A friend of ours, Jay,wrote one of the most touching posts about 2 Pugs that recently touched his heart. We have his permission to share this with you. We hope you are touched as much as we were!
Well, I think fall is getting close. Football is in full swing, and in no time flat, the leaves will be changing and hoodies will start coming out of the closet. Before you know it, thanksgiving and Christmas will be here, and we will all be asking, “what happened to 2012″.
The summer has been nothing short of amazing for me. So much has happened, and it’s fair to say, my life will never be the same. It seems the universe has turned its head to me, and decided that I needed to be more active in animal rescue, namely pugs. Fine by me. If you’ve never been around these beautiful little creatures, you’re truly missing out. I’ve had dogs all of my life, and even though I love them all, none of them have touched my life in quite the way that the pugs have. Its just something about their faces and personalities that sucks you in. You can’t help but love them.
Charlie will be 1 in November. For those of you who don’t know me, Charlie was the first pug I could call mine, but the second to touch my soul. Penny, belonging to my former roommate, was the first one, and I blame her for the madness that IS my life today. I can tell you, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
Sophie Rue is the first one I rescued. She came to me from Missouri, and won my heart over within the first 10 minutes of meeting her. She’s the most gentile, loving soul you’ll meet, and has the deepest most beautiful copper eyes I’ve ever seen. Her family had to re-home her, and I thank God every day that they chose me to give her the life and love that she has now, and will have forever.
My next rescue was a shocker to me. While goofing off on Facebook one day, I came across a post about a co-workers sister trying to re-home her puppy St Bernard. He came from a wonderful, loving home, but it seems the new baby was allergic to him. Leo joined my family in August. He’s 13 months old and pushing 130 pounds. Ever met a 130 pound puppy?? The tackles when I come home from work are hilarious- not to mention a 130 pound baby that’s scared of jumping out of the bed, and FORGET about balls like basketballs…. Mortified of them. Yep, that’s Leo. My big baby.
Then there’s Brando. Brando was a total accident and what I call my first (of many to come, I’m sure) foster failure. At some point, eBay thought it was a good idea to start a pet classifieds section. Now, here’s my view on that. Reputable places like shelters and rescues should have access to this stuff. NOT uncle Billy-bob who’s lookin’ to trade his ol’ pal sparky, his 9 year old hound dog, off for a new set of goodyears and a washing machine from sears. Shame on you eBay. You have NO idea how difficult you’ve made it for people like me who are trying to SAVE animals from bad situations. So one day, while surfing eBay pets, I come across a picture of this older pug who’s needing a new home. Story was, the lady was having trouble taking care of him due to her health. His picture melted my heart. So sweet and innocent, and his face starting to turn grey with age. After a few emails, and realizing that her story changed every few hours, I made arrangements to drive to Kentucky to pick him up. The “transaction” took place in the front yard. She never even invited us inside. (probably a good thing). It was a “here he is” kinda thing. I asked about a favorite toy… He had no toys. I asked about a favorite blanket…. He had none. She even took his collar and harness off and sent him on his way with NOTHING. Looking back now, I’m glad he doesn’t have anything to remind him of that hell-hole he was living in.
I’ll never know Brando’s true age. She said he was 5. I find it hard to believe. What I DO know is that this baby was abused. See, it turns out “mom” was a backyard breeder. He served his purpose for her, and she was done. Once we got him to the vet, more of his story started to show its ugly face. My vets words were “it looks as if he’s merely existed his whole life. He’s been in a kennel that was too small for him, and let out to breed”. This explains his hunched back. Then the tests. He has ear mites. He has yeast infections in his ears. He has whip worms. He has hook worms. And the big one. Heart worm positive. The cherry on top is when the X-rays showed the bullet still inside him from being shot.
Brando is a TOTALLY different pup now. His personality has popped out, and he’s a total daddy’s boy. Loving life completely with his two pug sisters, and non pug brothers. He will spend the rest of his life snoozing on the couch and channel surfing the tv all day long.
By the time Brando came around, I had started to be more active in pug rescue. Meeting pug owners, hanging with pug people, and constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for babies needing some help. That’s when Speedy and Flash walked into my life.
