Pulling My Leg

We hope you all are having a pleasant January. It has been unusually warm here in Chicago — especially for January! In lieu of snow we’ve been getting tons of rain which makes walks difficult because, as we all know, pugs REFUSE to walk in the rain.

Another thing that has made walks difficult is that one of Sid’s rear legs decided it would stop working properly on Saturday morning.

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He didn’t seem to be in any distress and would put weight on his left hind leg but something was clearly not normal. His gait was wobbly and he also kept his rear end tucked a bit, so it was off the vet. Hooray!

Well, there were no signs of pain or distress which was a relief. After examining him and looking at the symptoms, the vet suspected Sid may have experienced some mild disc compression in his back.

He received some fancy laser treatment on his back and some meds to help with any inflammation. He’s doing much better today and he’s got more of the normal pep in his step. But I wouldn’t say he’s 100-percent back to normal. If you could spare some good pug juju, please send a little our way. I’m hopeful he’ll be back to strutting his stuff again in a couple more days but for now we’re keeping our walks short, naps long, and the little guy gets carried up and down all stairs (I secretly think he may be faking the whole thing for this reason).

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 6

Everyone staying warm? We hope so! We’ve been having a pretty relaxing January so far. I was casually flipping through some photos on the computer last night and realized I never wrapped up our Have Pug, Will Travel trip from September (Boy, does time fly)! So here is the much-anticipated (I’m sure) HPWT finale!

(If you need to catch up with earlier installments, here’s the whole kit and kaboodle.)

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When we last left you in Part 5, Sid and I had enjoyed an evening stroll along the beachfront after a day of several amazing hikes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. After a restorative forty winks in our home on wheels, we woke up the next day and made breakfast. Sid embraced his managerial role, making sure I split the blueberries evenly between us.

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Since our campsite was so close to the beach, we took an enjoyable post-breakfast stroll in the sand.

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And of course we couldn’t resist taking a few glamour shots.

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We then packed everything back up into the van and got back on the road. Our next destination was the town of Holland, Michigan. After a scenic drive along the western-Michigan shoreline, we eventually arrived at the Lake Macatawa campground located within Holland State Park. And, like most campgrounds we stayed at during this trip, we were just a short walk to the water! Time for a dip!

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As you can see in the corner of the picture, there are kayaks for rent on Lake Macatawa, but unfortunately it was a little too late in the day by that point to rent them, so instead we headed towards downtown Holland. Our first stop was Kollen park where there were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.

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The town of Holland is very charming and we enjoyed just walking around and people-watching. The main drag, 8th Street, is lined with little specialty shops, brew-pubs, and restaurants.

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Oh, and of course DOG BOUTIQUES!

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The staff at Decadent Dogs were very sweet and extremely generous with free samples of their gourmet treats, which Sid very much appreciated. They seemed to be giving Sid extra-special treatment and I didn’t know why until they told me about their town mascot: a pug named Lucy. Yes, you heard me right — A PUG!

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(Photo of Lucy from Discover Holland Facebook page)

Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet Lucy in the fur because she was on vacation, but Sid left her a message (via “pee-mail”) at her headquarters for when she returns.

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We were in our element as it seemed like everywhere we looked, the town of Holland was obsessed with pugs. Even in the old-fashioned clock shop!

After a nice afternoon out strolling through the town, we arrived back at our campsite and Sid enjoyed a few treats he picked up at Decadent Dogs. Yum!

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The next morning, we packed up and headed back to sweet home, Chicago.

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Sid and I had such a fun time on our adventure and we hope you enjoyed traveling along with us! We can’t wait to make plans for our next Have Pug, Will Travel adventure!

New Year Delay

Happy 2017 to all of our friends both furry and fur-less!

After the holidays it got REALLY COLD in Chicago – we’re talking BELOW ZERO with the wind chill so we’re been hunkered down at Pug Slope HQ and thus haven’t had much opportunity for adventure lately.

I think Sid’s okay with that.

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He told me his resolution this year is to get fatter (duh, I mean it’s the goal of every pug in existence). He’s already well on his way though as our walks have been extremely brief due to the arctic conditions outside.

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So he’ll be napping, snacking, and increasing his diameter until Spring comes — then it’s Pug Boot Camp time (shhh, don’t tell him!).

Merry Christmas 2016

Hello all my friends!

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. I already emailed my list to Santa (he’s pretty tech-savvy) and of course it contained Wigzi balls, crunchy treats, b.c.’s — you know, the standard stuff.

