Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our history with pugs

This is a stream of consciousness written account of our history with pugs. I have wanted to do it for a long time but never got around to it. It is mainly for me as I have such a terrible memory and I like to have things written down so that I can refer to them so as to refresh my memory. It was spurred by a question from a new facebook friend that asked me my opinion on whether or not an elderly one-eyed female pug would fit in with her more-active pug crew of two. My opinion, as one who now has 12 four-legged family members was that she should take the leap and that it would be good for everyone in the long-run. So, here’s the story. It could be shorter, but, it could certainly be a lot longer too.

Our first pug was named Sidney; he was my wedding gift to Vikki back in 1994. We found him from a newspaper ad by a backyard breeder. Sid was King.

But, Kings need subjects so we got Sidney a, much-needed friend. We got Jasmine from a different back-yard breeder. She was my Angel. God put her on this Earth for my salvation. She loved Sidney was very independent.

Not long after, having been bit by the pug-bug, we went back to the back-yard breeder that gave us Sidney and found Pippin. Pippin was, as Vikki puts it, broken. When you try to pick him up he goes spread-eagle and his eyes look like bowling balls.
When we got Pip, Sidney was already advanced in age. They became best-buds. As Sidney aged his health started to decline. By this time Sidney did not move around so well. When it was time for him to go outside I would walk behind him, bent over, and hold up his back legs while he motored around with his front legs. Pippin lay next to him at all times.

Pippin adored him and was his constant companion. One day, Sidney left us; a horrible, horrible day. I think it was a Tuesday. Vikki had searched the Internet for solace. She found a website,, which had a pug meet up post. She had noted that some of the posts indicated that they would not be able to make it to the meet up because they were going to Lebanon, IN for the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue (KPR) event. That Saturday, following the horrible Tuesday, we went to the park and met dozens of new pugs and their wonderful owners. When people met Pip, they were astounded by his size. Pippin had just lain there, next to Sidney, all the way to the end. His girth and his sweet face made him an instant favorite. We then went to the KPR event. We met even more fun, interesting, and friendly pug owners. While there we met Eli. Vikki says that Eli chose her.

And then there were three again. Through KPR we fostered Ernie and Bernice.

Since we are epic foster failures; although we did not admit this to ourselves yet, Ernie and Bernice became permanent family members.

Ernie, known as ‘The fun police’ barked at any of the other pugs that seemed like they were having too much fun. Bernice, Vikki’s alien child, was quirky, spastic, and full of; well, full of something. Pippin found new life. He started to run and play with the others.

We fostered Eddie. Eddie was neglected and in pretty poor shape.

He was just a puppy and full of energy. Pippin found a new playmate and began his weight-loss-program.

We tried real hard to get a friend to adopt Eddie. But while he took his time making a decision we fell in love with Eddie and adopted him. Now as people, we are not small. In our house, skinny does not stay skinny long. Eddie flourished.

We don’t consider him a fat pug; but, Eddie is our FLP. This is our acronym for“freakishly large pug”. Then we foster-adopted our old-man Gus. Now, even though Gus is old, he is full of piss and vinegar.

Gus plays fetch like no other pug I have ever seen. He barks at birds.

He chases his tail when he feels the wind tugging at it. He hops in our pool, in the summertime, and splashes around. And, he loves to play tug-o-war with Pippin. With all of these pugs, including Eddie and Gus, Pippin was running and playing and shrinking. Now he has a waistline.

But, where Pippin was getting smaller, the pug family was getting bigger. We foster-adopted Romeo, our little ball of fluff. An evil woman named Wanda kept him as a breeder-dog and his home was outside. Can you believe it: a pug – outside. Most people say he is fat. But, while he is not slender, they do not realize that most of what they see is hair. Vikki brushes a small pug puppy out of him every night. He is mostly blind but does really well now that he has the general layout of the house in his head. He stays out of the way of the other pugs, for the most part, because he does not want to be run over by the others when they play.

Then we took in two surrendered pugs named Pudge and Pugsley. They were beyond puppy stage and used to their names. So, as much as we wanted to change them, the names stayed Pudge and Pugsley.

Then came the year we would all like to forget. Jasmine, who had always had sensitive stomach, issues passed away. Later, that same year, our son (not knowing any better) overfed the dogs and Bernice bloated and died.
So, we did what we always do, we found another dog. Vikki went to Animal Care and Control to pick up Rosie. Rosie was picked up with another pug and put in the same cage. When Vikki got there the other pug had already been adopted out. Rosie was bald, save a few tufts of hair around the neck and on the very tip of her tail. She only had one eye, and it does not see much at all, but had a cute curly pug tail and lots of pugitude.

