Monthly Archives: May 2011

Dogs and Wine, A Winning Combination

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

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Pablo’s Fan Club

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Pug in a Boat

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.

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Order of the Pug

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.

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We’re Off to See the Wizard

REUTERS/Mike Blake

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.

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Toddlers and 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.

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To My Mom: Happy Mother’s Day!

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