Foster Dogs: The Pugs
The following are some of the foster dogs we've had over the years.  None of these guys are up for adoption, but the ones who currently available can be found on the main page.





Okay, there's less than 1% pug in here if there's any at all, but the pug rescue picked him up when they went to pick up another (actual) pug.  His name?  Wally.

This is what Beav looked like when we first got him.  The mange went away after only a couple dips and he wasn't nearly so pink.


"Hi, guys.  I'm Chuck."  Actually, I never thought he looked like a Chuck.  Friends of ours adopted him (the same folks as adopted Boo), and now he's Jing.


The first black pug we've fostered.  He was big and dark and serious so we called him gorilla dog.


Another serious pug.  She always had this look in her eye.  Yes, she only had one eye.

But she could be a silly not-so-little thing too.


Wonder how he got that name?  He came to us with a damaged eye, so his left one was sewn shut to allow it to heal.  He was one of the most lovable fosters we've ever had.

Here's a close-up.  The stitch to keep the eye sealed broke, so the vet left it open (which is actually the more common approach, albeit not as conservative).  I don't have as good a close-up in the later pictures, but it healed up very nicely.  Most of the redness over the cornea isn't the eye but rather some tissue placed there surgically as protection.


A wild little man we only kept for about 24 hours as a transition (i.e., his foster mom couldn't pick him up from the vet because she didn't get off work until after they closed).  He is shown here in his natural state: in motion.


(Aka Dora, Dorrie, Puff-a-lump, Puffy Lumpkins, etc.).  I think she was part polar bear.


I have to admit that Boo probably has the ugliest face of any pug we've ever had, and that's saying a lot.  That didn't stop our friends Liesl and Chris from falling in love with him when we brought him over one night, and they went on to adopt him and re-name him Buddah.


He's the male model of a pug.  Not too bright, but he knows he's good looking.


This is a sad story, but Mugsy had been adopted previously, but it was obvious right from when I picked him up from the vet (where his previous owners had surrendered/abandoned him) that he had been abused.  He was incredibly timid, something that's really rare for a breed this naturally friendly.  He would recoil from any hand that would extend to pet him, and he would even scrunch up his eyes as though he was expecting to be hit.  We had him long enough to start to get him past that before he was adopted by the same young lady who had adopted Buster (who has since died with cancer) and another pug mix.


Yep, he really was as goofy as he looked, but he was a ball of energy and kept Paulie, our Boston Terrier foster, plenty entertained.


Her owner surrendered her because she (the pug, not the owner) had trouble keeping food down.  She couldn't tolerate solid food because of a stricture that prevented her from swallowing anything other than canned food.  She went down to as low as 9 lbs. at one point, about half what a pug her size might reasonably weight.

Eventually we got her up to as much as 14 lbs, and that's about where she stayed until she was adopted by an indisputably loving home that is taking great care of her needs.

Update: After she was adopted, Cleo's mom Alexandra put her on a special diet (including enzymes) and has gotten her incredibly fattened up.  Cleo will vomit if she gets ahold of any dry food, but she is otherwise very healthy.


Possibly the most high-energy pug we've ever had.  Even I couldn't keep up with the non-stop motion.

Little Man

Well, he isn't so little really.  When we first got him, he was a wreck.  As you can see in the pictures below, he had mange on more than half his body as well as an infection in his, all of which took months to treat.

Yes, this is the same dog.  I swear!

We got him right after Halloween, and the rescue originally called him "Trick."  Presumably "Treat" was the cuter, mange-free one who was rescued at the same time.  Maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but we started referring to him as the Kraken after the creature from Clash of the Titans.

He also sort of looks like a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz or Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

You see how the left eye looks purple compared to the right one?  That's the infection, probably a mix of blood and bacteria.
Finally, a group portrait!

Clockwise: Dani, Cleo, Tandy, and Little Man.


She was a chubby little monster, but she was cute and happy.

Awwwwwww.  One of the things I love about pugs is their expressiveness.
Look at all the extra skin.  Her nickname was The Walrus.
This is what our dogs are best at.  Yes, that blanket has pictures of pugs all over it.  Dani made it.  And she's under it.


Pearl was a foster from the Pug Rescue.  With humans she was incredibly sweet, but when it came to anything on four legs, she was viscous.  Anytime either Gus or any of the cats were within sight, she would throw a fit and would charge them.  For a supposedly-middle-aged dog, she was a handful of energy.


Poor Monk came to me from the Pug Rescue (He looks like there's some pug in him, doesn't there?) with a bad kennel cough and, though we didn't know it at the time, a case of distemper.  He had been vaccinated against it, but apparently sometimes a case can already be incubating inside a dog and can overtake their system before the vaccine can do its job.  After multiple trips to the vet, the distemper started to overtake him, and he had to be put to sleep.


