For years, while living in California, I was heavily involved in Pug Rescue. It started with taking in Puck, my wild child pug mix, to teach him some manners, to make him a little more adoptable. It continued on, until a few months before we moved to Texas, when I sent my last foster pug off with his new family. During that time, I served as President, on the Board, as transport and as foster home to too many pugs to count. I took in all sorts of pugs, but I mostly took in the hospice pugs. I lived in a single story home, with a big fenced yard, and the time to take care of the special needs pugs.
A few years after I got involved, a pair of pugs came into rescue, and they were very special needs. One was a silly, older, senile pug named Pugsly. I quickly renamed him Spud, and he became my resident "wanderer" - he spent hours and hours walking around. In the yard and in the house, he would walk in circles, until he either hit the bushes at the edge of the yard, or a wall in the house. Then I would pick him up, take him back to his starting spot, and he would start walking all over again.
He was turned in with a 9 or 10 year old little girl pug, by their owner's son, when their owner was put into a nursing home. This little girl's name was Cutie, and she couldn't walk, Some sort of spine problem was affecting her rear legs. She was slightly urine and fecal incontinent. And she was ornery. With a capital "O".
Cutie, sporting her "wheels"
When she first came to live with me, she could move around outside pretty well. The grass gave her traction, and she would tripod-hop around the yard, chasing the other dogs. In the house, the slippery floor gave her trouble, so she was set up on a big rug in the dining room, where she could go straight outside, and still see all the comings and goings in the main part of the house. She had a little crate, where she would go into when she needed to get away from the chaos of the other pugs.
As the years went on, her back legs got weaker and weaker, and her attitude got nastier and nastier. Her favorite "trick" was to sit in her crate and wait until all the dogs were let out of "her" door. Then she would shoot out of her crate, grab an unsuspecting victim, and try and drag them into her crate. We quickly put a stop to the bullying, but she never stopped trying to drag victims into her lair. Eventually, she lost all control of her legs, bowel and bladder. She had a cart, but it seemed to irritate her - she'd rather drag herself around than ride in the cart.
Cutie never let her disability interfere with getting her treats with the rest of the gang
One day, she wasn't her usual, testy self. Something was "off". I took her into the vet with a vague "she's not quite right". By lunch, my vet called to say she'd gone downhill considerably, and that I should come in asap to make a decision. In the 10 minutes that it took me to get there, she was gone. I have her ashes still, and think of her often.
Years later, while talking with a pug breeder friend, I mentioned Cutie, and wondered if she might have been a show dog. She was very pretty, and had come with a crate and crate tag that carried a kennel name. I'd tried to research the name, but always came up empty. This friend was shocked to hear this information. She had known Cutie's owner, who also bred pugs. When that owner died after a brief illness, her husband took all the pugs and disappeared from the Pug world. Those pugs included purebred champions and a silly rescue named Pugsly. My friend had always wondered what had become of those pugs. Apparently, Cutie's owner's husband was the man put into a nursing home, and her son had surrendered the dogs. I was glad to learn a little more about Spud and Cutie's background (very rare in rescue) and to give my friend some closure. We will never know what happened to the other dogs that the husband had, but were comforted by the fact that Cutie and Spud had lived out their lives in comfort and happiness.
I don't have many photos of Cutie, but did find some of her in her wheels. And thanks to CafePress, I'll remember Cutie forever.