Shortly after Kahlua was born I spent a few weeks teaching him tricks so he could showcase his talents to a variety of audiences – family, friends, social media followers, etc. Kahlua was a quick learner in his infancy so I often increased the degree of difficulty when teaching him tricks knowing he would rise up to the challenge. After working with Kahlua to perfect a handful of neat tricks, I began searching for “that one unique trick” that would deliver an overwhelming amount of cuteness while melting the hearts of many. “That one unique trick” was ultimately named the Praying Puppy!
The Praying Puppy showcases Kahlua and me praying before eating a meal together. The trick itself only has 3 components so it wasn’t difficult for Kahlua to learn. However, teaching an 11-week-old puppy a trick that includes placing a large bowl of delicious food in their face is challenging to some degree. Having said that, once all of the components were completed and stitched together the result was adorable.
On March 22, 2016, Savannah recorded the Praying Puppy trick so we could share it with family, friends, and the world. We initially published the video to my YouTube and Savannah’s Facebook to test the viral waters. Within 24 hours, the video was liked by hundreds, shared by thousands, viewed by hundreds of thousands, and the comment section was saturated with beautiful words. The following day I licensed the video to a media company in an effort to create more exposure in hopes of it reaching viral status.
After the Praying Puppy video had a few days to circulate the web it gained enormous traction that caught the eye of several media companies. The media attention was fierce and my inboxes were on the verge of exploding due to the influx of emails and social media messages I received from local and national news outlets, talk shows, and other media. Simply put, it was incredibly insane!
Several weeks after the video was published it amassed millions of views on both Facebook and YouTube and aired on FOX News, People, Today Show, and several other television shows and news stations around the world. Kahlua was asked to appear as a guest on the Rachael Ray Show as well as play a role in a Netflix Original Film. While we appreciated the opportunities, we had to decline both invites due to our busy schedule.
Overall, the video was well received by a large audience and the publicity accounted for a huge uptick in Kahlua’s Instagram followers. Kahlua’s monthly toy and treat allowance increased exponentially and he even offered to pay his mommy and daddy a fee to manage his bookings and web presence. Of course, we declined the monetary offer, but did accept the management position for kisses and cuddles.
Today, media companies continue to reach out regarding licensing agreements while other companies contact us to ask permission to use the video on its social and web properties. We also field countless comments and questions from Kahlua’s fans, but there is one question that is always asked more than any other – “Does Kahlua and his daddy really pray before eating?” The answer is “absolutely!” Kahlua and his sister, Chloe, always pray with Savannah and I each night before we eat. Perhaps we will share a follow-up video in the near future.
In the meantime, check out our popular Praying Puppy video below.
Update 12/17/2019: The Praying Puppy video has amassed nearly 14 million views on Facebook, 3 million on YouTube, and licensed to run on Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AOL web properties, which has already garnered approximately 6 million views at the time of this writing.