Archive for January, 2010

Snow in Tenessee

Saturday, January 30th, 2010



MVI_0472

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

We got snow and lots of it! Well, it was a lot for Chattanooga, Tennessee. I got home for work and put on my snow boots and put the girls winter coats on so we could go out and play in the snow. I had visions of Lola and Baby Girl romping around in white powdery snow flakes; not so much! Baby Girl would not move from the spot where I set her down in the horribly cold and wet stuff that plagued her paws. Lola did run around for a minute and acted like she was having fun. Then I guess that the reality of the cold set in and she kept running back to the door trying to tell me that she was over this and we needed to go back inside where it was warm. Oh well, they are pugs after all, not sled dogs! And since I did not believe the weatherman, we drank all of the milk. I guess that I’ll have to venture to the store today and hope that there is at least one carton of milk left on the shelves.

Viva Las Vegas

Thursday, January 28th, 2010



IMG_0373

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Ever since I can remember, I have been slightly fascinated by Las Vegas. The image that I had in my mind had been brewing for years. Well, after 38 years, I finally made it to Fabulous Las Vegas!!! It was everything and more that I’d imagined.

We arrived Saturday night just in time to see the sun set on the Vegas strip. We stepped out onto to Las Vegas Blvd and this was the first thing that we saw. This character gives new meaning to the work freak! But he was super friendly or was that him just vying for tips?
Man Whore

Here is a recap of the 5 days that we were there:
We stayed at The Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino-very swank atmosphere. And of course there was the Pleasure Pit where the pole dancers are among the card tables and the dealers are wearing lingerie. They have several Starbucks (24/7) that are adjacent to the casino floors. The fact that you can get gourmet coffee 24hrs a day is reason enough to move there.

We went down to Freemont Street at night to see the laser light show. The place was very interesting. Basically, they took the old downtown casinos and added a canopy to bridge the buildings. It transformed the place into an open air market with vendors and stages set up. It is really worth a visit, but I would suggest going at night to get the full effect. Not to leave the pugs out, I got them some custom made t-shirts!
0117002146 T SHIRTS FOR PUGS

Planet Hollywood Westgate: My husband signed us up for a time share presentation. It was supposed to be 1.5 hrs-it was 2.5 hrs. We were supposed to get breakfast-we got a Sara Lee muffin. We did NOT fork over $50k for a time share, but we did get tickets to the Blue Man Group; albeit the worst seats in the house.

Blue Man Group: I have mixed reviews. Part of it was really good and part of it was really slow. I have talked to other people who have seen in the past; apparently they change up their show because some of the material they are going now they have not done in the past.

Terry Fator Show: Terry is a ventriloquist comedian. His show was very good. He mixes the puppets singing (him singing without moving his lips), comedy, and him singing. He was funny and interesting. If you like comedy, he was worth seeing.

Transportation: If you go to Las Vegas, you need to get passes for The Deuce. The Deuce is double decker public transportation bus that runs up and down the strip (and to Freemont St) pretty much all day/night. The passes are $15 for 3-day unlimited pass; $7 for 24 hrs pass; and the least economical is the $3 per ride pass. But, you can not get on with any drinks-alcoholic or otherwise. I missed a bus because I had a brand new Starbucks that I wasn’t willing to trash.

All in all, we had a wonderful trip and I’d go back next week if I could!

red hot sale at the limited

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010



0102001556

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

I went “exchanging” today at the mall. Although The Limited was not on my list, I stopped in. Guess what I saw at the entrance? Three mannequins all dress in pug t-shirts! I don’t think that they were for sale, but they were adorable. I did manage for find a couple of things for myself while I was checking out the displays. And by the way, there are having a red hot sale!

www.thelimited.com

Chattanooga Pugs at Bone Appetit

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010



IMG_0311

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

It was freezing outside today. No really, at 12:00pm it was only 25 degrees. Have no fear; Chattanooga Pugs were meeting at Bone Appétit so we were toasty warm inside. Every January, Bone Appétit lets us invade their store for our pug gathering. We had a great turn out of people and their pugs.

