Happy Friends Club Friday!!!
Today we meet Rachel’s 6 adorable pugs and her mom-in-law’s 2 cutie-pugs!
Rachel is a self-proclaimed, “pugaholic”!!! She and her husband live with their 6 pug-babes in Kansas City, MO. When Rachel was a child, her grandmother had a pug named Lady and that is Rachel’s my first memory of a dog. Since she was little, she has always known that she wanted a pug of her own…and now she has 6!!!
Her dream became a reality when her husband surprised her on her birthday in June 2005. He said they should get a pug puppy. They already had an Australian shepherd and Chow mix named Bacardi. He was around 5 years old. Rachel and her husband began to search for a pug breeder. They decided on a breeder in southern Missouri, about 3 1/2 hours from Kansas City. The breeders a were a nice couple and Rachel and her husband were so excited to learn that they had a fawn male puppy that would be ready to go home on July 17th. They instantly fell in love with him and named him Milo.
Milo is now 8 years old and he is a very sweet boy. His mommy says, “If he is chewing on a toy and someone else wants it, he just lets them take it right from him and doesn’t even put up a fight. He was never much of a cuddler as a puppy and doesn’t care to be picked up and held, but does enjoy sitting on laps. Milo is a cancer survivor. He had 2 forms of cancer at the same time. He had a tumor on his spleen and had to have the spleen removed and he had a mast cell tumor in his armpit. That was 2 1/2 years ago, and is doing well now.” Thank goodness! What good news! When Milo was young, both Rachel and her husband worked full time. Rachel says, “Every time we would leave the house, Milo would scream and cry. He had really bad separation anxiety. It was heartbreaking to leave him. A fellow coworker of mine has two pugs and she told me that it was pretty common and that we could consider adding a second pug. In December, we called the same breeder we got Milo from and told them we were interested in getting another pug and that we wanted a fawn girl. The nice lady said that it was funny we were calling that particular day. Milo’s mom was in labor that very second. She ended up having just one girl in that litter and we got to claim her the second she was born. We decided to name her Mabel.”
Mabel will be 8 this December and is Rachel’s baby girl. Rachel says, “She is a princess, diva, girly girl, and the mother hen of the pack. She grooms all of the others, almost obsessively. She loves to cuddle with anyone that has an empty lap.” After a couple of years with Milo and Mabel, they decided to add another pug to their family. Happily, their breeders had a 12 week old litter, all ready to go home. There were 4 left in the litter. They decided on another fawn girl and named her Myrtle Mae, (after Rachel’s grandma).
Rachel’s mother-in-law wanted to ride with them to pick up Myrtle Mae and guess what happened!? She fell in love with two of Myrtle’s littermates. After a lot of thought, she decided on a fawn girl and she named Lily. Rachel says. “For the next week, she agonized and cried over the other one that she left behind. So a week later, we went down and picked up a fawn boy she named Duke. Duke was the sweetest, gentlest pug ever. You would pick him up and he would just melt into you.” Here are Duke and Lily.
Sadly, Duke passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly just after their 2nd birthday. Lily got depressed and began loosing weight. Rachel says, “After some time and a lot of thought, my mother-in-law rescued another fawn male and she named him Max. We call Max a ‘forever puppy.’ The only time he is not running around and playing is when he is sleeping. We guess that he is somewhere between 5 and 7 years old now. We don’t know anything about his previous life before he was rescued from the shelter. Based on his behavior, we suspect it was not good. He was found as a stray.”
We are so happy this sweet boy Max found a loving home!!!
Around this same time, Rachel and her husband decided that they wanted a black pug in the mix. The breeders they had used were not breeding anymore, so they found another breeder that had a black male puppy available. They brought him home and named him Malcolm.
His mom says, “Malcolm is 4 years old and is an attention hog. He wants all the attention and all the toys. He doesn’t necessarily want the toy, but he just doesn’t want anyone else to have it either. If I am holding one of the others, he has to get up there, too. He is a total mamma’s boy.” After Malcolm, Rachel and her husband thought their family was complete. They weren’t looking for anymore dogs.
