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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little Prince

Handsome little prince needs his face cleaned, but he's ridiculously naughty about letting me clean it. He is an expert paw swiper--won't let me anywhere NEAR his wrinkles, he just bats my hands away! And I have a cream that I've been trying to put on his dry little nose, but FORGET about it. It's impossible to get my finger anywhere near his nose without accidentally putting the stuff in his eye.

Now his poor, boopable little nose feels like croc scales. :( Got any tricks you'd care to share? Seriously, and make 'em good. This pug is BAD with a capital B.A.D.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pug Perch

Whoever said that nook was begging for a dog bed was right on the money. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Pug Never Forgets.

There are a lot of differences between these little guys and humans - one being that they live much more "in the moment" than we do. Maybe this enables our canine buddies in rescue to "forget" their old lives and move on to happier new ones, which can only be a good thing. But I have to say...people who think dogs don't have memories at all are nuts.

Klausie's memory is sharp as a tack. He remembers every little thing that has ever happened to him (a slip on a hardwood floor? now they're terrifying! - a puppy that nipped him once a little too hard? puppies are SCARY!) He's internalized every remotely negative interaction he's ever had with another dog, and for the past two years has become increasingly reactive to other dogs on leash - especially big ones. While I plan to enlist the help of a trainer soon to help me work on desensitizing and socializing him, our plan of attack for the time being has basically been avoidance. I give him a bit of freedom to encounter dogs his size or smaller and watch him closely for a reaction (usually with small dogs he behaves well), but big dogs are almost guaranteed to turn him into a lunging, snarling beast (yes, we're still talking about a little black pug here - I do see the humor in this) - so when we see a large dog, we cross the street.

Well, this morning on our walk, we encountered an old buddy of Klausie's - one we used to see in the neighborhood back in his puppy days. Lenny is a large black dog, possibly some kind of lab/chow mix. We hadn't seen him in three whole years.

(Lenny lookalike.)

Lenny was raised by pugs, LOVES PUGS, and will drag his owner across the street to encounter a pug. (Much like myself - ha!)

So I see and recognize Lenny and his owner from across the street, but my plan is just to keep walking. Lenny is a BIG BOY. Lenny is not Klausie's type these days, so to speak. But Lenny had other plans. He saw my pugs, and he came a-pulling! Across the street they came, Lenny's owner trying to hold him back but giving him lead, apologizing but saying "He just loves pugs. He's SO friendly." Klausie was crouched down in the grass, pulling his "cat stalking a bird" pose. I only had a few seconds to make a decision - either pick up the pug, or let him do his thing. I was nervous, but my instinct told me that he'd be ok - that this was a friendly dog, and it was important to give him the opportunity to have a positive encounter with a large dog.

And he did GREAT! That little boy was wagging his tail and pouncing around like a puppy! I KNOW he remembered Lenny. And Lenny remembered him, too. His owner said he never pulls like that, but he just HAD to come see us. :)

It just gave me hope. I was so proud of my little boy. If I can help build his confidence back up, one positive encounter at a time, maybe some day we'll be able to have walks that aren't so stressful and anxiety-provoking. Maybe I'll be able to let Natty socialize without having to worry about Klausie breaking up the party.

And if not, well...at least we know we've got one more friend in the neighborhood. :)

(Klausie in the 'hood, circa 2008. Can you believe that harness still fits him today?)

I'm so proud of you little buddy. We'll keep taking baby steps, together. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Move

Maybe it's a bit misleading to title this post "The Move." After all, we have moved five times in as many years--this is hardly the one and only Move. (Are we a little bit nuts? Surely. Are we picky about where we live and what we expect? Totally. Is it a bit of an adventure? Always!) :)

Anyway, the reason we haven't posted in a while is that we spent last weekend moving into a new apartment! We've retreated from the far north side of Chicago back to an area that we knew and loved a few years back. We're literally two blocks away from the first apartment that the pug dad and I shared together--where Klausie roamed as an "only child" and where we became a family. :) We're so excited to be back!

If you'll be so kind as to tolerate a few more blurry cell phone photos, I promise to try to get some higher quality photos up on the blog this weekend. (I mean, how are you supposed to have a Klaus & Natty screensaver when the pug mom keeps posting crappy photos? I know...I know.)

So without further ado, here's what we've been up to:

I hung out with the little guys at the old apartment while their dad directed the movers to the new place. They were stressing a little bit, so naturally I bribed them to stop their whining.

Bully sticks for everyone! (Well, for every pug.)

Nom nom nom. Natty couldn't care less when she has a mouthful of meaty goodness. Move, what move?

Klausie, on the other hand, is a sensitive little bean. He soon gave up on his bully stick in favor of sitting on my lap and surveying his former domain. (Where are we going, Mom? Will Dad be there? Do we have to take Natty?) And so Natty, the lucky duck, got two meat sticks.

After a seemingly endless drive with one nearly hyperventilating pug (Klaus, my god, he HATES the car) and an eerily silent Natty (no doubt wondering if her brother was going to survive the move...he's as delicate as a goldfish) we arrived in the new/old neighborhood!

A view from the front balcony in toward a great room filled with boxes:

The pugs are going to love being able to wander in and out from their own two private decks. (We had to share an outdoor space at our last apartment, so they didn't have much freedom.)

Now you see her.

Now you don't.

There's this weird cutout in our apartment (to fit the stairway) that we weren't quite sure what to do with.

But now I realize that it was made JUST for Natty!

The girl's cool as long as she's got a good perch from which to look out the window. :)

Aren't you, Natty?

More to come soon!