Lady has taken over her parents' lives in the best way possible
ERIKA EKMAN: I think I'm kind of a crazy dog mom. I got Lady's custom stuffed animal, Lady's custom sleepers.
RASMUS EKMAN: Normal people have artwork in their house, like, we have paintings of Lady. Most of it is gifts or collabs. I was like, I love this painting. It's going in my office for sure.
ERIKA EKMAN: Our life is all around Lady.
RASMUS EKMAN: Very centered around lady.
ERIKA EKMAN: Yeah.
RASMUS EKMAN: My name is Rasmus.
ERIKA EKMAN: I'm Erika and this is our Lady.
RASMUS EKMAN: We are in our home in Orange County. We met in Tokyo. We got married when we were still in Japan. I was asked to relocate for work.
ERIKA EKMAN: I was always a dog person. I grew up with seven family dogs. When we moved here he ran out of excuses not to get a dog. And then when we got Lady he fell in love. Now he's cuddling with her in the bed.
RASMUS EKMAN: I guess I'm recently converted dog person. When we moved to the US she didn't have a work permit initially, so she wasn't allowed to work for a couple of months, which is when we got Lady. And then she started doing Instagram during that period and then it turned into a full time job.
ERIKA EKMAN: It did and I love it.
RASMUS EKMAN: I don't have any social media and she really wanted to do it, but she's like, I'm going to make the content, but you have to be in the shot. So like, between work meetings she would ask me. It's like, hey, do you have 10 minutes now? Like, we need to film quickly. The natural stuff I don't mind.
ERIKA EKMAN: He just doesn't like when I put him in the costumes and stuff.
RASMUS EKMAN: Yeah.
ERIKA EKMAN: The first viral video was Lady's watermelon boop. Boop is solid.
RASMUS EKMAN: The is--
ERIKA EKMAN: Everybody loves the boop.
RASMUS EKMAN: Everybody loves to boop. You would have something that has a hole in it and she would come running up and put her nose into it.
ERIKA EKMAN: She's really funny, sweet, sassy, and smart for a golden retriever. Roll over, roll over. Good girl.
RASMUS EKMAN: I would say she's like a trained influencer.
ERIKA EKMAN: Stay.
RASMUS EKMAN: If the cameras come out she knows that like, OK, there's like treats around. And if I just like do this thing or just like, sit still until they shoot the stuff.
ERIKA EKMAN: OK. Yay.
RASMUS EKMAN: She creates new content pretty much every day. 8:00 AM you start posting and you have to engage for like, a couple of hours, and then you write new content, and then you film in the afternoon, and then you edit at night. And like, there's a strict schedule to the whole thing. She gets very serious about anything she does. You know, it started out for fun, but it's a full time job if you didn't notice, to do it at the level that you do.
ERIKA EKMAN: Some days my brain doesn't work, like, doesn't come up with ideas, and then I'll be like pulling my hair and-- (LAUGHS) It's still better than my office job in Tokyo.
RASMUS EKMAN: Yes, it is.
ERIKA EKMAN: At the end of the day, I think my followers just love Lady being Lady. So I don't really have to do something, but I just feel pressure to make fun content.
RASMUS EKMAN: One great impact that we're having is we started to foster through rescue groups that we got connected to through Lady's account. And we post a lot of us fostering other dogs and kind of Lady being the big sister of the foster puppies. And I think showing that on the stories has a very positive impact. People show up for like, funny videos with Lady and end up learning something about fostering.
ERIKA EKMAN: My top priority is to make people happy and smile a little bit every day, because that's what Lady does to us. And I think it's amazing that we get to have such a positive impact on other people's lives. It just makes me feel warm inside that Lady is making--
RASMUS EKMAN: Other people feel good, right?
ERIKA EKMAN: Yeah.
RASMUS EKMAN: She brings like a positive energy to like, a large--
ERIKA EKMAN: She's making somebody else day by just being herself.