One day, while surfing eBay pets again, I come across a post from Midsouth pug rescue, telling the story of two little boys they had who needed a home. My life changed forever. Speedy and Flash are the reason for this blog post. Two brothers, one 10 and one 11, who had spent their entire lives together. The picture alone was enough to rip your heart out and stomp it to mush. Flash is completely blind. Not only is he blind, but has advanced arthritis in his back legs and can’t walk anymore. You’d think that this would change his attitude. Not even a little. With the help of supporters from Midsouth Pugs, the ladies who rescued him had arranged to get him a fancy set of wheels to help him get around. A wheelchair for pets if you will. Seeing Flash in that wheelchair pulling himself along is one of the sweetest things ever!
After a few months of trying to adopt the boys out together, and without any luck due to Flashes issues, the ladies decided to try to adopt them out separately. This is where my heart started to break. These boys had been together all of their lives. They had recently lost their owner to death. Flash is now blind and can’t walk. He relies on speedy if for no other reason than a comfort zone. They just CAN’T be separated.
This tugged at my heart for a couple of weeks. I found myself thinking about them every day, and trying to imagine what their lives would be like if they got separated. Both of them in new places, with no familiar people, no familiar smells, and wondering what they had done to deserve this right at the last parts of their lives. Flash constantly smelling around to see if he could catch a single whiff of speedy. Speedy rounding every corner to see if flash was hiding in this new room or that new room. Both wondering where their mommy went.
I’m not saying Flash has the BEST quality of life, but I can assure you, he’s one happy boy. He doesn’t seem to let his eyesight bother him, and the loss of his legs hasn’t slowed down his will to live, or his will to love. Why, at the last hours of their lives, should these two be separated from each other when they’ve already lost so much. I just couldn’t let it happen. Even if it meant bringing them both home with me, and letting them live out their golden years snuggled up together with me and the rest of my crew.
I started doing what it is I do best. I went to social media with their story. Not so much looking for a home for them, but more of shedding some light onto their story. Within minutes, an amazing lady, and good friend of mine in louisiana, Leslie, popped up and said she wanted them. Leslie shares the same love for animals, and tender heart that I do. I explained to her that I wanted her to truly think about it. It’s NOT a decision that should be made at the spur of the moment. This would be life altering. They are elderly pugs. They will need nearly constant attention. They aren’t the kind of dogs that will want to go play fetch. The puppy breath is all but a faint memory. Flash needs help to eat. He has to be carried everywhere he goes. He has to be held up to potty. This isn’t something that should be rushed into.
Leslie was serious. She thought and thought about these two, just as I have. Last week, Leslie contacted Midsouth Pug Rescue in Memphis and filled out the adoption applications on both Speedy AND Flash. I tear up just thinking about it now. Knowing my love for pugs, Cheryl from MidSouth pugs trusted me and my judgement of Leslie. She invited me down to Memphis to meet the boys, and made arrangements for me to transport them down to Leslie.
I went to Memphis Wednesday and walked into Cheryl’s home and met these two angels. Flash was quietly laying in his bed, and Speedy was hanging out in the kitchen just a few feet from where his brother was laying. I got down in the floor in front of Flash, and I slowly put my hand up to his sweet face to let him get a smell of me and introduce myself. All of the sudden, that little pug tail started to wag. Speedy soon came around, and wandered over to check out the attention his brother was getting. It seemed both boys approved. I spent a couple of hours there, chatting with Cheryl and Maddog, hanging out with the boys and a few other AMAZING pugs they had. Most rescues, but all loved just the same.
Cheryl and I discussed everything that was Speedy and Flash. Their story, the meds flash needs, the wheelchair, how to know when he’s hungry, and how to know when he has to potty. See, he has two distinct barks, or, “hollers” as we like to call em here in the south. The higher bark means he’s hungry or thirsty, and the deeper one is for potty time. Other than that, all he wants is to know that someone is in the room with him, and a snuggle and a kiss every once in a while.
Cheryl decided that I was worthy, and decided to let me go ahead and take the boys to my house until we could make arrangements to get them to their new mommy in Louisiana. Just like that, we loaded up the car, made sure the boys were comfortable and let Cheryl and Maddog say their goodbyes to two special boys that touched their lives. For the past several months, these ladies have taken care of their every need. Daily walks, potty breaks, dinner time and trips to acupuncture to try to improve Flashes arthritis. Driving away from that house was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I saw what they meant to them, and it broke my heart into a million pieces. I had no idea, that what was about to happen to me, would completely explain how they felt the way they did for these two boys.
