darling wee Loca. She had suffered one of her ‘appalling-eptic’ fits during the night and it seems she suffered some brain damage during it. The vets did all they could for her but sadly there was nothing more they could do. We were with her at the end and she went very peacefully. Needless to say we are all devastated and we will miss her more than I can begin to tell you. Her wee chum Evil Betty posted the news on her page and I have been overwhelmed by the amount of messages of sympathy and support to my personal facebook page, but I felt I had to post the news here to all her loyal gangsters.”
The message continues, “Mal and I want to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the years the wee lady was on here doing her ramblings. Always one for gross exaggeration and flights of fancy I know, but still the most special and wonderful little puglet. I’m so grateful to have this page and in the future when it doesn’t hurt so much I know we have so many wonderful memories contained in here to look back on. We will miss her always but we thank God that we had her in our lives, even though her time was too short. I like to think of her now with her big sister Lucy, finally able to fecking run. Rest in Peace little one.”
3. There Were Untimely Rumors of the Dog’s Death Before
Loca also has a YouTube page. Confusing some people, the pug’s page posted a video a year ago about false rumors that the dog had died. In 2016, the page noted, “According to a lot of things I have read on the internet lately I am dead. Well I am decidedly not dead and hopefully this little video will clear up any misunderstanding in that regard:-))) xx.” Sadly, there is no such message this time. That time the dog was not dead.
The “Pug That Couldn’t Run” – the original video that got it all started – was only the first. Other videos showcasing the pug included “Can we have a rabbit?” and “Babysitting ain’t easy.” According to UK Daily Mail, Loca’s owner Mal Orr, explained previously, “One day when I was watching her run I thought ‘That’s funny – I should film it. I never thought this many people would watch it. We gets loads of really positive comments from people about how she makes them smile so it makes sense to keep making the films. I write and perform all the songs myself.”
4. The Original Video Was Set to the Tune of an Irish Folk Song
Many people were charmed by the Belfast pug. According to Dogster, “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.”
However, says Dogster, “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.” Malcolm wrote the jig to “to the tune of an old Irish song called ‘Delany’s Donkey,’” reports Dogster. The video went viral several times; two years after it was originally posted, it took off again after circulating on Reddit. During the height of her popularity, Loca even had her own calendar.
5. People Have Filled the Pug’s Facebook Comment Thread With Condolences
As news of the dog’s death spread, thousands of people shared the Facebook post with the announcement and filled the comment thread with sadness. In only one day, more than 16,000 comments had been posted. Wrote one woman, “You will be missed, Loca! Your video and song never fails to make me smile, and I hope you know how much joy you brought to the world.” Another wrote, “Loca has brought so many laughs to our household over the years. Thank you so much for sharing her and your talent for stories and humor with the world. My children and I have played her videos so often that we know the songs by heart. RIP sweet Loca! You will be sorely missed. At least you will finally run free, and maybe you can catch that Ginger Fecker and steal a stick from Lucy! ❤️❤️”
Another woman tried her hand at a Loca-like ditty: “I’m bounding, leaping, running through the fields of gold. Rolling, strolling, I finally got it right! I’m never late, it’s really great running beside the pearly gate. With my new pair of wings I can run with all my might!” Another woman wrote, sharing the thoughts of thousands, “Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I loved watching and reading about Loca’s adventures over the years. She never failed to make me smile. She was a lucky little lady to have such a loving family that saw beyond her challenges and recognized what she really was…a fecking star. Thank you for sharing her with us. She will be missed.”