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.


Punchbugpug said...

Super post Denny!!! I had no idea you had a blog!!! The memories are wonderful to put down...whether good or bad! Thanks for sharing how your wonderful Pug family came to be!

Hank said...

This is wonderful! Thank you for telling everyone's story as I get confused at times. ;)

LOL at Ernie the fun police! AND...I'd forgotten how rough the cyclops looked when you first got her. She doesn't even look like the same dog now!

Suzy said...

What a great story! And I don't think of them as foster "failures" I think of them as "successes" :)

Nicole said...

Hi Denny. I just came across this in my effort to get an update of my babies Tugger and Lula. I was forced to surrender them on Christmas eve 2009 for financial reasons and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have often wondered what has become of them and how they are doing. I am so excited to see they found permanent homes, and in Seattle no less! My world travelers. lol I want to thank you so much for taking such good care of my babies while they were in your care. I miss them so much!!! If you are in touch with their new owners I would love a current picture of them and to know they are doing ok. I think of them often, I still have all their pictures and hope and pray that they are well.
Thank you and I will leave my email address if you are able to obtain a new picture or update that you can pass along to me.
Nicole Morrison
cbjpl31(at) (hopefully putting it in this way will help me avoid any spammers! lol