We got the boys back to the house late Wednesday night. As we walked in, we were greeted by my pups and all their curiosity about the two fellas we had with us. It didn’t take long at all before everyone was well acquainted and playing with each other. I’m pretty sure Charlie has gotten herself attached to Flash. I’ll look over from time to time and she will be curled up in his bed with him, sharing whatever bone or toy she has at that moment.
The first night, the boys chose to sleep in the floor beside my bed. Flash in his bed, and Speedy in his. The second night, Speedy wanted in on the action of a pug pile in my bed. I added him to the group and he fit right in. About 2:30 am, Flash let me know that he needed to potty. This is where my heart truly bonded with his. I can tell you, you don’t know love until its 2 in the morning, and you’re outside sitting on the ground holding one of Gods most precious creatures in your arms, helping them go to the bathroom. Watching him struggle to maintain his dignity, and leaning his head over to my leg for that little bit of extra support. After he finished, I picked him up and sat him over my legs. His head on one side, and his back legs dangling from the other. We sat there for a few minutes and I noticed that with each stroke of his back, his tail started to wag harder and harder. His ears perked up, and he started sniffing around to see what he could see. I started to cry. He gave his whole life to someone, and here he was, closer to the end than the beginning, laying in a strangers arms just happy that someone loved him. Loved him enough to take a chance on an elderly pug, regardless of his issues and let him live out his life, snuggled up to his brother in his little bed. When we went back inside, flash joined the rest of the crew in my bed and snuggled up to his brother, right in the middle of all his new foster brothers and sisters. Snug as a pug in a rug!
The details have finally been worked out with Leslie in Louisiana. Next Thursday, I’ll be meeting her and my other good friend Cheryl in Jackson Mississippi, where they will finally meet the two boys that have changed every life they’ve came into contact with. Earlier today, I laid on the couch with speedy and flash, and explained all that was going on to them, where they were going and who all had played a part in making sure they got to live out their lives together. From Cheryl and Maddog at MPR, who took them in when their owner died, loved them and cared for them, to me, reading their story and making it my mission to keep them together, coming to pick them up and take them to their forever home, to Leslie who decided to take a chance on two sweet boys, and see to it that their golden years were as comfortable and as full of love and affection as they possibly could be. I cried with them, held them close and told them over and over just how much I loved them; how much Leslie loves them already. How much Cheryl and Maddog loves them, and how their mommy loved them before she passed. I’m choked up now thinking about the week ahead. I know, fostering dogs is all about finding them just the right home. Full of life, love and happiness. I’ve found them one of the best homes out there. Nonetheless, the thought of handing them over is a bittersweet burden I feel like I bear alone, yet I know has already been carried by others. The life they are going to have is going to be amazing. I hope in my lifetime, I’m loved half as much as these two are loved right now. They will be forever part of my life, part of my heart and carried deep within my soul. I know that giving them this gift of life together opens my home up for more that need me just as much. But it doesn’t stop the hurt I feel of knowing I have to say goodbye.
Cheryl and Maddog. Thank you for giving me this chance to know love like I’ve never known it before. Thank you for what you do for these pugs, and thank you for being two amazing women. Hold your head high. There’s a special place in heaven for people like you.
Leslie. Speaking of special places in heaven….. Words can’t describe what this means to me; what you mean to me. You have NO idea what kind of love you’re about to experience. You’re opening you home, your life, your heart and soul to two elderly puppy’s who want nothing more than to be loved unconditionally, and to curl up with each other and their new family. I pray to God in heaven that they touch your life half as much as they’ve touched mine. You’re an angel on earth, and I love you.
To those of you reading this, I ask this of you. Please make sure your pets are taken care of should something happen to you. Make sure someone is willing to, and wanting to take them in and love them as you did. Crossing the Rainbow bridge is never easy for anyone. Pets included. Make sure that those you leave behind don’t have to worry about who’s going to love them. Speedy and Flash are lucky. So many out there are not. They are abandoned and separated from all they know, and all too often die in overpopulated shelters all over the world. Tonight, hold your babies just a little bit closer. Hug them a little tighter, cause you never know when that chance will be gone forever. As you lay down to sleep, take a second to think about speedy and flash. Think what they might be feeling tonight. No familiar voices, no familiar toys, and only the distinct familiar smell of an old friend, a brother to comfort them in this new place. The love of a brother to comfort them in the golden years of their life when everything else has been replaced.