Bone Appétit
103 Frazier Avenue
Chattanooga, TN
37405-3932
(423) 756-2663

Pictured is Ashley with her pug Pippa in one of Mell’s prototypes for doggie tutus. You can see her adorable line of tutus and hair bows at http://www.etsy.com/shop/piggytailsboutique

I felt like a NurdBunny

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010



0102001142a

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

Before the holidays, I found an ETSY.com site from NurdBunny with the cutest hats and scarves for pugs. I am sure that other canine breeds buy them, but NurdBunny has a pug as their model. I had sent them a convo to see if they would make me a matching hat and scarf too, and they said yes! Today was our first outing in our winter wear. We went to our local doggie bakery for our January pug gathering. Lola, Baby Girl, and I all had on our hats and scarves. I can imagine the looks that we were getting riding down the road. I pulled up to a stop light and it was all that I could do not to burst out laughing. I could literally feel the person in the car next to us staring at the spectacle! Thanks NurdBunny!

Pictured are Baby Girl (SEPRA hospice pug) with he gray and pink hat, and Lola with her pink and black hat.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NurdBunny

My Guide to Living with Pugs

Friday, January 1st, 2010

My guide to living with pugs: This information is my opinion and knowledge that I’ve gathered over the years from trial and error and other people’s wise advice. You can take all of it, some of it, or none of it for your use. I am going to break each section up into a topic with some advice and then what we do in our household to give some real life scenarios.

First of all, there is a difference between people who own pugs and people who are pug people. People who just own pugs have pugs living in their household. Pug people are crazy over their pug(s) and seek out other pug people to talk about what else? PUGS!!! Pug people are overly involved in their pugs’ lives and think it is completely normal when other pug owners are also. In my opinion, the only way to live is as a Pug Person!

Food:
• Buy the best food you can afford for your pug. Their skin, coat, eyes, digestive tract, and body will thank you. You owe it to yourself to get educated on pet food. Check the ingredients on all food and treats that you give your pug. Where is the food/treat manufactured? There have been numerous pet food recalls over the past couple of years and your pug’s life may depend on your pet food knowledge of lack of knowledge. There are excellent premium brands that have high grades of ingredients. There are a growing number of brands that are completely or largely organic. There is also a wealth of information of feeding Raw, but make sure you do your research before you go do this path. One of the benefits of feeding premade kibble is that the nutritional content has already been formulated. If you are feeding Raw, you will need to make sure you have a balanced diet for your pug.
• We feed our pugs California Natural. We rotate the formulas between the chicken and beef formulas. We have used the Lamb formula in the past, but found that it was a trigger for one of my pugs to get urinary tract infections. I don’t have anything to support this information, but an elimination of the lamb from her diet has prevented her from getting UTIs. I was advised by a Veterinary Nutritionist to rotate their diet. I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every single day and I believe that it helps prevent your dog from developing intolerance to specific ingredients. Don’t be shocked that there are nutritional specialists for dogs! Our pugs eat kibble (this is the hard food). Even my pug that does not have teeth gets kibble that has been soaked in water so that it is soft. The serving amount on the side of the bag is a suggested serving amount. This is a good place to start, if after a couple of weeks, your pug is starting to get porky, then cut back on their serving size. I feed my pugs 1/3 cup of kibble 2 x day. With Baby Girl, I will fill up the scoop to a level amount and take out 2 pieces. I swear those extra pieces added up over time and she had gained weight. She has back issues and any extra weight puts stress on her lower back and effects her walking. You may also see that you have to adjust your pug’s serving sizes depending on how many treats you give and the amount of exercise they do or don’t get.

