Monthly Archives: May 2010

Granny’s Here!

I have two granddaughters, four grandsons, and, at the moment, three granddogs, six grandcats, and assorted other grandpets. I’ve babysat/petsat many of them over the years. It’s a nerve-wracking business–the fear that a young creature in my care will get lost, hurt, or worse. Not only would I feel bad for them if something went wrong on my watch, but I’d be causing pain to their parents, my children, who would probably never speak to me again.

Out on the deck this morning, Rita the cat leapt for a low-flying bird. She missed the bird and barely managed to land on the deck railing, scrabbling to hold on. C and K told me she does this, safely so far, but it was gut-tightening thing to see.

Pablo is feeling blue with his folks away. He can barely muster the energy to beg for food when I eat. But he’s a trooper. It’s a dirty job but he knows someone has to do it. So he does.

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I’m Off!

Tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 5 AM I’m westward bound. K’s younger daughter is graduating high school and we’re going to the ceremony in Salt Lake City. I’m leaving Pablo and the cats in the capable hands of my mother. She will be sitting in my chair and writing blog posts the week I’m away. This is her first time blogging but I’m sure she’ll do an excellent job.

Take it away, Mom!

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Goodbye, E!

Pablo’s big sister, E, came to visit us for a few days. E was on break from grad school classes that she takes at a interior design college in NYC. She gave me much needed interior design advice, which I promise to put into effect, and we toured Philly’s Antique Row together.

Pablo was sad to see his big sis go, as you can tell by his downcast face. E promised to visit again, especially when she found out that Bolt bus fares back to the city are between $10 and $15–a real deal. Come back soon, E, we miss you already!

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Letting It All Hang Out

On our morning walk through our new neighborhood, Pablo and I saw the following birthday greeting. I don’t know who Teresa is, but she certainly has my support!

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Popeye the Pug???

Watching a video from Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 on the pug, I heard something new. Don’t put pressure on a pug’s neck or its eyes might pop out! The video implied that the slightest pressure might do the trick, causing puggie’s eyes to bulge like one of those rubber toys you squeeze. Alarmed, I did some research. It’s true that a dog’s eyes can pop out of the sockets (it’s called eye proptosis) and that flat-faced breeds are particularly susceptible. However, most instances occur when small dogs get into fights with large dogs. So I think it’s safe to go give Pablo a big hug without fear of his eyes popping out of his head!

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Pug + X = ?

This weekend my sister and her family came for a visit. Pablo always enjoys seeing his “cousins” who make a fuss over him and sneak him treats. My sister mentioned a TV show she saw that featured a chug, a cross between a pug and a chihuahua. I was familiar with the puggle, a pug and beagle mix, but I had never heard of a chug except in relation to beer. Curious, I did some research on pug hybrids and compiled the following list. I’m sure I’ve missed some, so if you know of others, please fill me in.

Bassugg (Pug and Basset Hound)

Brug (Pug and Brussels Griffon)

Buggs (Pug and Boston Terrier)

Chug ( Pug and Chihuahua)

Cocker Pug (Pug and Cocker Spaniel)

Daug (Pug and Dachshund)

Frug (Pug and French Bulldog)

Muggin (Pug and Miniature Pinscher)

Pug-A-Pei (Pug and Shar-Pei)

Pugapoo (Pug and Poodle)

Puggat (Pug and Rat Terrier)

Pugese (Pug and Chinese Crested)

Puginese (Pug and Pekingese)

Puggle (Pug and Beagle)

Pughasa (Pug and Lhasa Apso)

Pugland (Pug and Westie)

Pugottie (Pug and Scottish Terrier)

Pugshire (Pug and Yorkie)

Pug-Zu (Pug and Shih-Tzu)

Pushon (Pug and Bichon Frise)

Silky Pug (Pug and Silky Terrier)

Toy Poxer (Pug and Toy Fox Terrier)

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On Rereading Clara, the Early Years

I recently finished rereading Clara, the Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman. On the first go-around, I chuckled or laughed aloud on almost page, and this time was no different. There is something about Kaufman’s droll, deadpan style that I find enormously funny.

A longtime pug owner, Kaufman well knew how a pug could effortlessly worm its way into your heart. And Clara, a petite black pug, was craftier than the rest of her breed.¬†She writes that before Clara, “I was not a Pet Parent. The pugs were dogs. Cute dogs, willful dogs, lovable to be sure, but I was a Human. I was in charge. Then along came Clara, and all bets were off.”

Tucked into by her Sherpa Bag, Clara accompanies Kaufman, a columnist, on airplane journeys, to book signings, to TV and radio stations, and even to Saks. She leads a charmed life until the dreaded day when Kaufman and her husband return from Russia bearing their newly adopted infant son. Happily, Clara adapts to life with baby and so does Kaufman, who writes, “I had spent 20 years caring for small creatures, nurturing them, attending to their every need. And in exchange, they prepared me well.”

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