PUG POOL PARTY!

OHMYGOSH – I don’t even know where to begin. Well, how about at the beginning.

This past Sunday, my normal late-morning snooze was interrupted by the sound of my travel bag tumbling from the closet shelf to the floor. My dad was flying around the apartment gathering up a bunch of things including a beach towel, sunscreen, my portable water dish, and a bag of treats. I figured we were heading out to the Foster dog beach. But then we got on the El train which was weird because we usually would walk or take the bus to get to the dog beach. Where the heck were we going?

After about 45 minutes of traveling (which I don’t mind at all since I was the recipient of a pretty steady stream of venison jerky treats the whole time), we arrived at a place called the Pet Care Plus “K-9 Oasis”. I have to say, it looked pretty amazing.

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The Oasis had two huge sections: one where dogs could romp around on various platforms and beds, and another which was pretty much just one ENORMOUS DOG POOL!!!

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It was a hot and sunny day so I dove right in to cool off. Boy did that cool water feel great! As I started walking I noticed the water getting deeper – turns out the pool starts off shallow but gradually slopes down to a deep end.

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I enjoyed wading around the shallow end and sometimes venturing a little deeper so I could float a bit. My dad tried to encourage me to go into the deep end to try some swimming but I adamantly refused.

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“DEEP END? Um, no way, dude - unless you’re prepared with handfuls of treats.”

Soon, I started to notice I was not alone. There was another pug hanging out in the pool.

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And then ANOTHER. A pug pool party was forming before my very eyes! SWEET!

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My dad explained that the Chicago Pug Meetup group had rented out the K-9 Oasis that day. So I guess he knew about this pug party all along but wanted it to be a surprise for me. Well, I certainly was pleased to meet so many cool pugs and have pug-obsessed humans fawning all over me.

One of the other humans brought this awesome pink ball and I was totally smitten with it. I couldn’t stop batting it around with my paws or trying to catch it in my jaws.

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For some reason my dad couldn’t stop laughing at my ball-catching technique. He even recorded a video of it. I don’t think there was anything funny about it – I mean it works for sharks, right? And of course I made my dad go retrieve the ball when it started floating towards the deep end. I was not going to let my ears wet!

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Sometimes I’d lose track of the ball and another pug would play with it for a while. That little pink ball was a hit, that’s for sure.

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“Yo, anyone see a ball? Pink. Floaty. Perhaps with some pug teeth marks in it…”

I played in the water non-stop for over two hours, so by the end of the party I was starting to fade.

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I had so much fun. Thank you to the Chicago Pug Meetup group for planning such a fun afternoon. I can’t wait to to do it again! And to all you other pugs out there – if you have a dog pool in your town, BY ALL MEANS get your curly-tailed butt down there pronto! It’s the best thing ever!

Soaked

Hi everyone!

When my dad wrote a post about ways to keep a pug cool during the summer, he neglected to mention the most totally awesome way…

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Let’s just say I had another one of the best weekends ever this past weekend. It’s amazing what happens when you combine a hot sunny day, a large body of water, a squishy pink ball, and like, you know, TWENTY OR SO PUGS!

I’ll give you the full scoop later this week.

King of the Jungle

Sid is still talking about the ice cream he ate this past weekend and his fun visit with Christy, Tim, Donald, Daisy, Gammy, and Gampy. In addition to taking Sid out for some amazing ice cream, they also gave him a gift bag with some awesome plush toys in it. There was an ample supply of plush potatoes, which, as you probably already know, are one of his all-time favorites, and an extra-large and extra-floppy plush lion.

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Sid has become smitten with the lion and now he carries it around with him when moving from one room to another. He also likes to bring it onto the bed at night and hike it through his back legs REPEATEDLY. I guess we all got to have our bedtime rituals, right?

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Thank you guys for such great toys! You certainly know what Sid likes!

I Scream For…

Sid and I hope everyone had a fun Fourth of July. It was so nice having a three-day weekend. Not only did we have amazing weather but we were graced with the presence of a whole car-load of special guests!

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When the packed car pulled up at Pug Slope HQ, Christy and Tim (pug-rents of Angel Payton the Pug) and their pugs, Donald and Daisy, hopped out followed by two other humans. Humans whom Sid and I had never met in person before: Christy’s parents – a.k.a. Payton’s “Gammy” and “Gampy”! Sid’s mind was blown.

The beach was packed for the holiday so we opted to hang out at Winnemac Park. We spread out the blanket, kicked back, and let the pugs do some serious sniffing. Daisy was happy we didn’t end up going to the beach as she is not very crazy about sand and surf. The recently-mowed grass of the park was much more her speed.

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I was armed with venison jerky treats and as soon as Sid noticed this fact, he got into super-model mode and did whatever pose would ensure promptest treat delivery.

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Donald caught wind of what was going on and joined in on the action. If you ever wish to have a pug in your presence, and you don’t see any around, just hold some venison jerky in your hands. Within seconds you will have at least half a dozen sitting in front of you staring unblinkingly.

