Black Pug Puppy being cuddled by a red bearded man in a black t-shirt

PUG-PAWRENTING; the emotional roller coaster that is Pug ownership

Haylo Puggies,

How are you going? Did you have a pugtastic Easter with your fur-family Easter-egg hunting? Did you find lots of (Puggie-friendly) eggs? I’m thinking you hit the jackpot if anything is to go by the pictures we saw on Facebook and Instagram.
Luckily, we were able to go on our fur-family holiday with friends; enjoying an easy long-weekend surrounded by kids and various fur-kids (Pugs and non-Pugs LOL!), chatting about various topics including the good, the bad and the not so pretty aspects of living a fur-child life.
Notwithstanding the obvious myths we all know and not really love about Pugs, one thing that my friends were amazed about was that Pugs where surrendered or needed rehoming because the eager soon to be Pug-parents didn’t get to know what it was like to live the ‘real Pug-Life’ before spending a lot of money on a Pug-puppy. They were surprised that even today that some people don’t understand that their Pug-puppy would grow / evolve into something that they were not prepared for… an adult Pug with its very own personality. My first Pug was an innocent victim of this very circumstance.
I know how odd it must sound with all of the information available on-line these days, but sometimes reading a how-to guide doesn’t always give you a picture of the emotional roller coaster ride that is living the Pug-life. So, I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences after almost 20-years of “Livin’ the Pug Life”.

Black Pugalier and a fawn Pugalier being cuddled by their fur-parents at a cafe table

Picture: Bella and Benny enjoying a cuddle at the cafe

Know your boundaries and then be ready to bend them all if needs be. One of my favourite parts of being a Pug-parent to rescue Pugs is getting to know them and their unique personalities. Andrew and I know that adopting or rescuing means accepting them for who they are since they may have had a rough start to life, and that some rules need to be “adjusted” to suit their individual physical or psychological needs. I do believe that Pugs suffer abandonment issues as much as humans do, so you have to be empathic whilst they learn to trust another Hooman as well as recognise that some Pugs take a little longer than others to adjust.
My first Pug Louis (a.k.a Fatdog) was neglected and abused and did not trust men, so when Andrew and I started dating, we slowly introduced them to each other with Fatdog setting the pace. When Andrew moved in, there was a period of adjustment that makes for some funny stories for another time, but as Andrew says, they came to a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ in the end that saw them bond until the day Fatdog passed of old age.
Enduring patience is your middle name. Every Pug we have ever lived with has figured out what button to push that will try the patience of ten saints and probably Lucifer himself. I don’t think I have met a Pug-parent yet that hasn’t said that their little angel is only good for other people or hasn’t ever pushed them to the point of locking them in a room for an hour’s timeout. Like children, Pugs will look at you with innocence written all over their beautiful faces … whilst sitting in the epicentre of the chaos they have created whilst your back was turned; doing it out of boredom or because they’re not happy with you and that’s their way of letting you know.
Winston was especially good at this; he was so head strong at times that I would have to walk away so as not to strangle him after having found my office trashed for the second time in a day or needing to wash my foot after having stepped in a “little surprise parcel” that wasn’t there moments before. I loved him with all my heart but even I had my moments with him!

Office floor covered in rubbish from a waste paper bin

Picture: Some of Winston's handy work in my office

Your heart will burst, skip a beat or break in two in a consistent cycle. All of our Pugs have given us love, loyalty, entertainment, snot, snout and Puggie-tude in equal proportions. They have also drained our bank accounts dry with hospital bills, given us minor heart attacks with their various stunts (including death defying leaps off retaining walls), had us crying inconsolably when we have had to make “that decision”, and defied all laws of nature by getting into pantries, bins and “locked” rooms on the off chance of finding treaties.
Rosie is our wannabe Butterfly-pug; she loves sitting in the Puggie Buggie with Charles when it suits, and when it doesn’t, she’ll just leap out if it without warning … I am sure for a split second she thinks she’s flying until she face-plants into the foot path as I almost run over the top of her with the Puggie Buggie having not stopped fast enough. I am waiting for the day she doesn’t get up and shake it off like the Taylor Swift song, but for now she floats like a feather for about 0.5 seconds before she drops like a rock.
You will live in fear of treading on your Pug’s paws every day. Pugs have no concept of personal space or understanding of a reasonable distance between your feet and their body when standing next to you but outside of your field of view. You will feel equal portions guilt and frustration daily … guilt for having steps on their paws and frustration that even after all this time they still do it!
I will easily apologise a dozen times in a day to Charles for tripping over him (he is a lot slower at getting out of the way these days) or stepping on his paws because even after 10 years he still stands, sits or lies down just behind my feet when I stand still for more than 30 seconds. My Father calls him the “Foreman” when he comes over to stay and watches Charles follow me around watching everything I do, and then trip me up because he’s that close to my feet! I sometimes wonder if he does it on purpose because he’ll usually get an apology cuddle out of it because I feel so bad for doing it in the first place since it really is all my fault, and he is totally blameless in every trip, accidental kick or stomp!

Charles sleeping in between my feet in my office

Picture: Charles happily lying in between my feet in my office

At the end of the day, being a Pug-parent means handing over your personal space, lap, bank account, sleep-ins, clothes, vacuum cleaner, holiday plans and much more in exchange for unconditional love, loyalty and those beautiful Puggie smiles and cuddles. It's a good thing we love our Puggies so much that we’ll always apologise even when it’s not technically our fault.
I’d love to hear about how you live your Pug Life; what emotions best describe your rollercoaster ride with your Pug?
Please share with the rest of the Grumble below as we'd love to chat with you, and we always respond.
Until next time Puggies, have a wonderful week and look forward to snuffling with you soon. 

From Donna, Charles and Rosie

Founder of Pug Parties and Pug Supermodels  
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Other articles in the Pug Community series:
  • Calling my Pug ugly is as offensive as calling me Fat! Read it HERE
Guides to help your Pug clothing shopping:
  • Not sure how to measure your Puggie for that pawfect fit? Then CLICK HERE
  • Not sure how to use the SIZE MY PUGGIE tool? Then CLICK HERE 


Blog Header Photo credit - Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash  


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