As Rachel says. “Four pugs seemed to be enough. Well, as fate would have it, I was on Hug Pugs facebook page and I usually only looked at the pictures. Someone’s post caught my eye. It said something along these lines….’Bad news, we found out the baby is blind. If we can’t find a home for him, we are going to have to make a hard decision.’ A hard decision??? Just because he was blind??? I instantly messaged that lady to inquire about the puppy. Come to find out, he had champion bloodlines, and was promised to another family, but they didn’t want him when they found out he was born blind. He was only 3 weeks old. It blows my mind that there was any hard decisions to be made. He would adapt. I told the lady that I don’t work, I have time to help him, teach him, whatever it takes. It was the longest 5 weeks of waiting, but we got to pick up my fawn blind baby boy on my birthday 2 years ago. We drove 8 hours up to Wisconsin to get him. We named him Melvin.”
Melvin is now 2 years old. His mom says, “He was born blind, but that doesn’t slow him down. He knows right where everything is and gets around quite well. He has a favorite toy, and he can find it in the toy box every time. He loves to snuggle and when you pick him up, he just melts down into you.” What a sweet boy! That bit about his toy, just fills our hearts with joy!!! Rachel says,
“Melvin’s breeder had been repeatedly contacting me since November, 2012 and letting me know about a litter of puppies she had. She said that she had 1 left out of the litter and it was a black baby girl. We had Bacardi and the 5 pugs at the time and I kept telling her thanks, but we can’t add another dog at this time. Bacardi was 13 and not doing well. He had been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and was quickly going downhill. It wouldn’t be fair for him to add another dog. We told her this on 3 separate occasions. At lunch one day, my husband wondered out loud if she still had that black baby girl. I said, ‘I don’t know, give her a call.’ She still had her but there was someone coming to look at her on the weekend and she would let us know. In the back of my mind, I was hoping that the lady coming to look the puppy, takes her. Why are we even considering this? We keep saying, ‘No, no, no….it isn’t fair for Bacardi.’ Well, the breeder called up on Saturday and said the puppy was taken. We decided it was for the best, it wasn’t meant to be. Good for everyone, and definitely the best for Bacardi. Well, on Monday, we woke up and Bacardi was not able to stand up on his own at all. We let him sleep during the day, and that evening he still couldn’t get up. We decided, after talking to our vet, that it was his time. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my adult life.
This is Bacardi with Myrtle.
Here is where fate comes in. In the middle of us making that agonizing decision, the breeder called us back and said that lady brought the baby girl back and she was ours if we wanted to come get her. “After telling her ‘No, no, no….it wasn’t fair for Bacardi,’ over and over again and the minute we made the decision was when she called us.” Rachel explains that they felt they had to get this girl now- that it was surly meant to be. “ That Friday, we drove the 8 hours back up to Wisconsin and brought her home the next day. We decided enough with the “m” names and named her Henrietta.”
Henrietta will be a year in January and her mom described her as, “a sassy little puppy who loves to play and is quickly turning into the alpha of the six. She has a favorite toy stick and carries it around with her everywhere she goes. She is a sweet little girl. She is a total mamma’s girl and I can’t go anywhere in the house without her.”
“Henrietta loves her brother, Melvin, sooo much. She brings him toys when they are in our bed, I think because she knows he is blind and can’t get off the bed himself.” That is them holding hands as they sleep! How cute!?!
“Now, our family is complete. It is amazing how each of the 6 pugs are completely different. They all have their own personalities and quirks, and favorite toys. My mother-in-law has to travel for work once in a while, so when she does I am blessed to watch Max and Lily, bringing my house to 8 pugs. It is pug chaos, but sooo much fun. They all love to play with their toys, the love to sleep, they love to chase each other around the yard, they love to sleep, they love to snuggle, they love snackies, did I mention they love to sleep? They are pugs, after all! I can’t even remember my life before pugs. Some may say six pugs is too many, but I say it is just right.” Thank you, Rachel for helping us to tell your puggie story. Your family is so very sweet. We are so happy to know you! With love to all ~ Gretta Rose and the whole pug family