For reasons that escape me, I haven’t expressed much on this blog how obsessed I am with pugs. Let me catch you up to speed – I’m smitten with them.

I follow a multitude of celebrity pugs on social media, the most notable being of course Doug the Pug. I also have a Doug the Pug calendar by my desk at work that one of my best friends got me for my birthday, because hey — my people know me well!

It goes further than just social media though. Every time I see a pug on a walk, I either squeal, “OMGITSAPUG” or I will ask to pet it. There’s an older pug that I see around my office often (my office is near a bunch of apartments), and every time I rush over and ask his mom if I can scratch his snarfy face. Which he loves… because pugs love me and I love them and I want us to all be together.

My reason for loving pugs so much is 100% because of how much I miss BT. Of course I feel and speak about the loss of Tim more than the loss of his/our dog, but I ache for how much I miss that little dog. Even in the worst of her dementia, she would twist her body side to side and wiggle that tiny lump of a tail every time I bent down to greet her. Her attitude (and her farts) could fill up the entire room. Things are quieter, and a little less, without her.

Looking at pictures of Boston Terriers or seeing them on the streets still feels like a stab in the heart to me, but I don’t feel that way about Pugs. They’re still small, snorty and smushy faced little dogs but I don’t have any deep feelings of loss associated with them. So I write about pugs in my work outside this blog, watch videos of them on the internet and window shop on adoption pages for them. You know, totally normal behavior.

Then last week I had a pretty rough day. I got some unexpected news that a close family member fell seriously ill, and was on pins and needles all day waiting for updates. As I left my office, I told myself that I would just go to the gym, eat healthy leftovers for dinner and read a book until I fell asleep. That is until I turned the corner to my neighborhood and saw a small tan creature on the side of the road.

First I thought it was one of the feral cats in the neighborhood, but as I parked my car near it I realized it was way too fat to be a cat. Face down in the grass snorting away, I walked up to find a real life 100% in the flesh Pug.

“Hey little guy,” I said as it smushed its entire flat face into the earth to get a smell. He didn’t react as I walked closer, and I realized that the dog could barely hear anything. I tentatively reached out to pet its butt, not sure if I would scare him and get nipped at, but the pug turned his black face up to me and stared vaguely in my direction. He didn’t have a collar, and didn’t seem like he could hear or see all that much.

I pet the thick folds of his neck fur and scanned the neighborhood to see if anyone was around. Nobody was walking nearby calling for a dog, and the houses were all quiet with shut doors. So I scooped him the pug up and walked to my car.

After the short drive to my house, I first posted on Nextdoor about finding the dog and then put my new friend in the closed garage with a water bowl and dog bed while I tended to my own animals. Mr. Pug let me know that he was incredibly put out by the accommodations by barking non-stop in my garage. I sat with him on the floor for a minute to figure out my next step, which was taking him to the vet to get his chip scanned.

What I thought would be a simple exercise in calling the owners on his chip turned into a few hour series of tracking this little dog down. I knew his name was Murphy, but that’s about it. His chip was registered to DFW Pug Rescue, but they claimed to have no info on him. I chatted off and on with the intake coordinator at Austin Pug Rescue (who was SUPER helpful and nice by the way), and eventually she called the vet who used to work with their combined pug rescues and turns out that vet remembered the dog and was able to contact the owners.

While all of this worked out, I set the little guy up in my laundry room away from my wolf pack. He wasn’t super thrilled, but took a nap in BT’s old bed and didn’t bark. I went to dinner with my roommate, and as we turned back into the neighborhood I noticed an open gate to the backyard of a house right by where I found Murphy Puggy McPuggerson a few hours earlier.

“Think I should knock on their door and ask if they lost a pug?” I joked with my friend.

Turned out I should have, because about thirty minutes later the owner called me and said that was her house. By this time I began to realize how much pugs shed (the answer is about 100x more than Boston Terriers) and knew I had to return dear Murphy back to his people. So I scooped him up in my arms, and walked back to their house with his little scruffy breaths against my chest.

Of course they were delighted to get their beloved old pug back. The gate had somehow been opened/blew open, and since Murphy Puggy McPuggerson (I coined his new middle and last name, you’re welcome) is pretty much blind and deaf he just kind of wandered away.

“Thank you so much! He can’t really see or hear,” the owner said in her pajamas.

