"The pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor"- Margot Kaufman

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Tribute

The inspiration for me to start this blog really came from the joy that I've found in reading about and sharing the experiences of others through their writing. A majority of the blogs that I follow (most fittingly) revolve around pugs, and I've come to look forward to catching up on their adventures almost as though they were a part of my own life in person. It's amazing how technology has allowed us to connect so seamlessly as a community of dog lovers across time and distance, forming friendships that couldn't possibly have existed otherwise. I've learned so much from these people, and I've had more than my share of laughs at the stories that they tell.

Of course, along with the joyful times and funny stories, we also share in the fear and heartache. When one of our dogs are sick (or whenever we share a frightening experience with someone we care about from afar), we are often as invested in the outcome as if we were there along with them. One of my favorite pug blogs is Owned by Pugs, and it was this post that inspired me to write today. When I read the title of the post, my heart sank, and tears started to flow with no regard for the fact that I was sitting at my office desk. I couldn't believe the degree of sadness that I felt at the loss of a dog that I'd never met, but whom I'd come to love and care about as though she were my own. Now I'm a major softie when it comes to animals, but I am not the only who felt this way about Sol. The comments following the post truly tell it all.

Sol was a rescue pug, brought into foster care and then adopted when she was much older than most families would even consider, and in poor health. Watching her blossom into a happy, well-adjusted and--dare I say--spoiled part of a loving family was such a blessing and an inspiration. Reading about the joy she found in the smallest luxuries in life--lying in a sunbeam; a hearty bowl of spaghetti; a walk on a fine day, even when she couldn't make it the whole distance--taught more about enjoying the simple nature of life and not "sweating the small stuff" than any amount of self-help books could. Seeing a sweet smile on her small, aged face was completely cathartic. She only had slightly more than year of such luxury before she passed last week, and the loss of her presence was both tragic and bittersweet.

I needed to write about Sol to pay tribute, but also to draw attention to the plight of senior pets (not just pugs) who are being dumped in numbers you wouldn't believe. Families have lots of reasons for giving up their pets; sometimes it's finances, sometimes it's time commitment; sometimes the factors are beyond their control, and sometimes not. But older animals have very small chances of being adopted. The chances of a pug Sol's age (15 years!) being adopted are slim to none, and yet they come into rescue all the time. I do not have a senior pug, and I don't know if I'm a strong enough person to take on an animal that I may only have with me for a year or two at best, but I'd like to think that I could find the generosity and strength within myself to open up my heart and my home to one some day. Some day, when I can afford it--both emotionally and financially--some day, I'd like to adopt a senior pug. To give another sweet grey face the best years of its life, no matter how short they may be.

Central Florida Pug Rescue (Sol's alma mater, if you will) has formed a memorial fund in her name for the care of aging rescue pugs just like Sol. Check it out, and while you're at it, take a peek at Kentuckiana Pug Rescue's Senior Pug Tribute. Maybe you'll find your inspiration in there somewhere, too.


THE PUGLET said...

Even though it made us leak, thanks for sharing Sol's story. We didn't know her until today, but still know the sadness everyone must feel now that she's sleeping...

martha said...

I've read Owned By Pug's for awhile, so I was one of the readers who was so very sad when she passed on. I really enjoyed what you wrote!