Two of my favorite things–dogs and wine–were united recently in a unique contest. For the third year in a row, Dog Art Today and Mutt Lynch Winery held a dog art wine label contest. The theme was “Naughty,” captured perfectly in the winning entry above. “Out of Reach” by Nancy Schutt will be made into a limited-editon wine label for a tail-wagging Cabernet blend.
I just found out about the contest so I wasn’t able to vote. Next year I’ll be on the watch for it. Take a peek here at all the contest entries. For pug lovers, I’ve pulled out the ones featuring our short-snouted friends.
"Naughty" by Jennifer Davis
"The Rascal Is Out!" by Joyce Danko
by Amy Palermo
"Bah" by Susan Sabo
My bro-in-law shared with me this 1870 Victorian oil painting by James Tissot, entitled “Young Woman in a Boat.” Huddled in the back is a pug, a get-me-out-of-here expression on its mug, looking just as Pablo did the time I took him on a boat ride. The only difference? Pablo wore a lifejacket.
Remember the fictional International Order of the Friendly Sons of the Raccoons that Ralph and Norton belonged to in The Honeymooners? Their official club greeting was to sound “Woooo” and then wiggle the raccoon tail on their caps. Well that order can’t hold a candle to the very real Order of the Pug, a Masonic-type lodge for Catholics in the the 18th century. The porcelain snuff box pictured above was designed as emblems of the lodge. (If you have a spare 12,000 to 18,000 pounds laying around, it goes up for auction in July at Bonhams in London.)
Here’s the lowdown on the order:
Members were called Pugs.
New members being initiated into the order were required to wear a dog collar–wait, it gets better–and gained entrance to the lodge by scratching on the door.
Then the initiates were hooded so they couldn’t see and led around a symbol-filled carpet while members barked at them between shouts of “Memento mori” (Latin for “Remember you shall die.”).
The final bit to the ceremony involved the Pug wannabe kissing the backside of a porcelain pug dog. (Kinky, huh?)
Why was the pug chosen over all other beasts? For its loyalty, trustworthiness, and steadiness.
Unfortunately, the Order of the Pugs was outlawed in 1748. I say bring it back. Pablo kindly offers up his butt to be kissed.
I make no secret that my favorite movie of all time is The Wizard of Oz. What’s not to love, a scary witch, flying monkeys, and all those Munchkins. It’s almost a perfect movie. The only improvement? If a pug had been cast as Toto and not a Cairn terrier. (Don’t get me wrong, the dog that landed the role did a hell of a job.) Since that can never be, the above photo almost makes up for it.
Snapped on May 7th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the photo shows two participants for Pug Rescue of San Diego County’s 20th Pug Party. This year’s theme was “The Emerald City: There’s No Place Like Home.” Very fitting, since the festival’s proceeds go to finding new homes for rescue pugs.
Filed under Costumes, pugs
copyright: Danilo Rizzuti
Toddlers are cute, no disputing that. They’re also a handful. But even so, I’ve always loved the age. Toddlers have so much energy and enthusiasm for life. Every daisy they see has to be picked, every box upturned, every new corner investigated. If truth be told, they’re often a bit dopey, but charmingly so. Lacking a wide vocabulary, they struggle to be understood. Their wants are simple. A warm lap to cuddle on, a crayon to draw with, an ice-cream cone to lick.
Today, while walking Pablo and watching the folds of his ears bounce as he rushed forward to greet the day, I thought how similar pugs are to toddlers. Pugs are such happy-go-lucky dogs, friendly, loving, and yes, a little dopey. So it’s no wonder I’m drawn to them. Pugs–they’re the toddlers of dogdom.
I’m a big fan of Tomi Ungerer, a talented artist who has written and illustrated numerous picture books, many of which I read as a child and now collect as an adult. For some reason, I never knew he created a picture book featuring a pug as its hero. I immediately ordered a copy.
Flix , published in 1998, starts with a loving cat couple expecting their first offspring. When the baby is born, both parents are surprised to discover he’s a dog, and more specifically than that, a pug! Mom and Dad recover from the shock, take their newborn home to Cattown, love him, and raise him as a cat. (Is this why Ungerer chose a pug? The breed is often mentioned as being catlike.)
Cats and dogs rarely mingle in Cattown so poor Flix grows up with no friends to play with, teased by the other cats for his doggy ways. One day, though, he rescues a cat from drowning and is proclaimed a hero, earning the respect of the cats. Later, he saves a poodle in distress and marries her, bringing her home to live in Cattown. The two are thrilled when they become parents–to a beautiful, bouncing kitten.
Like many of Ungerer’s books, this story bout canine and feline race relations is definitely quirky (which is why I love his work). The illustrations are also wonderful, teeming with action and amusing details, such as a statue of a Saint Bernard in the church where the dogs marry and a rat-crossing sign in Cattown which orders drivers to speed up. If you collect picture books about pugs, as I do, this is one you won’t want to miss.
When Pablo first received this IQ toy from his grandma he found it a bit of a challenge. It’s really meant for a much bigger dog, one that can remove the yellow lids with its mouth. Pablo tried and tried, but his jaws only open so wide. Ever resourceful, he hammered at the lids with his paws. At first it took him anywhere from three to five minutes to remove a single lid and retrieve a tasty bit of duck jerky tucked underneath. Practice makes perfect, though, and he’s whittled his time down to three and a half minutes to remove all four! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When food is involved, this pug is a genius!