Of all the tributes pouring in to social media sites, it’s strange to see how many fans primarily remember Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire or as the voice of Aladdin. To me, he was Mork from the planet Ork. It was obvious even then, though, that the small screen could never contain his genius.
As I was reading up on him, I was surprised to learn that Williams was a fellow pugophile. In 2010, he adopted a pug from Curly Tail Pug Rescue. The pug was the only surviving pup from a litter born to a mother rescued from a puppy mill. Williams rechristened the pug Leonard Bean, aka Lenny, and was often spotted in his neighborhood walking his new friend. The Bark has a short piece on Williams and Lenny which you can read here. Perhaps the best way you can honor the memory of Williams’ is to adopt a rescue pug and give it a forever home.
by Christian Oth for The New York Times
Hey, pug lovers, this photo of Billy Joel posing with his pug Sabrina is from an article in Sunday’s New York Times. K is a big-time motorcycle enthusiast and has been on the fence about getting a sidecar for his Airhead. This photo made up his mind, so soon you might see Pablo sitting pretty in his very own sidecar. Of course, he’ll be wearing a pair of Doggles!
BTW–Don’t you think Billy Joel looks a bit like a pug?
I saw this photo of Donna Tartt (author of The Little Friend) and Pongo, her pug, online and just had to post it. Check out Flavorwire’s other photos of famous writers at home. Sorry, folks, this is the only one that features a pug, but catch the one of Edward Gorey draped with cats. There’s also an eye-opening shot of Hemingway in bed wearing nothing but the New York Times.
My mother, the writer Joan Kane Nichols, has a longstanding interest in Charles Dickens. This past Saturday she gave a talk at the Dickens Fellowship in Philadelphia where she discussed in great detail how dogs influenced his life and work. I attended and learned a lot, including that King Charles spaniels were once bred with pugs to shorten their snouts. Who knew?
For the next several weeks, she’ll be posting more info about Dickens and his dogs on her blog, Dickens: women, children, and dogs. The first post, about his faithful dog Turk (pictured above), is already up, so wander over and take a gander.
Donna Tartt with Pongo; copyright Jill Krementz
Writers and dogs, they go together like rice and beans, soap and water, frick and frack…. Well, you get the idea. Writing can be a lonely business, and the diversions of my faithful canine companion have helped me untangle many a mixed metaphor, not to mention straighten out dangling participles.
Jill Krementz, photographer and author (and widow of Kurt Vonnegut), has clicked her fair share of famous writers and their pooches. Take a peek here to see some of the literary pairings.
It’s hard to believe that the dog pictured above is a pug. But he is. The oil painting, which hangs in the Tate, is titled “The Painter and His Pug” by William Hogarth, a British 18th century artist. Hogarth was a lover of the pug breed and owned three in his lifetime: Pugg, Trump, and Crab. The one pictured in the 1745 painting is Trump. Hogarth believed his own features resembled a pug’s and included the dog in his painting to represent the feisty, pugnacious side of his personality.
So much for today’s art lesson. I found the painting remarkable because it shows how much the breed has changed over the centuries. Trump has a much longer snout and legs than a modern pug and no where near its wrinkles. And since Trump was posed sitting who knows if his tail curled or not.
Poor Pablo. Yesterday he jumped off our bed, same as he does every morning, to follow K downstairs for breakfast. This time he must have landed funny and sprained his left leg. I didn’t realize the extent of his injury until after his walk. His refusal to go past our house should have been a major clue, but I figured he was being his usual stubborn self. For the rest of the day he confined himself to a cushion on the floor, not even coming into the kitchen when I opened a can of tuna for my lunch. This was how I knew he was really hurting.
Winston Churchill’s daughter, Mary, had a pet pug named Punch. When Punch became ill, Churchill wrote this poem for him:
Oh, what is the matter with poor Puggy-wug
Pet him and kiss him and give him a hug.
Run and fetch him a suitable drug,
Wrap him up tenderly all in a rug,
That is the way to cure Puggy-wug.
Well, I followed the British Bulldog’s advice (minus the drug since aspirin and other pain relievers can be harmful, especially to small dogs) and I’m happy to report Pablo’s much improved today. He was even eager to go for his walk, although I insisted that he cut it short. When we got back, he took up his usual residence under my desk.