MEET Luca - the Cork pooch with an army of social media followers.
Luca is a Poochon - a cross between a Bichon Frise and a Toy Poodle - and has more than 16,000 Instagram followers who love to see his happy face popping up on their social media feeds.
Luca’s ‘mom’ and owner, Bee Cleary Burns cares for Luca along with her husband of eight years Karl Burns at their home in Rathcormac. She said their Poochon is like their child and they call him ‘the baby’.
“Luca is my first pet of my very own. I mean I had pets as a child, but Luca was the first pet I got myself. He brought a whole new element to our lives," said Bee.
She started posting pictures of Luca on her own Instagram account when he was just a baby, but Bee said it escalated quickly.
“When we first got him, he was like a little cloud, he was so small, white and puffy. He was just adorable and he started getting hundreds of followers.”
Bee soon realised that Luca needed an Instagram account of his own so she turned her existing account into Luca’s page and made another one for herself.
“I try to post at least three times a day,” Bee said.
“I interact with people all over the world and Luca and I have made so many friends through the account.”
Last year Luca received a Christmas card from Switzerland and a parcel from Florida.
“People from all over the world send us messages and gifts.”
As well as this, she is often contacted by companies who want to send Luca their products.
“We have been sent products from a number of businesses. I never ask for products, but I sometimes get calls looking for Luca’s address. He gets a lot of healthcare products and bandanas," she said.
Speaking about Luca’s personality, Bee said he is extremely playful.
“He loves going for walks and is extremely intelligent. He picks up tricks very easily. He does loads of things.”
Bee said his latest trick is to close the door with his paws, but her favourite one is when he waves ‘Goodbye’ with his paws.
Both Bee and Karl work full-time so when they are not at home, Luca goes to ‘Granny Day Care’ - Bee’s mother-in-law, Betty.
“Luca loves hanging out at Granny Day Care. He goes in white, but comes home black from running around the garden.”
Luca is not shy of friends either as Bee’s sister-in-law has two Bichon’s - Ellie and Zoey - who are best friends with him.
“Luca loves visiting Ellie and Zoey. When he realises that’s where we are heading he starts yelping and jumping up and down. He just loves hanging out with them.”
Bee admitted that Luca is a little bit spoilt, joking that he may have more clothes than Karl.
“I spend quite a lot on Luca. He has a lot of designer clothes and we have a number of matching outfits. He has a hunter collar to go with my Hunter wellies and he has a Barber Bandana to go with my Barber jacket.”
“He has a bath once a week. He is brushed and has his teeth brushed every day and he is groomed every four weeks.”