Friday, July 29, 2011

Dad's doodle

Sometimes mom and I find small doodles of pugs on scrap pieces of paper or notebooks all around the house.  I guess my dad is a doodler.  And what better subject than me!  Then recently when mom and I went to check in on everyone in blogville, we found this sketch done in Paint on the computer.

Pretty cute, huh?   

But I think dad needs to practice a bit more to improve the resemblance.  Everyone have a great weekend and please try to stay cool out there!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Silly side effects…paw hair

I know us pugs have been known to have some shedding issues, but the hair always grows back in immediately as if there is an endless supply (probably to the dismay of our humans).  But for me, some of the PDE meds have stunted my hair growth.  I’m not vain, so normally I wouldn’t mind, but I do get cold easier and because of it, so my mom insists on putting me in t-shirts and the like.  I hated it at first, but now I don’t really complain.  (I'll have to do a separate post on all my "clothes" later.)

But recently a strange thing has been happening.  I’m starting to grow hair in places that hair normally doesn’t grow.  I feel like an old man that has to trim his ear and nose hair!  Check out these pictures of my paw:

My mom has to trim it at least once a month to keep me from slipping and sliding because the hair just keeps growing and growing!  Strange, huh?

To get an idea of my hair loss progression, here’s a picture of me with a full set of fur:

Jan 2007
Here’s one where you can see the hair loss starting:

Aug 2007
Such weird patterns!  And here’s a couple more where you can tell my fur isn’t as thick as most pugs (you may need to biggify to get a better look):

Feb 2008
Look at that bare chest and neck!
Don't I look tough in my sleeveless coat, despite my bare shoulder and arm?
I insisted on posting that last picture cause I look pretty cool, but my mom wanted to make sure that you don't focus on her too much.  Both pictures were taken on our way home from Chicago (same trip) and she is just wiped out from the trip (as you can tell from the tired expression on her face).

When I first started going bald, we tried a bunch of things to include melatonin, but nothing seemed to work.  And now, completely out of the blue, I am actually starting to grow some hair back and am not quite as naked looking as in the picture above.  This is me yesterday:

I'm just not feelin' the camera today...but I still get the treat, right?
It’s not as thick as it was before I got sick, but it’s definitely noticeable and enough of a change that this warm summer feels even hotter than it usually is for me.  I hope the extra fur will stay around for the winter months.  Otherwise, I got this whole thing backwards!  I’m also shedding right now.  My mom seems so excited to do the extra vacuuming and sweeping.  Ok, not really.

The other thing that mom and dad have noticed is that my face has gotten much darker. Yeah, I'm a bit gray around the chin (who wouldn't be at 8 1/2 years) and have two white whiskers, but take a look at this side by side comparison to see how well defined my mug used to be and now it's like some of those black hairs are migrating to the rest of my face.

 My back is also darker.  It's as if I lost much of my tan colored hair and the black ones from my mug migrated to the rest of me.  I have always had darker undertones, but it seems strange to go dark in my older age rather than lighter (gray).  Guess I should be thankful in case I want to snag a younger man.  Just kidding, mom!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My first award!

First I'd like to thank the Academy...oh, wait....wrong award.  A girl can dream, right?  In all seriousness, I'm so honored that the ladies at Southern Fried Pugs choose me to receive the Versatile Blogger Award, or shall I say "Versy" for short!