When we got her home we treated the mange with medicated shampoo. After just a few weeks of love, good food, and medicated baths it became apparent that the Cyclopsian girl with all kinds of pugitude was not actually a pug. What do you know, we have a Pekinese.

Then came Tucker. Tucker is a sweet old guy with the cutest little woo-woo-woo. Blind and deaf does not hinder this old man.

At times when he is feeling itchy he will lay on his side and gallop. That is the best way to describe it. He looks like a horse galloping, only, on his side. It's one of the cutest things ever.  Vikki really missed her alien girl, Neecie. So we set out, this time, to look for a sweet pug-girl to adopt. Now, we have finally realized that we are no good at fostering as the dogs never leave our house. There have been a few notable exceptions over that past couple of years. We fostered two sets of bonded-pairs that did not stay. Both pairs were sent to Seattle Pug Rescue. The 1st were Ming and (a sweet girl whose name I can’t recall). The 2nd were Lula and Tugger. They all, now, have permanent homes in the Seattle area. Oh yeah, Vikki missed Bernice terribly so KPR had a girl that needed a new place to stay. So, we adopted Isabelle (aka: Bella, BellaBoo, BellaBooty, Booty, or some variation thereof).

But wait, the home that Bella was staying in also housed Timmy (Timmah). Timmy missed Bella and the request was made that we take him as well. I didn’t mind because when we went to get Isabelle I had taken to Timmy during the visit.

Now, I just can’t wait until his energy level drops.  He is a jumper and hogger of the love, but very sweet. Vikki still misses Neecie but thinks, now, that Neecie must have sent Bella from the Mother Ship because she is an odd little alien too.

So, that is how we came to have 12.  I ‘think’ that we have reached our limit. Time will tell.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Sometimes I think that I am the greatest failure ever. I squandered so much potential. Diabetes and Sleep Apnea helped a great deal...clouding my thoughts...dulling...slowing. But I bear a great responsibility for it.

Even now I cannot get my adopted son to care about his own future. He is a slug and I am to blame. I think that even if her were my own, from birth, he would have still turned out the same. I am to blame.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

It was 8 years ago, hard to believe. Today’s weather was much the same as it was then that day. Sunny, mild, blue skies, and little white puffy clouds; a good day to be happy. I was on my way into work at BellSouth Mobility (later Cingular). I had taken the route that took me through 80th street. I liked that route because it had nice pretty houses and lots of trees, I love trees.

Since I was in a good mood I was listening to Bob and Tom on the radio instead of the usual talk radio. When I pulled up to Keystone Avenue they said something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. They are clowns so I though, at first, that I might be some silly (but bad) joke. Unfortunately that was not the case. They kept talking about it in a serious manner. In my mind I thought that maybe it was a terrible accident. Some confused aircraft or a plane having serious problems.

I got to work and everyone was talking about it. At that point it had been reported that a second plane crashed into the second tower. Unbelievable, I thought. I had a scheduled training class for advanced Excel, so I went. More news on the radio on the short drive to the training; a plane had hit the Pentagon. At this point, any doubt that we were under attack was dispelled; air space shut down, F-18 flying over the Capital and all major cities. I sat with five others in the training class with no instructor. Time passed and we talked, strangers though we were, about the events transpiring while we sat. The instructor finally came in from watching a TV in the other room. She told us that another plane crashed in Pennsylvania and asked us if we wanted to cancel the class or push forward. We decided to push forward. We struggled through the day and got sketchy news while we learned Excel.

When I got home I found a tearful wife watching the news on TV; building collapsed, people dead, and a skyline changed. They showed the earlier events over and over; planes hitting the buildings, fire, more fire, people jumping out of buildings to escape the flames (a lot of tears), police and firemen rushing inside and rescue workers scrambling outside.

A terrible, terrible day; restless sleepless night leading to a dawn with the world changed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thoughts of God

First, I must preface this:
I consider myself spiritual but not extremely religious.
I am Catholic but I am also certain that no one, priest or otherwise, knows the mind of God.

The death of my mother last year has given me reason to ponder the question. I have always considered myself a scientist. As a scientist I cannot deny the clear fact that all creatures on Earth seem to evolve from creatures with a more simple structure. So, as a scientist, I have always used that evidence to support my conclusion that God intended it that way. Then, as I grew older and I saw that the world was not perfect, I started to question whether Jesus was the son of God, just an extraordinary man that was written about in the bible, or if he even existed at all. Soon after I began to question the existence of God at all. After all, scientists seem to have a good bead on how things work…the Big Bang and all.

Then I got older…and maybe, more wise…and I realized that just as a computer is only as good as its programmer, that science is only as good that the scientist who has interpreted the data that he/she is looking at. For the most part, like doctors, I consider that most scientists are intelligent, competent, and without bias…well, I don’t know about the bias any more. Global Warming…Ha_ha.

