Two Years Ago…Part Two!
First, an apology – My idea of writing a single post about adopting Sid two years ago has expanded itself into a unwieldy epic saga, the Iliad of blog posts. I’m a writer. I can’t help myself. And, whatever, every story has a middle, and the middle is just as essential as the beginning and the end. So, ladies and gentlemen, here it is. The middle.
Previously, on PugSlope: I never liked dogs, my beloved childhood cat passed away shortly after I married a wonderful fella who happened to be deathly allergic to cat dander, my heart was broken, and then I met a pug named Bea Arthur who changed my life.
I said that after meeting Bea Arthur I was converted, but I think Noodles’ Mom #2, in her comment on my original post, more aptly described what happens to a person who falls for a pug: I was fitted with blinders to other animals.
Yes, my radar was now officially set to “pug.”
As soon as we returned from San Francisco, I started exploring the local pug rescues in Los Angeles. Most of the pugs available for adoption were very special needs or very old – as a person who’d never even cared for a young, healthy dog before, I didn’t think I could provide what those dogs needed.
Also, we were living in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs, and we weren’t exactly planning on moving – the building was being converted into condos, which in LA means that we were entitled to a small (but significant to us) sum of money once the landlord sent us our official notice to vacate, and we were definitely staying put until that notice arrived. So, the idea of someday adding a pug to the family remained firmly planted in fantasy.
Two months later, at a crowded Christmas Party, we ran into our friend Joey. Joey is a musician and an animal lover – his two dogs, Elly, a super-intelligent Boston Terrier / Jack Russel mix, and Edna, a crazy yet lovable Boston Terrier, often accompanied him to kickball games and jumped from lap to lap at the poker games Joey would hold at his house.
Joey also had a small menagerie of odd animals and reptiles who kept inadvertently reproducing. The first thing out of his mouth when we’d run into him was typically, “Hey, you guys want to adopt a chinchilla?” Or, “Hey, you guys want to adopt a tree frog?”
So, at this Christmas party we ran into Joey, who we hadn’t seen in a while, and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Hey, you guys want to adopt a 3-year-old purebred pug?”
I immediately and involuntarily pushed him – probably a bit too hard – yelling, “GET OUT!”
After recovering from the shock of the physical assault, he explained that a woman who occasionally helped with legal stuff for his band had a pug that she could no longer keep, and that he and his girlfriend Aimee had been fostering this pug since October. I told him to not tell anybody else about this dog – Siddhartha! – until Brian and I could meet him.
About a week later, we went over to Joey and Aimee’s house to meet this pug named Siddhartha.
*Ahem. Before we proceed, there’s something you should know about Sid – – he’s a bit of a jerk, sometimes. For instance, when somebody comes into our house, rather than excitedly greeting the person like most dogs, he’ll instead walk up to them, all sweet and whatnot, and just as they reach out their hand to pet him, he’ll turn away, sometimes actively leaning away from their touch, pulling his head back the way a person would if somebody held a plate of rancid food in front of their face. He can be very aloof and a bit distant, to put it mildly. Unless you’re holding food. If you’re holding food, he’ll hop in your car and go home with you. You get affection on Sid’s terms.*
So, we arrive at Joey and Aimee’s, and there he is. This perfect little handsome jerk of a pug.
And as soon as I sit down on their couch, Sid’s on my lap, snuggling and purring and snoring. I didn’t even get to take my coat off, and, no, my pockets were not filled with any enticing meats or carrots. He stayed there on my lap, being as cute as he could possibly be, for, like, 45 minutes. At least. At the time, I thought Joey and Aimee were probably giving us the hard sell when they said they’d never seen Sid cozy up to a stranger like that. Now I know that it was true.
With Sid on my lap, Joey and Aimee told us the story of his short life thus far. Their friend, Amanda, the lawyer, had adopted two pugs from a breeder – your friend Siddhartha, and his brother, Mr. Pickles. Here’s an old photo Amanda sent us of the two of them. Sid’s on the left.
Things went smoothly while they were puppies, but at some point Mr. Pickles started acting aggressive towards Sid, and it became clear that they would need to be separated. Amanda’s mother took Sid into her home for a year or so, but then something happened where she couldn’t keep him anymore. So Sid went back to Amanda’s and Mr. Pickles resumed picking on him. It was a hard decision, but Amanda realized it would be best for Sid if he found a new home, and asked Joey and Aimee to foster him and help find a new family for the poor little picked-on pug.
It’s like they purposely wrote up a back-story for him that would appeal to my weak spots. Part of the reason I bonded with Chez over Sherman was that Sherman was the more outgoing of the two cats. Everybody would fawn over Sherman, his tail ostentatiously flailing about, while Chez lingered in the background, shy and reserved. I made it a point to shower Chez with attention and make him know that he was just as loved as his more outgoing brother. Now here I am on their couch with a purring pug on my lap who’s homeless because his brother bullied him. Please! Uncle! Just rip my heart out already and be done with it!
So, yes, I was immediately smitten. It took every ounce of will power I had to not bring him home with us that night, but a lease is a lease. Now it was time to start solving the logistical nightmare of actually adopting Sid.
(to be continued…again. Sorry.)