But what I don't get is that I now have to list seven things about my mom!  I mean this is MY blog, right?  Sheesh!  But since rules are rules, here it goes:
  1. My mom loves, loves, loves to cook and bake.  I keep applying to be her official taste tester, but she only takes me up on that offer once in a while.  But lucky for me she has made my birthday cakes/treats for the last couple of years and they are super tasty.  And don't worry, just cause I'm grain-free now, doesn't mean she's off the hook next birthday!  Guess she'll have to get creative, huh?
  2. My mom has a major sweet tooth.  I think ALL of my teeth are food teeth.  Sometimes I think she rivals my love of food when cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, chocolate cake, ice cream, and the like are around.
  3. My mom and dad are high school sweethearts and got married while in college.  They both majored in physics but at separate universities in the same town.  Mom tells a story about how dad went to class for her one time when she was sick.  Awww!
  4. My dad out-smarted my mom in high school by one class.  He was salutatorian (2nd) and mom was 3rd in the class.  Maybe mom spent too much time practicing routines for the Pom-Pon squad.  But mom out did dad in college by double majoring in physics and computer science.  Although to be fair, she says she doesn't really remember any of it.  Neither one of them used the physics...Dad is in finance (actually getting his MBA now) and mom was an Information Systems Engineer at a non-for-profit company that provides technical advice to the government.  Of course, now it's safe to say that both are experts in Pugology.
  5. My mom is an Air Force brat.  She was lucky and didn't have to move as much as others.  She was born in the DC area, then lived in San Antonio TX, then Charleston SC, and finally near St. Louis MO.  Her dad, my Gampy, retired as a Chief Master Sergent while stationed at Scott Air Force Base which is why the family is still in Mascoutah IL. 
  6. My mom is terrified of tornadoes and has recurring nightmares about them.  This started even before she was in "Tornado Alley".  She has no idea what happened to cause this irrational fear since she really hasn't been near one before.
  7. My mom is a fan of Monet's paintings.  The 2nd most prevalent things on the walls of our home (aside from tons and tons of pictures of me!) are Monet prints.  Landscapes with flowers in the living room and sailboats in the dining room.
Ok, so now I must pass on the award to other deserving bloggers... seven to be exact.  I wish I could list all of the blogs that I follow because it was hard to choose so few!
  1. Suki @ Short Tails of Suki
  2. Sid @ Pug Slope
  3. Tweedles @ "Through the eyes of Tweedles"
  4. Tiffy @ It's Tiffy Time!
  5. Minnie and Mack @ Minnie and Mack's Daily Digest
  6. Vito (and Vinny) @ The Adventures of Vito Marino
  7. Gracie @ Screaming K9
To officially accept your "Versy", create new blog post including the award picture, seven things about your human(s), and lastly, pass on the award to seven different blogs.  I look forward to reading your posts.

This was fun.  I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit about my family.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Flashback Friday...playing with a big dog

It's been quite some time since I played with another dog, but I gained lots of experience when I was younger.  As such, it's only fair that I impart some of my lessons learned.  For illustration purposes, I'll use some flashback shots of my best friend Isabella and I.  (As you might be able to tell, my mom and I have been digging in the old photo album so the picture quality isn't that great.  Sorry.)  Ok, let's begin.

Rule #1:  Don't be afraid to put your head in the lion's mouth.

Although you may want to make sure there are breath mints around.

Rule #2: Show 'em your best moves.

There are few creatures that can keep up with a pug's quick turns.

Rule #3:  Don't let them see you sweat...

...even if it looks like they are gaining on you.  I think this is the only picture of me doing the "butt run" with my tail pointing, ears flapping, and tush tucked under.  Good form, I think.  And don't worry, I was not about to get pounced.

Rule #4:  Stand your ground.

Make it look like you can win, even if that's not the case.

Rule #5: Stay well hydrated.

Rule #6: And take breaks.

Rule #7:  If you fall, bark until you get back up.

And give them a real nasty look while doing so.

Rule #8:  Don't be afraid to ... um ... go a bit crazy.

Enough said.

Rule #9:  Keep up with them.

You never want to trail too far behind or they will think that you are following the leader instead of being the boss.

Rule #10:  Make sure they know anything they can do, you can do...better.

Rule #11:  Rest up for the next skirmish, but be sure to always keep an eye on them in case they start something early.

Hope this helps you on your next play date.  Everyone stay cool this weekend...make playtime indoors instead of out!


PS.  Hey girls, I'll see you all at Camp Sunflower tomorrow!  Don't forget to pack your Frogg Togg Chilly Pad/Towel.  It's going to be so hot.  You know, maybe Suki will let us use the air conditioned RV that she went camping in recently.  Oh, and bring some bug spray in case that pesky "bee" comes buzzing around again!  We are going to have so much fun!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deep Thoughts...hobbits and pugs

At times, many of us pugs tend to resemble bats, Gremlins, Stitch from that Disney movie, and even sometimes our fellow dog pal, the Boston Terrier.  Sure we can even be cat-like on occasion, but in my opinion, we have a lot in common with Hobbits.  You know, those short creatures resembling humans in the J. R. R. Tolkien stories.  I've observed them many times as my parents seem addicted to the Lord of the Rings movies.

Here's my case.  Granted the physical similarities aren't outstanding, but we are both short and stocky.  Oh, and hairy (think feet).  We are not thought to be all that active or adventurous, but we certainly can be!  Well, I've saved the best for last.  Probably the most compelling likeness is our obsession with food.  Don't you wish we could eat SEVEN times a day?  Yes, thank you.  I'll have Breakfast, Second breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon tea, Dinner, and Supper.  