Treats
• Treats come in all kinds of packaging. There are doggie crack treats that have cheap ingredients and quite frankly, your pug will go crazy over them. They are the candy of the treat world. There are organic treats that are made by the same premium food manufactures. There are doggie bakeries that specialize in a variety of treats in many different flavors. Some other options for treats are vegetables, low fat cheese, and all natural peanut butter.
• My pugs love raw and cooked carrots, organic no-sugar added peanut butter, and pieces of cheese. Salt free canned green beans or thawed frozen green beans are other great options. We have a local doggie bakery that makes delicious peanut butter treats (I have never tasted them, but the pugs love them!).

Bones & Rawhides
• Bones are a great way to stimulate your pugs’ gums and to remove plaque and tartar from their teeth. There are animal bones that come plain or even filled with other treats. There are many different shapes and sizes of rawhides, pig’s feet, hooves, etc. There are also edible bones. Some of the brands of edible bones have had bad press in the past; you use your own judgment as to what you buy your pug.
• I am a vegetarian so I rarely buy my pugs bones (it just grosses me out). I will occasionally get them rawhides. I will only buy the ones that are organic and have not been over processed and over bleached. My pugs only get rawhides supervised. When the pieces get too small and propose a choking hazard, they go in the trash.

Toys
• What pug doesn’t love a huge stash of toys?? And what pug person doesn’t love to buy them new toys at every outing? Some really good and beneficial toys are organic rope toys (good for teeth) and Kongs. You can fill a Kong with treats and/or some organic peanut butter and voila! hours of entertainment for your pug. Kongs are also dishwasher safe and it is a good idea to properly sanitize them from time to time. And yes, I do use dye free and fragrance free dish washing detergent. I would say to avoid some of the rope toys that have been dyed weird colors, especially if they were made overseas. I can’t imagine that lead would be good for a pug. If you get a toy that has the ‘eyes’ and ‘nose’ make sure to check it periodically to make sure that your pug has not detached those from the toy and eaten them. Some great toys are the Berber fleece ones. Or you can make a fleece rope toys from fabric scraps.
• The only toys that my pugs have unsupervised are the organic rope toys. They don’t have pieces that come off that would be a choking hazard. Or they have the Berber fleece toys where the eyes and nose are sewn on in threat vs. plastic pieces. Kongs are great for pugs that may have some separation anxiety. When you leave, they are rewarded with a yummy filled toy that will provide them with a treat and some stimulation while they try to get all of the goodies out.

Exercise
• If exercise is beneficial for you, just think how beneficial it is for your pug. Each pug is designed a little differently and has different endurance and physical abilities. Some pugs are long and lean and have high endurance levels. Some pugs have short little legs and round little bodies and are never going to be able to run a marathon. Or you will find that some pugs are somewhere in between the two spectrums. Is your dog tearing up the couch? Is your dog acting unruly? I have a piece of advice- Walk your dog!!! Can you imagine a toddler being inside all day? Can you imagine and teenager being coupe up all day? Well, your pug needs the proper amount of exercise for their age and physical abilities. You and your pug will benefit for walking. Please note that I am saying walking and not, let your pug out the back door to run around. Running around is great, but we can all use some structured exercise.
• I am going to read the above paragraph to myself too. Sometimes, it is do as I say and not as I do. We go for periods of routine walks and the pugs benefit from it, but then the weather will impede our outings and we get out of the habit of evening walks. In our household, we have pugs at opposite ends of endurance. Our 5 year old could walk for what seems like forever without getting too winded. She loves to see the neighborhood at eye level and is also mentally stimulated with the sights and sounds. Our other pug is 11 ½ yrs old and has multiple medical conditions. Her walk is around the yard until she gets winded. Some days this is about 5 minutes, some days it is closer to 1-2 minutes. She does love to ride in her stroller while we walk though. She gets the benefit of mental stimulation without taxing her aging body.

