Archive for May, 2011

Two Years Ago…

Fair warning, people: we’re about to get sappy.

About two years ago today, Brian and I officially adopted a surly little pug named Siddhartha.

It was a surprisingly difficult feat to accomplish, although looking back at the events of the time and how they unfolded, it seems as though some magical force had determined long ago that Sid belonged by our side.  And I’m pretty sure that force was Bea Arthur.

No, not that Bea Arthur.

This Bea Arthur:

See, I was never a dog person.  They just always seemed so…needy.  And the slobber…oh, God, the slobber!  For me, cats were where it was at.  I adored cats – so dainty and independent and not slobbery.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  I was obsessed, and I begged my parents constantly for a cat of my own.  I remember, when I was eight, waking up on Christmas morning and walking into the living room to find, perched on top of the huge pile of presents underneath the tree and keeping perfectly still, a black and white cat. I couldn’t believe my eyes – and I shouldn’t have, because that perfectly still cat was actually a very realistic cat PUPPET.  That Christmas went down as the year I discovered the dangerous combination of high-hopes and uncorrected myopia.

When I was sixteen, though, my parents surprised me with two kittens – twin boys from the same litter who snuggled and hugged each other for about 18 hours a day for their entire lives together.  I named them Sherman and Chez, and they more than lived up to my expectations of how awesome cats could be.  Chez, in particular, was my cat; there was something about our personalities that just clicked, whereas Sherman took more to my mom and my brother.  The cats stayed with my mom as I went to college, studied in London, and moved to Los Angeles, but whenever I came home, no matter how long I was gone, Chez, my feline soulmate, would greet me by rolling onto his back so I could give him a good belly-scratchin’ and then would spend the rest of my visit by my side or on my lap.

In November of 2007, at the age of 12, Chez passed away in his sleep.  Brian and I had just gotten married that June, and we were still living in Los Angeles at the time.  The last time I had seen Chez was the day before our wedding, a day so hectic that I’m not even sure I said good-bye.  As any pet owner can understand, my heart was broken.  I was devastated.  No animal is replaceable, but for me, Sherman and Chez were both the beginning and the end.  I knew that by marrying Brian, my first cats would also be my only cats. See, Brian is severely allergic to cat dander.  His throat closes up, he wheezes, his eyes swell – it’s definitely not one of those “grin-and-bear-it” mild reactions that some cat owners are able to live with.  There’s no getting around it.  Chez’s passing carried with it an extreme sense of finality.  I just couldn’t ever imagine loving a dog the way I loved that cat, or any cat, so it seemed as though Chez would be the only animal with whom I’d share such a bond.

Then, almost a year later, we visited Brian’s friends Angelica and Marco in San Francisco.

That is when I met Bea Arthur.

I had never met a pug before, and Bea is a pug-supreme.  Aloof, full of attitude, stubborn, ever the lady (even with a tooth infection that made her breath smell like sun-baked tuna), and unintentionally comedic, Bea was like a cat in (hilarious) dog’s clothing, and she spent our entire visit curled on my lap and sleeping with me on the couch, her rank tuna breath wafting about.  By the time the weekend was over, I was converted.  I needed a pug, and I needed one now.

Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, there was a friend of a friend of a friend who needed to find a new home for a pug named Siddhartha…

(To be continued… )

The Blue Period

Earlier this week, Puglet, star of The Daily Puglet (one of the many other pug blogs we enjoy reading), created an awesome webpage for all his internet friends of the furry variety to post their photos on. After the whole incident last week with the adorable baby pug and everything, Sid insisted we posted one of his more youthful looking shots (he’s a tad vain). After combing through our whole iPhoto library, which is about 80% Sid photos at this point, we finally agreed on the photo above – one of Jenn’s personal favorites.

Anyway, here a couple more from the same day. He was really working his angles like a true pug model. I mean, what Pug wouldn’t want to buy that blue t-shirt he’s wearing after seeing him sporting it?

Sid Finds the Squeak

It was still grey and rainy here yesterday, and Sid was getting restless. Due to the rain all weekend, we’d been cooped up indoors the whole time, staring at the walls. When Sid gets antsy, we usually send him on a “squirrel hunt” with his Hide-A-Squirrel toy (still one of his favorites even after many months!).

This time I kept hiding a squirrel behind my back and squeaking it when he least suspected it. The expression on his face leads me to believe he thought it was one of the departed squirrels squeaking from beyond the grave. That is, until I waved the tail in his face.

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Them Rainy Days

It rained all weekend and is supposed to rain all this week as well. Sid has hunkered down into his bed with a few of his favorite toys to keep him company. I know what you’re all thinking but I swear I did not pose him like this. He is a studied master at the art of cute.

Close Encounters of the Pug Kind

The weather in Brooklyn has been gorgeous lately, so the other day our friend Rob, a professional photographer, came along on Sid’s afternoon walk to stretch his legs, soak in the sunshine, and snap a few photos of the most adorable pug in Brooklyn. Rob took all the photos for today’s post. He’s obviously gifted when it comes to shooting photos of surly pugs, but his normal models are typically more…human. Check out more of his work here: www.robgullixson.com.

We had a nice photo session and Rob got some great shots of Sid among all the blooming flora. As we were leaving the park, though, we encountered something on the sidewalk that made Sid stop dead in his tracks.

Sid was confused. He thought he must have walked into a carnival and was staring into one of those funhouse mirrors. Across from him was a tiny smooshed version of himself!

He tiptoed in to get a closer look and sniff this reflection. He quickly discovered this wasn’t an optical illusion. This thing smelled like a pug, looked like a pug, and breathed loudly like a pug… It must be a pug!

Sid was baffled that something so cute and tiny could exist. We were, too. When Sid entered our lives he was already 4 years old, so we missed out on the puppy stage. We’ve never seen one this tiny in person.

His name is Winston. Sid was trying to sniff a little more but Winston was an excitable little fellow and was skittering all over the place. Pretty soon he was zipping away down the block.

When we got home, Sid felt a little worried we might “upgrade” to a younger model Pug, like Winston, and started googling phrases like “pug botox” and “nose-flap rejuvenation.” We gave him a big hug, disconnected the Internet, and told him not to fret because he’ll always be the cutest pug in our book!

(Thank you, Rob, for taking such great photos!)

The World is Sid’s Bolster VIII

Meet my brother, Jason. He just moved back to Brooklyn after living in Tokyo for a year. Sid thinks he’s the bee’s knees.

OK, Is That Really Comfortable?

Sid has a way of getting himself into very odd positions that to him are the pinnacle of comfort. Even since we’ve known him (a little over 2 years at this point) he has never liked to be on his back. He would always squirm around and right himself immediately. But now, for reasons unknown, it’s his favorite position. As soon as he is supine, he gets very calm, flops his head back, and starts snoring away. It’s very similar to the zen state he gets into during bath time.

What is your dog’s most comfortable postion?