Now science is pointing to the fact that the Big Bang may not be the end-all/be-all of the universe and that it may not be unique. A theory that I read about many years ago, String Theory, seems to have reemerged and morphed into Membrane Theory (M-Theory). I like this theory for many reasons.
  1. First, it pleases both sides of my brain. Unlike Einstein’s theory, it seems to be mathematically complex. It opens the door for the possibility of multiple dimensions and parallel universes.
  2. Second, it involves music. There are no particles like electrons or quarks. These things are simply the same tiny strings vibrating at different frequencies. The membrane on which our universe sits is simply the woven fabric of all of these strings.
  3. Finally, it allows me to reconsider God. Not the God that is limited to creating man in his own image…although I think that we may hold a special place…but the God that lies outside, inside, and throughout all dimensions and resides in a universe…heaven…that contains all other universes.

Or, I could be wrong…

Whatever the case, I still have faith, I still have hope, and I still believe that love is God’s greatest gift of all. Also, that somehow God gave us Jesus to help us find our way.
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mom - A sad anniversary

My mom was amazing. While my dad worked, sometimes double-shifts, she took care of me and my brother, Donnie, and my sister, Pam. She stopped working as a beautician, a job she truly loved, to take care of us. That was some time ago, before both parents had to work just to make ends meet.

When I stole gum from the local grocery store and she found it in my drawer, she walked me back to the store to return it and apologize to the store manager. That is something that I never forgot and something that I will always love her for.

There are truly too many stories to tell for this little post. I will, on later posts, try to tell more. She was an amazing person. She has the greatest family and the best friends. They were and still are so wonderful through all of the pain.

In the summer of last year, 2007, we all noticed that mom's personality changes were becoming more and more evident that something was wrong. Dad took her to the medical clinic were they did a scan and found the mass on her brain. When we all gathered to get the news from the doctor about what kind of tumor we were dealing with I had a bad feeling that the news was not good. A few years before a friend and co-worker, Dennis Prewitt, was diagnosed with and eventually succumb to a glioblastoma multiforme tumor. At that time I had asked my father-in-law, a surgeon, about this type of tumor. The only words from him were, "I'm sorry". When my mom's doctor said those same words it was all I could do not to break down and cry right there. I did not want to dampen my mom's spirits. She was so certain that she could beet it.

We traveled from Indianapolis to Louisville either every weekend or every other weekend. Every time that I went I was going to say goodbye. I knew that, statistically, I would not be there when she died. Leaving was so hard. I loved her so much.

On this anniversary, I just want to put that out there. I know that she is watching over my shoulder. I just hope that she has good internet in heaven.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

My blood sugars have really been a mess. I think that this pneumonia must be messing up my sugars. I called the doctor today and they doubled the dose of Novolog (insulin) so that I don't have to pay my co-pay every 15-20 days. Now I will have enough to last for the entire month. That will help because I am paying $200 - $300 per month for my medication as it is now.

Work was extremely boring. The construction industry is seasonal so I think that we have hit our slow season. I work at the Quikrete manufacturing facility here in Indianapolis. I am the plant accountant. Someone's got to do it. When Fred, Bruce, and Jennifer get to talking at the plant, because there is nothing else to do, I end up getting sucked into the conversation. It makes for some interesting conversation as we are all very different but it also makes for a very long day. By 5:00, I was ready to go.

Vikki made my favorite tonight, amatriciana. What a wonderful wife. I was thinking about it at work and she read my mind while I was on the phone with her. A beautiful wife, amatriciana, and is good.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November, 09, 2008

Well, this was supposed to be an everyday diary type deal but it has not worked out that way.

I am recovering after a diagnosis of pneumonia. I have been coughing for over a month now but just the other day, Wednesday 11/05, I got sick at work and had to go home. I went to the doctor Thursday morning and was given the diagnosis and went home for the rest of the day. She wanted me to take off Friday but I had too much work and no time off. It is Sunday now, the cough still persists, but I do feel better.

Vikki is battling the cough now. She made soup today - Ah! Her wonderful miracle drug of a soup - Tasty and life-giving. She is still working around the house and baking a cake too. What a wonderful wife. I will have to be sure to give her a nice foot rub later.

Sam chose today to go out and get a job raking leaves. I don't trust that he will do a good enough job to deserve getting paid for it. I hope he does well. I can't get out there and help him in my condition. I'm lucky to be upright.

The Colts are playing the Steelers right now. It is not looking good so far. 14-7 and we just went 3-and-out again.

The pugs are expressing there displeasure. It might be the game or it could be that they just want to make noise. I don't know.