Chihuahua becomes TikTok sensation after being rescued from an abusive home: 'A legend has been born'

Kelsey Weekman
·3 min read

Can I get an OWA OWA?

For @pudgywoke, a TikTok-famous, long-haired chihuahua with 4.7 million followers, the answer to this highly specific question is pretty much always a vehement yes.

The pup, who is either 11 or 12 years old, is known for, well, making some very strange noises (like “OWA OWA”) that toe the line between delightful and disturbing when magnified by the microphone from his owner’s headphones.

Malachy James, Pudgy’s owner who happens to be a TikTok influencer himself, told In The Know “he’s always made unique noises” since they first met when James was 5 years old.

Commenters sometimes express concern about Pudgy’s adorably disheveled appearance, but James said he’s all about positivity.

“Pudgy is a very sweet and loving dog even though his image may seem hectic to individuals who are just discovering his most popular TikToks,” he said.

James named Pudgy after the dog from Betty Boop, which he used to watch with his mom as a kid.

He said his older brother’s friend brought Pudgy to their house one day after finding him roaming the streets, having escaped from an abusive home.

“I instantly had a special connection with Pudgy and didn’t want to ever let him out of my sight,” James told In The Know. “My brother’s friend wasn’t in the right position to own a dog, so me and my mother adopted him and he’s been with us ever since.”

Though their bond is formidable — James shared fond memories of playing with Pudgy — the dog’s social media success was an accident.

“I initially meant to post the video [of Pudgy] on my verified account thinking it was time for the world to meet Pudgy,” he explained. “I ended up posting it on my spam account unknowingly, then within minutes it started to take off.”

In that first video, Pudgy dramatically responds to his owner by releasing a guttural sound that sounds a bit like a malfunctioning fax machine, according to some TikTok users.

Millions of views later, it was a hit, and so was Pudgy.

“I think you need to put yo dog in some rice,” one user commented.

“A legend has been born,” another said.

“He needs a system update,” a third joked.

The lighthearted jokes about Pudgy’s quirks inspired James to dedicate the account to his dog.

“Lots of people [were] in the comments saying stuff like ‘I was sad until I seen this video,'” James told In The Know. “My goal for me and Pudgy is to advocate positive vibes and to show the world it’s totally normal to be unique in your own way … it’s time to change the narrative of the world for the better.”

Can a man and his silly-sounding dog change the world? They’ve already brightened at least 4.7 million people’s days, so they’re on their way.

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The post Meet pudgywoke, the elderly (and vocal) dog stealing hearts on TikTok appeared first on In The Know.