It had been almost 5 years since I lost my last pet (a cat!) and I hadn’t really even thought of getting another one. I was traveling quite a bit and had a pretty busy schedule, but in 2008, I took a brief vacation to visit friends and completely fell in love with their pug, Elvis. There was something about his personality that just filled me with joy.
I started tweeting about my new found love and tweeted that I was inspired to get a pug. A few of my followers looked up local pug rescue organizations and sent them to me. Honestly, I didn’t think you could be choosey enough with rescues that you could get a specific breed, so I was super excited to know this. I applied and went through a process that was as thorough as human adoption, I’m sure! Home visits, reference checks, the whole works.
After a few weeks, I got a call that Ridley was available for adoption. I went out to meet him and when they carried him into the room, belly up, tongue out, I thought, “That’s my dog!” He came with a different name and a very sad story, but I changed his name and fell completely in love with him. To this day, I can’t imagine how someone could possibly abuse such an amazing dog.
When Carlos came into our lives in 2011, he fell hook, line and sinker for Ridley, and has become a huge advocate for pugs and rescue as well. Which leads us to Lizzie.
After Carlos fell in love with Ridley and he and I moved in together, he started following various rescue organizations online and periodically sent me photos of pugs that were ready for adoption or fostering. At first I brushed him off, telling him that Ridley is getting old and he was happy with being an “only pug”.
However, in early 2014, it looked like Ridley was getting a little sad and lonely as we were getting busier with work, so we applied for adoption with Kismutt Rescue when we saw a photo of a female fawn pug. In the middle of a February snowstorm, we drove to London, Ontario to meet Lizzie.
Lizzie was a bit of a wreck when we met her. She had been locked up as a breeding dog in a puppy mill and obviously mistreated. With Ridley, I had to help him work through some separation anxiety issues in the beginning, but nothing like poor Lizzie. She was scared of people, had never been on a leash, never been trained to go outside, and we suspect had never learned to accept kindness. The first night we brought her home, I brought her outside and she sat there looking at the leash and me like she had no idea what was happening. After freezing outside for 30 minutes, I brought her inside where she immediately pooped in the middle of the floor!
In the next few weeks, we put her in doggie training class, took her for walks with her new brother (who was a great teacher!) and gave her more love than she knew what to do with. Almost a year later, you wouldn’t know she’s the same dog. She’s a total brat and thinks it’s her right to be spoiled rotten! She wants all of the attention, all of the treats and we can’t keep her off the bed. It still takes her a little while to warm up to new people, but nobody can tell she was once a mistreated dog.