Buster was the most perfect dog I ever fostered, and is very much "the one that got away" in the romantic sense.  He came from the pug rescue when I swapped him out for Jake (who was getting a new home).  When I first saw this broad-shouldered dog with his snaggle tooth, I immediately thought he was a tough little guy who probably wasn't all that bright and wouldn't be very social.  I was completely wrong.  Buster was my best friend and he was brilliant.

You know how some dogs are "up" and want to play all the time?  And how some are lazy bums who want to sleep all the time?  Buster was neither.  He was that rare dog who was 100% attuned to whatever I wanted to do.  I would say, "Hey, Buster, you want to come with me to town?  I just need to get some groceries."  "Sure," he'd say, "Let's take a ride."

Sometimes I would be working late on something on the computer.  Buster would get up and come see me.  "Are you ever coming to bed," he'd ask.  "Yeah, but not for a while," I'd say.  "Okay," he'd say sleepily, "I'm going back to bed then."

Buster was the only dog to ever break out of my yard too.  Twice.  My own dogs never had, and the previous fosters had never figured out how to either.  He dug out beneath the gate while I was away with Lucky (see the misc. fosters gallery) at an Adopt-a-pet.  I guess he figured we were out having fun, and no one was just going to abandon him like that.  He was literally halfway through the fence when I went out in the back yard to see why he didn't meet me at the door when I came home.  Buster busted out!

I filled in the empty space with some bricks, but when I came home another time, he had actually pulled the bricks out from beneath the fence and placed them about a foot away.  (I would loved to have had his great escape on a hidden camera.)  I found him around the corner hanging out with some of the neighborhood kids.  I finally had to run an electric wire around the bottom of the fence to keep him from getting loose again.  Who knows what he would have done had he not been adopted.  He said something about cold fusion, but I couldn't follow all the math.


I think Jake's last name was LaMotta.  He looked like Robert DeNiro in the last half hour of Raging Bull.  When I first brought him home, he was a complete disaster.

When Jake came to me, he was a total disaster.  He was only middle-age, but probably months or even years of neglect preceded my taking him in.  He hadn't been brushed in forever.  I had my windows down as I was driving him back from the vet's office.  Fur was swirling around the inside of the car, and it just kept coming off of him.  I didn't think it was going to stop.  I figured that by the time I got home, there wouldn't be a dog left at all.

When we finally got home, I started brushing him until the brush filled up.  I cleared all the loose fur from the bristles, then started again.  The process was repeated probably seven or eight times until there was no more coming off of him, but I could have made a new dog or small pillow with what did.

Jake's nails were about twice the length of a typical dog.  They obviously hadn't been trimmed in just about forever.  In fact, because the nails curved downward, they were now so low that they were lower than his toe pads.  As a result, his toes were twisted to the side to keep the nails from pushing his toes up.  I was able to cut so much off of each of them that the clippings looked like I had removed the entire nail off of a dog his size... and I hadn't even clipped as far back as the quick.

Jake's teeth were a mess as well.  In addition to loads of tartar giving him really rank breath, one of his molars was loose enough for me to rock it back and forth, although the vet was hopeful that with better care it would stabilize.

It may not sound like neglect to give a dog all the food he or she wants, but if you have a dog that over-eats, then it is.  Such was the case with Jake, whose owners let him get really chunky.  He was somewhat arthritic when I got him (likely because of a lack of exercise), and the weight didn't help.  He literally couldn't fit through the doggie door in my house that a lab I was fostering could manage.  After a few weeks living with me in a two-story, he had been up and down the stairs and walked around enough (and dieted enough) that he slimmed down and could get through the door without struggling.

Jake's eyes had the beginnings of cataracts, but his ears were even worse.  When I first got him, I cleaned them out (Most of the dogs I get may have been bathed, but usually haven't had their ears cleaned in quite a while).  Jake's ears were caked with gunk and mud.  I don't know if this was a cause or even a contributing factor, but I quickly found out that he was almost completely deaf.  Whereas the aforementioned lab, Lucky, would greet me at the door, Jake would lie asleep until you got right up to him and touched him, then he would jump with a start.  In fact, he literally couldn't hear himself fart.  I was reading in bed one night with Jake next to me when he cut one audibly.  He looked at his rear to see what happened.

Although I only had him a little over a month before he was adopted, I was able to teach Jake the beginnings of sign language in lieu of verbal commands.  We had a couple invented signs for "come here" and "sit."  A resource I found educational and valuable on a practical level was Deaf

Why pugs?
I often get asked what we like about pugs?  Why foster them predominantly?  Well, they have an interesting combination of being highly personable and affectionate while still being small.  Unlike many other small breeds, they aren't timid and defensive or yappy.  They're also ugly, so they're good for your self-esteem!  I wish they were a bit brighter, but they aren't as bad as some breeds.  Pug mixes are usually very bright, so whatever recessive traits are concentrated in the breed that dumb them down, they aren't widely distributed in the species.  The smartest dog I ever had (Buster; see above) was a pug mix, and he was an absolute genius.

Copyright 2002-2007 Alexplorer.
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