Harnesses and Collars
• There is a lot of debate in the pug and dog community over harnesses verses collars. With pugs, I only advise harnesses for walks and outings. Have you seen the cartoon or comic strip with the dog running after the delivery truck and then the poor dogs gets snapped back by their collar when they come to the end of their leash? Can you imagine the potential damage that could do to your pug’s neck and trachea? Collars are wonderful accessories for fashion purposes though. Since pugs tend to have necks thicker than their heads, there is too much risk for a pug to back out of their collar end up in traffic or in a dangerous situation.
• My pugs wear custom made harnesses from Harness Heaven.com. But I highly recommend Puppia Harnesses and the Buddy Belt comes with rave reviews. We also have custom made collars from Harness Heaven for dress up.

Injuries and Illnesses
• If your pug gets injured and is bleeding, yelping out in pain, or has open wounds; get to a vet immediately. You should know your vet’s operating hours and if they are closed, you should know where the closest emergency vet clinic is located. If you pug incurs an eye injury, you need to seek veterinary care immediately. Some injuries can cause ulcers or permanent damage to your pug’s vision. Outside of an immediate injury, operate on the 3 day rule. If you pug seems “off” on a Monday afternoon, monitor them on Tuesday (go ahead and call for an appointment for Wednesday, you can always cancel), and if you pug still seems unsettled, go to the vet’s for an exam on the 3rd day. Sometimes your pug will get into something in the yard or in the house and will have an upset stomach. If it does not clear up with the 3 days, seek out advice from your vet.
• We keep a supply of GenTeal to flush out dirt and debris from pugs’ eyes. I also keep a supply of medications for upset stomachs, seasonal allergies, and just about anything else. Even though I have the meds on hand, I always consult with my vet before administering medications.
• If you ever have to seek out a specialist for neurological, spinal, or any other issues, my best advice to you is to video tape your pug. When dogs go to the vet’s office, their adrenaline is pumping and whatever they were or weren’t doing at home isn’t evident at the doctor’s office. If you have it on tape (most cameras and cell phones can record video), you can show the vet exactly what concerns you about your pug’s behavior. I have used this on several occasions when one of my pugs was having back problems. We could not even get her to stand up at the vet’s office because the floor was so slick and different from ours at home. The vet viewed the video and had a much better understanding of her mobility limitations.

Regular Veterinary Visits
• Regardless of what your state requires for vaccinations, you should take your pug to the vet 2 times a year. This will provide an opportunity for your vet to detect any lumps, bumps, or potential health risks. It also gives documentation of your pug’s weight and overall health.
• I wish that I could clone my vet and send her to everyone’s town. She is compassionate, honest, knowledgeable, understanding, and just a good person. Her staff is wonderful to me and my pugs. You want a relationship with your vet that has open communication so that everyone can benefit from veterinary care. Before you go to the vet, write down any questions, issues, or concerns about your pug’s health, behavior, etc. Sometimes when I get to the vet’s office, I am overwhelmed with petting other dogs in the lobby, cleaning up where one of my pug’s just pee’d, or just the act of getting someone on time with a pug in tow. When I have everything in writing, it helps me know that I haven’t forgotten to address a topic of importance. Also, if I need heartworm medication or anything else, it adds as an additional reminder. If your vet talks to you about something that you aren’t very familiar with, write it down. Ask them if you can do some additional research and set up a follow up appointment or time that you can both review the information. I once had a foster pug who was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease, my vet wanted to put the pug on a prescription diet, I asked her if I could do some research on diets and get back with her. I followed up by presenting a list of different premium foods that would meet the pug’s dietary needs and my desired to feed organic food. We both agreed on a trial of the food and to set up a future exam. The pug did excellent on the food and we both felt like we had learned something beneficial.

I know this seems like a lot of information, but really it is just the tip of the iceberg. Your pug has no voice, you have to be your pug’s advocate for food, veterinary care, and general well being.