“Oh of course, I saw him on the road and didn’t want someone to hit him. I used to have an old Boston Terrier who was also deaf and blind, so I know how that goes.”

“Aw yeah, they’re great little guys.”

“Yeah. It’s funny,” I continued. “I’m COMPLETELY OBSESSED with pugs and when I was driving home from work I saw him on the road and thought, COOL THE UNIVERSE SENT ME A PUG!

The owner looked at me strangely, and hugged Murphy a bit tighter away from me.

“Well thanks… goodnight!”

So that’s how I almost had an ancient pug, and also scared a perfectly nice couple into thinking I tried to kidnap their animal.

17 COMMENTS

  1. As a lover of your blog AND the owner of an 11 year old pug, this post delighted me. My girl is about 50% blind, 50% deaf, and 100% sweet. They really are the best damn dogs. She is high-maintenance (health-wise). She sheds SO much. But you cannot be curled up with a pug and be sad. I am sure of it. And I think pug-owners are the best, too. Because how can you own one and not have a sense of humor!? Glad Murphy is back home, but I do hope the universe sends you one… some day.

    • Honestly if I didn’t have Eliot (who’s pretty dog aggressive at times and pugs can’t really defend themselves in any way) I would already have adopted a pug. The Austin rescue put one up before Christmas that was an older 8y/o female who needed a house without stairs, and was homeless because her owner died. My heart BROKE seeing her pictures. I know she found/will find a lovely home, but I am sure it’s only a matter of time before I permanently rescue a little snuffy guy into my life. You’re right – you can’t be sad when they’re snuggled up with you!

  2. bahaha. I would so say something like “the universe sent me a pug” and creep out the people. So glad you were able to find his people and I totally understand the stabby heart feeling when you see Bostons. When we fostered Boomer right after losing Sampson my brain literally came apart. Crying all the time. Once he was adopted and I got Dexter (furthest thing from a Dane ever…) I was better. But phew. The feels.

  3. I’m gonna stick with “rescue” as word choice instead of stole. I’m glad Murph finally made his way home. Also I think your new title should be Pug Whisperer

  4. ha ha I love this. People who love Pugs, LOVE Pugs!! I work with two of them. One of which, I bought her car from her. And the only bumper sticker that would NOT come off was the “My Pug is smarter than your Honor Roll Student.” So, now I look like the crazy Pug lover driving down the street. They are great dogs though. I’ve never ever met a mean one.

  5. Loved this! I love even more that there are animal people like you who will stop on the side of the road to save a life. Bless you! I’m into pit bulls but my best friend is a pug fanatic & I get lots of puggy love when I visit. They’re so adorable & unique, & adept at getting what they want. She fosters for our local pug rescue & adopts from them as well as random strangers giving away pugs in front of Kroger. The universe is a wise matchmaker.

  6. PUGS!!! I love them!!! I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so I have a special place in my heart for smooshed nose puppies!

  7. Thank you for the story. I had to put my eight year old pug down on December 20 because of an intervertebrate disc disease. Your story was heartwarming

  8. You’re a good person, Lauren. It heartens me to know that you stopped to care for that little guy. And my first Doberman was also obsessed with Pugs. Every time we’d go to the dog park she would snub dogs her own size and would only want to say hi to Pugs. And the neighborhood I lived in in Chicago Pugs and Wheaton Terriers were THE dogs.

    Great story. 🙂

  9. I got my pug from the DFW Pug Rescue – they are lovely folks. If you are ever in Ft Worth, you are welcome to come pet my little Bandit!

  10. I think you need one. Or two. They’re happier in pairs.
    I’m glad you kept Murphy safe and reunited him with his people. BUT WHY WEREN’T THEY LOOKING FOR HIM?!

  11. So glad the story had a happy ending!! Murphy sure is a lucky dude that you found him, especially with him being deaf and blind.

    Pugs definitely have their appeal and I understand why you’re so enamored. 🙂 I, too, didn’t know how much they shed until I visited someone who had two and emerged from the house completely covered in hair… the volume really was astounding!

    (P.S. I hope Murphy’s owners get his nail trimmed soon. Ugh!)

  12. I just came across the blog, you chose the cool caption with image. After read the blog I realized that pug chose you. As other saying that you should have to owe another one, I completely agree with the.

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