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  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

157 of Gemma! (starring Mochi)

Pug People, we are thrilled to bring you a legit pug celebrity duo, Gemma and Mochi of "157 of Gemma"! AND we discovered that we lived only two towns apart, so we were able to take a long walk together; Shari and Candy and pug puppy Marcin followed Mochi around, admiring his "swimmer's build" (broad shoulders, narrow hips), his virtuoso peeing performance (read on for that one), and Gemma's beautiful accent (from Barcelona, she only speaks to Mochi in Catalan). We even ran into another Pug Person on the way, who looked at our babies and sighed in rapture. It was interview Heaven and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

PP: Okay, lay it on us. How did "157 of Gemma" come about?

Gemma: I started a comic about my life, but when I got Mochi, it became about Mochi.

Gemma: And then—oh, sorry, he just sneezed on me. I’m always covered in the wetness.

PP: He’s a giver.

Gemma: Yes, yes. The gift that keeps on giving.

PP: We’ve never quite seen this pooping style before. He lifts his leg to poop?

Gemma: He’s very talented.

PP: His creativity is off the charts.

Gemma: He lifts one leg for pooping and two for peeing.

PP: Did you get Mochi as a puppy?

Gemma: Three months old. He was a gift to me in Barcelona. There’s a whole story, I really wanted a black pug and my godfather gave me a card on my graduation day with a black pug saying that he was going to give me a black pug as a graduation present. But the pug was never arriving. My aunt, she did not know how to get a pug, she got a dog dealer, like a drug dealer. Some guy that was going to find a pug for her. Uh huh, right? Super fishy.

PP: The fish smell is overwhelming.

Gemma: So, I finally looked online and found a place with black pugs, but when I went there… I just fell in love with Mochi. Which was random, because fawn pugs are super common there, we did a two-hour drive to get a black pug, but when I saw him, it was fate.

PP: That's beautiful, but we're distracted by wondering how Mochi can have anything left in him, he’s peed on every single tree and bush since we started our walk.

Gemma: I know, I don’t understand it. If the walk is three hours long, he will have enough pee for three hours.

PP: He has to be drawing moisture from all his organs for this feat.

Gemma: He must be. It's so strange.

PP: What made you decide you wanted a pug initially?

Gemma: When I was a kid, I met a pug, and my mind exploded. I was like, how is this cuteness even possible? It was cuter than anything I’d ever seen, but also, so hilarious. I’ve loved dogs forever, but this was something else. I became obsessed.

PP: After you have pugs, it’s hard to follow it up with another breed.

Gemma: I always say, life without a pug would be too, too sad.

PP: Can we just say how remarkable it is that Mochi can walk off-lease on city streets? It is kind of stressing us out, though.

Gemma: He’s always been that way. Mostly because he doesn’t care about anything, you know, birds, other dogs, other people…

PP: All he cares about is making sure the world knows he was there, through his urine footprint.

Gemma: Exactly.

PP: Gemma, what do you like about Pug People?

Gemma: That we understand each other. We go to these pug parties where we have nothing in common with any of the people except our love of pugs.

PP: What else is there that’s even remotely interesting?

Gemma: Nothing. There is nothing.

PP: Okay, do you think it’s weird that there’s another pug cartoonist who’s named Gemma? Like, what are the odds? (@gemmacorrell)

Gemma: I know! When I first started back in Spain, a co-worker said to me, “Do you know that there’s another pug artist named Gemma?! But she’s way more famous than you.”

PP: Ha!

Gemma: But I have to admit, it can be confusing for people at time.

PP: From now on you can say you're the Gemma that was interviewed by the wildly popular Pug People Tales.

Gemma: I'll try that.

PP: If Mochi was a human celebrity, who would he be?

Gemma: Mochi is better looking, but I’ll say Clooney.

PP: There’s something about pugs and George Clooney, you’re the third person who’s chosen him.

Gemma: Maybe because he’s aging gracefully.

PP: And pugs carry themselves with confidence, charisma, we could go on and on, but we'll move to the next question: do you have a favorite memory of Mochi?

Gemma: So many, but one I remember and laugh. We were at the lake house of my boss and Mochi was a puppy, running around, super happy. There was a pond with lilies that Mochi thought was ground. And he walked right onto it, disappeared. We had to fish him out.

PP: Oh no! Can he swim?

Gemma: Well, yes, but I think he was in shock.

PP: He thought he was Jesus, able to walk on water. And on that super spiritual note, Gemma, do you have a True Pug Confession?

Gemma: I always carry Mochi to bed. Every night. Even when I was nine months pregnant, I would carry Mochi to bed.

PP: We have this wonderful mental image of him riding atop your baby bump.

Gemma: It was quite a sight.

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