Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010 - Why Do They DO That?

Not that it takes much to confuse me, but the pugs manage to do it with staggering ease sometimes.

The other day, for example, Cj was locking up Freya in her crate before heading out to work. Freya gets a treat for going in. The pugs, who are not locked up during the day, expect a treat as well, and Loki and Spencer sometimes run into their crates to ensure they get a goodie, even though the doors will remain open. Well, Loki tries, at least. On this particular day, though, he stops short of the door and starts hopping from foot to foot, whining and fussing. Cj doesn't see anything at first, but a closer peek reveals George. George dozing INSIDE Loki's crate. George, old, crippled, blind terror of all the other dogs. They all know better than to cross him or to wake him. So Loki would rather be re-neutered than risk walking into that crate. Out of pity, Cj takes the risk and gently slips a finger under George's collar, hoping to perhaps wake him gently enough to not lose the digit. George wakes, tilts his head, and gives her a HUGE grin. He is fully aware of the distress he's causing Loki, and probably wasn't actually asleep at all. Just faking it and enjoying the fuss. He does that now and then - just works the other dogs' nerves for no other reason than he still can. It's good to be The Senior. Loki got his treat, George got his and a good scritch besides. The Senior wins again.

Then there's Sammie. Sammie is much like a toddler - no matter how sleepy he is, he'll fight fiercely against actually going to sleep for fear of missing something. Today we watched with much amusement as he swayed and sagged, eyes half closed, but simply refusing to just lie down and go to sleep. At one point, his paws started to slide, his head sagged, and he executed a perfect faceplant right into Sherman's butt. He stayed that way for a few minutes, then dragged his head back upright (eyes still shut), sat and swayed again for a while, then staggered off to the other side of the desk chair. He sat there for a while, until he finally waddled off to the bed and went to sleep for real.

I don't know. I try to understand them. Still, there are days that, much as I may try to figure out what's going on in those little heads, there is a part of me that suspects I'm probably happier not knowing. When I see Archie, carrying off Cj's jeans, or Spencer, lying comfortably on the kitchen floor, licking the front of the stove, do I really want a deep understanding of their motives? Ignorance is, after all, said to be bliss. I'm not sure who said that, but my guess is that he or she lived with a pug.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010 - Nothing You Could Say - My Guys


Lots of changes around here! Ferragamo's moved out, not adopted, but "pugnapped" by another OPR member. She'd volunteered to help us out by picking him up at the vet since I couldn't get there before they closed that day. She picked him up, and promptly fell head over heels! Ferr, you may remember, is a Bugg - half Boston Terrier, half pug, and it seems she grew up with Bostons. Ferr reminded her of one of her best buddies, so they're getting along fabulously at her place now.

Lest you think an empty bunk at the Shady Rest ever stays empty for long, Hawk moved in last week. He's a BIG fellow - not fat, just tall, broad-chested, cobby and buff. Very handsome and a big ol' loverboy. Everything the textbooks say a pug should be - funny, friendly, affectionate and outgoing. Everybody, human, feline or canine, is his new pal. He won't be here too long - he already has a forever home waiting, we just need to make sure he's properly vetted and chipped and he'll be on his way.

So, enough about the fosters. What had me thinking today was my guys - Sammie, Spencer and Loki - the pugs who've found their forever home in the ever-changing Shady Rest. This place that has been but a way station for so many, is their only world. They've all had lives before, but unless something goes radically wrong, this will be their last place to call home.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty. While it's tremendously rewarding for us humans to work with rescue and foster, I have some doubts about the "rewards" for our own dogs. While other pugs are the center of attention most of the time in their own homes, ours must share time, attention, scritches and belly rubs with other dogs, a constantly shifting array of foster brothers who come without warning and depart without explanation.

Still, none of this seems to upset or confuse them. They have grown accustomed to the changes, the coming and going, the sharing, and they accept it all with good natured calm. Other people fret and worry about "How do I introduce a new dog at home?" but we don't. We can leave with one pug in tow in the morning and return in the evening with a completely different one, and all we have to do is announce, "New guy on deck! Be NICE!" and all is well. The newbie will be sniffed from stem to stern, there may be a formal hump or two, then they're considered part of the pack. In no time at all, the new kid will be dozing in a bed next to Sammie, or running to the window to bark next to Spencer.

They make me proud and, as always, they make me think. Would it kill us humans to maybe take life the same way? To accept new people as siblings of a sort, or at least to give them a fair chance to fit in before we nip at them? To trust that change probably isn't all bad and sometimes it can be very good? To share what we have, trusting that there will be enough to go around? To leave past hurts in the past and wait with an open mind and a hopeful heart to see what today brings? How bad could it be to live, just for a while, like a Shady Rest pug?

Just thinkin'...

Y'all take care now.