Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Pug's Tail

or Tale, depending on how you look at it.

I have posted about Pippa, our wonderful little fawn pug, but I realized I haven't ever shared the whole story here so here goes:

I had a Cocker Spaniel as a teenager. I adored her. I love dogs and have wanted one for many years but we had babies and small kids and I was unwilling to have a new dog to train in addition to the kids that took an enormous amount of my time. I did the research, though -- I knew I didn't want another Cocker, mostly because the one we had had such a sweet disposition and I knew that is relatively rare in that breed. They tend to be a little high strung in general. And I was not up for the amount of maintenance a Cocker's coat needs ... that whole grooming, brushing, shedding thing was not in my ideal picture.

An online quiz led me to the Havanese, but when I attempted (multiple times) to reach the contact listed at the AKC and NEVER heard back, I gave up. Another breed listed in my Top 10 was the Pug. I definitely wanted a dog from a responsible breeder, not a puppy mill, and the small amount of investigating turned up no legitimate breeders in this area. I had no plans to travel a long way to pick up a dog and no desire to pay to have one flown to me, so I left it alone. Shortly thereafter I found out I was expecting Spencer, and considered myself out of the market.

Once Spencer turned 1, I did some more investigating and found several active breed rescue groups, including Pug Rescue of Minnesota (which I find I cannot link to because they seem to have disappeared). I registered with them, filled out an application, and waited. And waited. And waited.

Not a lot of activity in that group. We made our move to California and I stayed on the list, notifying them of our status. We rarely heard from them, and often if a pug was available, it was old or ill or not suitable for a home with children. So more waiting.

After we moved back here, the kids became more obsessed with getting a dog. And, frankly, I thought it was good timing, too. Spencer is almost 5, I am still at home full time, and things are stable enough that getting a dog won't be as stressful as it would have previously.

Hearing nothing from the Rescue organization (as usual), I mentioned it to a friend, who suggested Petfinder. You can search by breed and region there. Unfortunately not much turned up in our region. When we decided to visit my grandmother In Arkansas for Thanksgiving, I typed in her ZIP code to see what I could find. Lo and behold, there was this little face looking back at me from the screen.

I immediately contacted the shelter via email, asking for an application. But "Foxy," as she was known then (aside: who gives their dog a stripper name, for pete's sake?) was no longer available. Her potential new owner was coming that weekend to introduce her to her new pug sibling. I was sad, but decided it just wasn't the right time. Imagine my shock and joy at receiving an email just a few days later that they wanted me to fill out the application because she was still available.

I didn't ask questions -- just filled out the paperwork and faxed it in. After several weeks of reference checking, phone interviews, etc., we got the news that we could meet her over Thanksgiving weekend and if all went well we could bring her home then.

This organization, Pug Rescue of Northwest Arkansas, is terrific -- a group of volunteers who love their Pugs. They are always looking for donations and homes for their animals. If you feel so inclined, your help would be greatly appreciated.

So there you have it -- the story of how we got our dog.
Honestly, have you ever seen a cuter little furry face?


  1. Susan9:17 PM

    It's the tongue that gets me!

  2. Okay-- I'm REALLY surprised Vivian isn't all over this.... she must be out-of-town.

  3. And here is Vivian finally catching up with life. I think I used to know someone with Pug Rescue of Northwest Arkansas, through a pug email list. Let me know if you are interested in joining.

    We used the Tale/Tail title for our other dog on our family website built way back when it was in, take a look:

    I wish I had a chance to show you Bucky when you were here. He'd be all over you.