While I dream of living the life of a Hobbit, tell me what pugs remind you of most.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Flashback Friday...this one's for Salinger

Mom stumbled upon this picture of me and a huge pug stuffie in the old photo album.  So she scanned it for me to post cause it made us laugh...

Oct 2004
We thought of S-Dog immediately!  But don't worry, folks.  I'm a lady and do not do such things with my toys!  If I can remember right, I actually wasn't very fond of it.  I would have much rather chewed on my faithful Galileo bone which you might be able to make out laying in front of me (if you squint real good).

Happy weekend!


Important PS.  Please keep Minnie in your thoughts and prayers as she deals with pancreatitis.  Stop by and show support for her, Mack, and the rest of the family.  Thanks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Silly side effects…weak teeth

As many of your humans may know, the steroid prednisone (one of my PDE drugs) has the unfortunate side effect of weakening bones.  This includes teeth.  About 6 months to a year after first being diagnosed with PDE, I chipped two teeth while chomping on my old favorite toy, the smallest size Galileo bone.  Oh, how I miss good ol' Galileo.  Since then mom and dad have not let me chew or play with anything hard.  But despite their best efforts, in the last year (but not at the same time), I have lost my two front teeth (on the bottom of my mouth) while playing with those Skinneez stuffing-less plush toys.  Gotta love the Skinneez!  My parents were sad to see those teeth go (they just adore my tiny front teefies, as they call them) and I was nervous that my eating skills would be impaired, but there was no infection and I can still clean a plate like nobody’s business!  And now look at this mug!

Sometimes my pink tongue curls up in the space left from my missing teeth.  When that happens I think my parents fawn over me more than usual.  So I can't complain.

I actually just lost another tooth last week playing with the flamingo ballerina that Suki gave me.  Oops!  I guess I got a bit rough trying to put an end to it's squeaking.  Mom and dad can't figure out where I lost it from, so it must be somewhere in the middle or back of my mouth where it's harder to see (cause I put up a pretty big fight when someone wants to look in there).  But don't worry, it hasn't affected my smile or my desire to end the world of squeakers!  So come on...lemme at it!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Too tired to play with the toys from Suki?

During my surprise meet-up with Suki, she was so generous to give me a present.  I put my nose in the hot pink and neon green leopard print bag, but there was just too much excitement over meeting new friends (ok, there was a ton of food out on the table) to really pay that much attention to what was in the bag.  And then in the car on the way home, I was just zonked.  The heat really drained my energy...

Brigitte, I was so tired that I didn't even try to stretch to the front...can you believe it?
But then when we we stopped by Gammy and Gampy's to hang out for a while and everyone was unpacking, the scent of the wonderful goodies caught my nose and I would not let that bag out of my sight.  Dad gave me two items from the bag.  First a super-duper GIANT pink Cuz...

I love Cuz!
 And then at home, a gray very first one!

Bellatrix, got any advice to keep this guy in line?
Not only did I play with my new toys all night, but I refused to go to bed without my new Cuz!  I used to take toys with me to bed all the time, but in the last couple of years, I guess I get too tired and just got out of that habit.  Sometimes I don't even wait for my parents any more before hopping in bed.  But that night, I had to bring it with me.  Mom almost lost it for some reason.  And then again, when I got back to bed after my 3:30 am pill, I was looking for it so mom had to keep it on my pillow.  After I woke up (and I'm not a morning pug), I played with it again!  Then in the afternoon, it was all about Hedgie...I didn't want him to feel left out!

Mom was going to wait and give me the other two toys later, but I found the scent of the bag and insisted that I get at least one more...after all I could see it's pink beak sticking out of the bag.  Of course, she caved since I have my parents wrapped around my little paws!  And it is the most awesome of toys EVER!  It is a pink flamingo ballerina! 

I'm having a blast!
I am just a tiny bit obsessed with it.  Ok, a lot obsessed...almost as much as food!  As you can probably guess, I was having such a good time that not only did I take it to bed, but then I proceeded to play with it in bed!  I have never done that before!  It took mom and dad almost a half an hour to to convince me to let it go and fall asleep...something about being whipped in the face with a plastic ballerina while trying to sleep isn't fun for them.  I know...I don't get it either.

So finally, as promised here is some video of me trying to end the world of a few more squeakers.  I hope you like it.  (Mom wants me to apologize for the fuzziness.  She had to convert a .mov file to a .avi file in order to edit and it really downgraded the quality.  If anyone knows of a good .mov editor for the PC let us know.)

And that's not all!  Because I've been so cute playing with my toys, there's tons of other pictures to share.  So here's a slide show cause this entry is getting too long to post all these photos individually.  Enjoy!