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We all hopped in the car and rolled over to Crosby’s Kitchen for lunch. All pugs were on exceptional behavior! I guess they might have had some premonition of joy in their near future and didn’t want to do anything stupid that would spoil what was in store for them after lunch.

After a delicious meal, we all made tracks for Scooter’s Frozen Custard which was one of three places on Gampy’s Chicago checklist. The other two were also ice cream joints. The man has his priorities in order, that’s for sure.

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Not only did the humans get to indulge in delicious frozen custard concoctions, but each of the dogs were given their own complementary mini cones filled with vanilla frozen custard! The teeny cones were adorable but I didn’t get a photo of them. You know why? Well, I was busy dealing with another situation. I’ll let the photos tell the story…

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If there would have been a third photo, it would have captured Sid’s muppet arms swiping my ice cream right off the bench and onto the ground. Remember when I said the pugs were behaving exceptionally well during lunch? Well, a CERTAIN PUG WHOSE NAME STARTS WITH AN “S” couldn’t contain himself in the presence of the sweet sweet ice cream and knocked his poor dad’s cup onto the ground.

Thank goodness Scooter’s was very understanding of my predicament and gave me a replacement cup for free. I’m pretty certain Sid felt no remorse for his actions and probably would have knocked my second cup of ice cream on the ground if there was a 0.001% chance that it might end up in his mouth.

Before we parted ways, Sid said he wanted to be sure he got a photo with Gammy because she’s one of his biggest fans.

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Thank you to Christy, Tim, Donald, Daisy, Gammy, and Gampy for visiting us and for making this one of Sid’s best days ever!

Chillin’

Yesterday, we did some further experiments in the endless quest to keep a pug cool during the sweltering days of summer.

METHOD 1: COOLING HARNESS - Now this is how you keep cool in style. Sid received this sharp-looking harness from our fellow pug-blogger friend, Christy. It was handmade by her and fits Sid like a well-tailored suit. The main part of the harness is made out of a water-absorbing ShamWow-esque material. You just get the harness nice and wet with cold water, wring it out, and then slip in on. The harness stays nice and cool and the moisture also allows the breezes to provide some cooling action (since dogs don’t produce sweat on their bodies). Sid wore his on his walk and kept cool the whole time. We also stuck to routes along tree-lined streets that provide much-needed shade.

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METHOD 2: TUB OF COOL WATER - After some failed attempts by Sid to jump into the tub while I was taking a shower (wish I could have got a photo of that somehow), I put him in the tub by himself with a few inches a cool water. I doused his back and belly using a small bucket. The cool water seemed to help quite a bit, but pretty soon he was counteracting the cooling of the water and working up a sweat by splashing water everywhere like a maniac (he has a strange obsession with water as you might recall).

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METHOD 3: BAG OF FROZEN PEAS UNDER A BLANKET - In retrospect, probably the worst idea for a food-crazed pug. He wouldn’t leave the bag alone and furiously kept digging until he unearthed it.

 

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CONCLUSION: I need to get the A/C unit up from the basement and get it into a window – pronto!

Privacy? What Privacy?

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I’m not a huge fan of the term “velcro dog” but when it comes to pugs, it’s a pretty apt description. Sid almost always joins me in whatever room I happen to be in. Cleaning/organizing the house becomes quite comical as I am usually mad-dashing around from room to room and Sid is tip-tip-tipping around behind me like a little snorting shadow.

He even joins me in the bathroom.

I suppose I can’t fault him for it. Whenever he goes to the bathroom, I’m right there beside him. I suppose he’s just being polite and returning the favor.

Hangin’ in the Square

I know Sid just told you about an adventure he recently went on in our neighborhood, but I guess it’s been his lucky week because he got to go on yet another one. The weather was just perfect so we took a little stroll over to Lincoln Square which is about a 10-minute walk from Pug Slope HQ.

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Lincoln Square is home to a lot of interesting independent shops including Merz Apothecary which is over 100 years old. Merz has all kinds of fascinating stuff including fancy soaps, perfumes, bath supplies, homeopathic treatments, moisturizers, and even moustache wax (which was a necessity back when I was sporting the handlebar!). Many of the items are imported from Europe or other parts of the world, thus making their selection way more interesting than a CVS or Walgreens.

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Aside from the apothecary, Lincoln Square also has a book store, a vintage guitar store, lots of stores geared to kids, a small movie theatre, gift shops, and lots of little places to get a bite to eat or wet your whistle.

We sat down to relax for a bit at Giddings Plaza which is a pleasant outdoor space with benches, shade trees, and a fountain. There’s almost always people hanging out here and often kids will be running around or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. In the summer they have free live music in the plaza.

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“Yeah, yeah, yeah….I’m standing by the fountain. Now gimme my baby carrot.”

Before we left Sid wanted to get a photo by the El tracks. If you’re not familiar with Chicago, the “El” is the local name for the subway system here, although “subway” isn’t the best term because most of the system is elevated (thus the nickname). Sid actually got to ride on the El train last month when he had to go to the vet for his dental.

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Siddhartha Lamont: Urban Pug