On behalf of my dad and I, we’d like to wish you all Happy Holidays! Hope you all get to enjoy some time with your families, scarf down lots of treats, and play in the snow (or at the beach if you are so lucky)!

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Stay warm, folks!

White Out

That first snowfall earlier this month was very pretty but the snow only lasted a day or two. Remember, though, that this is December in Chicago so naturally it wasn’t long before we got another dose. Our morning walk that day took us once again to our favorite neighborhood spot: Winnemac Park.

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Upon arrival at the park, Sid became sour due to the added difficulty one experiences when one is trying to sniff out the perfect pee spot and everything sniffable is covered in thick mounds of cold fluff.

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But his mood did a complete one-eighty when he set eyes, or rather nose, on the raised garden beds located in a corner of the park near the high school. The beds were overflowing with dried plant stalks which are an optimal medium for sending/receiving pee-mail, so I am told.

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I do hope we keep getting snow here because the added humidity the snow brings makes it feel slightly warmer than usual and prevents the city from becoming a stark frozen tundra. And it sure is purdy.

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It’s Baaaaack!

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Yes, folks, it is now OFFICIALLY winter here in Chicago. We got a few inches of snow yesterday in the form of large fluffy flakes. Of course the first snow is always the best, especially when the temps are still bearable. You’ll certainly get a polar (pun intended) opposite opinion if you ask me about snow in April, but for now Sid and I are enjoying it immensely. Well, maybe me more than Sid.

Have you gotten any snow where you live yet?

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 5

We hope everyone had a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Sid certainly got spoiled and will need to exercise all week long to get his waist back! I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.

Anywho, Sid and I are back today to continue the recap of our “Have Pug, Will Travel” (HPWT) road-trip from September. If you need to catch up with earlier installments, here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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At this point in the trip we were back on the road heading to Traverse City, MI. We took a scenic route that hugged the lakefront led us out to the very tip of the Old Mission Peninsula where we were greeted by a cute lighthouse that was built way back in 1870.

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Sid explored the beach – scanning for treats as usual.

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When he didn’t find any, he decided to do the next best thing and take a dip in the lake.

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The long and narrow peninsula is home to several wineries. We picked up a bottle for the grand-pugrents but since Sid is under 21 years old, he was unable to sample any vino.

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We arrived at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and set up our camp at the Platte River Campground.

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We explored the area around the campground, which was lush with trees, then made some dinner and went to bed early so we’d have plenty of energy for hiking the next day.

After a good’s night sleep, we had breakfast and then headed for the Empire Bluff Trail. It was a very lovely trail that wound through the forest.

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The trail kept slowly ascending and by the end a little boardwalk led us onto a sand bluff that rose up 400+ feet above Lake Michigan! I couldn’t believe how far we could see off into the distance when perched up so high.

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Sid couldn’t believe it either. See how excited he looked?!

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After that breathtaking view we hopped back into our HPWT Home-on-Wheels and followed the route of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This “trail” is actually a narrow paved road that winds through the forest and sand dunes and is dotted with a dozen scenic viewpoints where one can pull over, get out, and take a closer look. The concept behind this road is that it permits anyone – even those people that are unable to hike by foot on a rugged trail – to experience the beauty of the nature here.

Lookout points #9 and #10 were particularly spectacular – and extremely windy!

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We had a delicious picnic lunch at the Glen Haven Historic Village, which Sid was pretty happy about. He perked up after chomping down a few tasty b.c.’s. I suppose all that “scenic looking” must be considered arduous work for a pug.

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After our mid-day recharge, we headed to Pyramid Point to tackle another trail.

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Along the quaint tree-covered trail, we saw lots of cool little flowers, a few snails, and even some impressive looking mushrooms!

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And just like the previous trail, this one kept slowly going up. And up. And up.

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All those calories expended on the way up were definitely worth the view we experienced when we reached the point.

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Sid stared out onto Lake Michigan and took time for some deep thoughts. Either that or he was just thinking about ways to hijack the remaining b.c.’s from my backpack.

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At this point we were both ready for dinner so we headed to our campsite for the night which was at the D.H. Day campground.

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Sid wolfed his food down and then proceeded pass out while I relaxed and made some food for myself and lit the campfire.

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The D.H. Day campground was right next to the beach which is what made it superior to Platte River. So of course we couldn’t resist watching another stunning sunset and enjoying twilight time on the beach.

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With the brilliant moon and multitude of stars high above us, we settled in for the night.

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And…the HPWT epic tale will conclude in Part 6 where we visit Holland!