There's one last toy in the bag from Suki, but mom is staying tough this time.  She says I have enough toys right now.  She's afraid that even one more will be enough to create an army big enough to take over the house.  Is she blind?  I've already done that!

Suki, you are a great friend and one of the best gift givers of all time.  I can't tell you enough how much I have been enjoying my new new favorite toys!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Flashback Friday...bath time

My mom still hasn't finished editing the videos and pictures of me having fun with the toys that Suki gave me.  So, in the meantime, enjoy this blast from the past of me NOT enjoying bath time.

March 2007
This was about 6 months or so after my PDE diagnosis, so you can still see the bald spot on my head/neck from the MRI and spinal tap.  It was quite some time, years I think, before that patch of hair grew back.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fun and lots of naps!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best 4th of July...EVER!

I promised that I would tell everyone about my special trip on Monday, so here it goes.  You are not going to believe the adventure and surprise!  It started off like any normal weekend day, but then mom and dad got really busy.  I wondered if they were packing to whisk me to Chicago?  And then all of a sudden, Gammy and Gampy showed up!  We all hopped in the car and off we went.  I always like to sit in the front, but mom won't let me, so I stretch forward as much as my seat belt will allow.

Are we there yet, Gampy?  Step on it!
Mom told me that we were going to GenKota Winery in Mount Vernon, IL.  A little under an hour from our house.  She said there would be a surprise waiting for us!  When we got there we stopped in a near by parking lot so I could eat lunch and walk around to...well...take care of business.  I made time to pose with Dad before we got back in the car.

Now off to the winery we went. Come on!  They're open, let's get out of this car and have some fun!

And when mom and Gammy were scouting out a table on the porch, making sure that the breeze was strong enough to keep me cool, you won't believe who pulled up!  SUKI!!!  Don't worry, she wasn't actually driving...her mom was.  Hee hee!  For those that follow Suki's blog, you know that she has been getting ready for a road trip adventure.  Well, when she found out where they were going, she emailed me and asked if we could meet since we'd be so close.  I jumped at the chance!  Suki and her mom were so kind to carve out a couple of hours from their adventure to say hi.  I'm sure they will fill you in on all of their other activities on the road, so stay tuned to Short Tails of Suki!  Suki's mom scouted out the winery where we met.  Turns out that the owners actually have 2 pugs of their own, but they were at home.  Pug people are the best, and everyone said that the wine was pretty good.

As cute as Suki is in all her pictures, they do not do her justice!  She is one of the most precious pugs I've ever met.  Ok, she's the first, but mom, dad, Gammy, and Gampy were fawning all over her, so I'm not just trying to suck up or anything.  She has the personality to go with it too.  A firecracker, but the most well-behaved firecracker you'll ever meet.  (Notice how nicely Suki is sitting for the picture above, but I on the other hand would not be bothered by such instructions.)  Oh, and she is super petite!  I'm perhaps a bit taller than most pugs, but still rather small and I looked quite large in comparison.  Here's some pics of Suki being adorable!

About to give my mom kisses!
Cute, cute, cute!
Look at the neck on this girl...have you ever seen a pug with a neck?!?
While the humans ate a nice lunch, Suki and I stayed close to the table to see if there was any food for us.  Our moms gave us a few pieces of fruit (yum).  I could tell that they were having such a good time getting to know each other.  Suki's mom is so nice!  I wish we lived closer cause I think us 4 girls would have a blast!  Don't we look great!?!

Me and Suki and our moms!
Suki had lots of energy and at one point was running circles around her mom.  I wish I had met Suki in my prime so I could have joined in the butt run!  I think I could have kept up with her.  But I was shy and obsessively focused on food and a bit over heated in the humidity.

Suki is sitting pretty while I am wondering around looking for crumbs!
The day started off cool with a refreshing breeze, but it got hot even though the sky was cloudy.  So, I asked Suki to join me in the hammock chairs on the porch for a little girl talk.

And then it was time to go.  Suki and her mom needed to hit the road and start the long drive back home.  But I didn't want the afternoon to end.  We took one last picture under an arbor of grape vines.

We promised that if we are ever in each others' neighborhoods again, we'll make time to hang out.  We had such a wonderful time!  The best 4th of July EVER!  Hugs and kisses to Suki and her mom.


PS.  Suki was so thoughtful and gave me a present - lots of great toys!  I like them so much that I haven't let them out of my sight yet.  I will tell you guys all about that later, once mom edits a couple of video clips.