Daily Life with Pugs

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Daily life with pugs: The key to living in peace and harmony with pugs is keeping a schedule. And exercise, exercise, exercise!

Mornings: M-F we get up at 6:30am and the pugs immediately go outside to pee & poop. If you are on a regular schedule so will your pug’s body. On the weekends, we usually sleep late. Sometimes the pugs let me, sometimes we go ahead and get up and then go back to bed. This may be TMI (Too Much Information), but if you know that your pug always poops first thing in the morning and then they don’t one morning; this may be a indicator that something in off internally. Or if they start peeing more than usual, there again this may be an indicator that something is wrong.

Breakfast: Our pugs eat their meals inside their exercise pens or x-pens. We have found that feeding them separately is the best option in our household. In the past, we have had pugs that had different dietary needs and required different medications. If you feed your pugs separately there won’t be any squabbles over food and you can monitor if they are or aren’t eating all of their food.

Leaving the house: When we leave the house for work or just to run to the store, our pugs stay in separate x-pens. I know that some people are big fans of crating their pugs/dogs. We don’t because over the years, we have had rescues and fosters that came from backgrounds where they were kept in crates 24/7 and that was not a good environment to continue with them. I have no problems with crating your pug if that is good for you and them; we just don’t in our house. I do think that it would be beneficial if your pug were crate trained for traveling. Each pug has their own x-pen with their own bed and bowl of water. We leave a potty bad in with each of the pugs just incase they have to go before we get home. The reason that each pug has their own x-pen is that through the years we have had pugs in various medical conditions and from various backgrounds. Some pugs have well adjusted attitudes and some pugs have a tendency to get dominant. To be honest, I just can’t trust that one of my pugs would not beat up on the other while we are away.

Dinner: There again, our pugs eat their dinner in their x-pens.

Family time: This is my favorite part of the day when the pugs and I can hang out with each other on the couch or they will be at my feet while I am preparing dinner. This is when you can get in the floor and play with your pugs or you can snuggle up with them in the bed for an afternoon nap. Even if I am at my desk on the computer, it is nice to look over and see them napping next to me.

Exercise: You may choose to exercise your pugs first thing in the morning (I’m not a morning person), in the middle of the day (I work), or in the evenings. What ever time is best for you, exercise your pug at an appropriate speed and distance for your pugs’ body and fitness level. Exercise will help keep your pug maintain a healthy weight. It is an excellent way to burn off extra energy for those younger pugs. And it is a great way for you and your pug(s) to get fresh air and get the blood circulating.

Household: I never, ever, ever let my pugs have free reign over the house. Our ‘pug room’ is a converted garage with linoleum floors and that is where the pugs’ x-pens are and were their extra beds are scattered around the room. There is a baby gate separating this room from the rest of the house. This is where we have our desks and we spend most of our time on the computer with pugs at our feet. When I am making dinner, I like to have the pugs in the kitchen with me. We have another baby gate that separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. If I am on the couch with the pugs, we all hang out together. At no time do the pugs have free reign of our house!!! If you can’t see your pug, then you can bet they are getting into something that they aren’t supposed to or they are doing something that they shouldn’t. Letting your pug have free reign is just setting them and you up for failure. I have known people who had to leash/tether their pug to them while they were potty training their pug.

I hope that some of this information will be useful for you and your pug(s) to maintain a harmonious life together. Remember that are no bad pugs, just owners that may need some help and guidance.

A Walk in the Park bedding

Friday, January 1st, 2010



IMG_0269 CUDDLEDOWN BEDDING

Originally uploaded by Papa’s Pugs

This is the cutest bedding and a gift to myself to start the new year off in fresh linens. They also have a coordinating embroidered sheet set. The description was “retro” and “1950’s” and that is all that I needed to read and the fact that it has doggies on it. Unfortunately it is not pugs, but the canine sentiment is there.

http://www.cuddledown.com/product/bedding/organic/a-walk-in-the-park-flat-sheet.do