Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Just a Brief Hiatus...

Well it's only been 2.5 years since my Mom fell off the wagon (the blogging wagon, that is...) but rest assured loyal readers, we are all just fine.  Vinny still lives with us.  That's unfortunate of course but when I ask why he's still here, Mom just rolls her eyes and reminds me yet again that he's my brother so he's staying.  Hmph.

Mom promises she's going to try to write for me on a semi-regular basis again, and I even told her the first post back could be an update on Lolly Pug since that was the last post on my blog way back in 2012.  Mom got to go to New Orleans this past November and of course that meant that she got to see Lolly Pug!  Mom said she was so excited to see Lolly that she cried all over the rug and I can only assume made a huge spectacle of herself. 

Lolly is visibly older and slower now, but Mom says she's really happy and even more spoiled than I am.  She also has a new addition at her house - a brother named Gretzky!  (I wonder if she finds him as annoying as I find my brother...)  Gretzky is another SEPRA alum like both Lolly and Vinny. 

Gretzky does tricks.  Yep, he seems like an annoying little brother to me.

Here are some more recent pics of Lolly and her sidekick.

And just so you know that I'm as handsome as ever (and that Vinny is STILL here), here's a quick one of us.  That's me at the top and Vinny on the left.  That dog who isn't a pug is my girlfriend (yes I have a girlfriend, I'm all grown up now!), Judy Chicago - she lives with one of my mom's friends and she comes to visit us a lot.  I know I'll be back soon so hang in there! 

Later friends! 
Love, Vito

Friday, October 26, 2012

They Needed Her More Than I Did

This post is long overdue.  Not only have I (errr...I mean VITO has) been in a blogging funk for a long time, but this?  This was just too hard to write. 

On September 22, 2012, Lolly Pug went to live with her forever family!  Her new mom and dad drove allllll the way from New Orleans to St. Louis that Friday, slept at a hotel for a few hours, then picked her up at my house Saturday morning and drove alllllllll the way back to New Orleans from St. Louis that day/night.  They. Were. Fantastic.  Such nice, warm people and I immediately knew Lolly was going to be in the very best hands.  You could almost see them fall in love with her immediately.  Lolly however was shy and stuck to me, as I knew would happen.  And of course, it ripped me apart.

Baby Girl Pug getting ready to go on a road trip

They stayed for just a little while - I knew they needed to get back on the road and I also knew that I needed them to leave so that I could break down and sob in private.  Her little face leaving is forever burned in my memory, just like when Louie left, and I still cry just thinking about it.  This one was harder than Louie though - Louie still lives here in St. Louis and I knew I would see him again.

I've referenced this post a few times and it really does help me be able to give these fosters up.  "They need him more than you do" - the words of my wise Mom.  Well I knew that Lolly's parents needed her more than I did.  Even though I really WANTED her.  If ever there was a pug to fail with, Lolly was that pug (no offense, Vinny!).  Lolly's parents adopted their pug Emma from SEPRA back in 2007.  Unfortunately, she passed away just a few weeks before Lolly showed up on SEPRA's website.  They were heartbroken.  When they saw Lolly on the site, they said they just knew she was the one.  Something about her little face made them think so much of their Emma.  Their friends and family told them they were crazy to drive all the way to St. Louis for a pug - but they said it wasn't about getting any pug, it was about getting Lolly.  Emma had survived a puppy mill and had many of the same fear issues that Lolly did.  I knew they had the perfect experience and patience for Lolly and that she would thrive with them, just like Emma did.

Lolly's Mom & Dad
They say every foster takes a piece of your heart with them.  Lolly took a CHUNK of my heart with her.  She was my first girl and what a special girl she was.  She came in so scared, but so grateful.  She was here for just over 2 months, and the progress she made was incredible, and so fun to watch.  I miss watching her snuggling with the boys and wrestling with Vito, which started a few weeks before she left, and she always initiated!  She was learning how to be a pug!  I miss her raspy bark telling me to hurry up with the dinner.  I miss carrying her down the stairs (although her Mom tells me she now goes down on her own every time!) and I miss lifting her on to the sofa.  I miss her sleeping in her dog bed on top of my bed, and sometimes migrating out of it for snuggles.  I miss everything about her.


The good news is her mom sends me email updates and Lolly is doing just great.  She is loved and spoiled and comes out of her shell more and more every day, just like she did here.  I hope that she knows she is in her forever home.  My biggest obstacle when I let go of a foster, and especially in this case with Lolly and her fear issues, is that they will be scared or confused or missing me.  Lolly's mom emailed me their first day home and it included this:

"The car ride yesterday went smoothly, but Lolly was very sad leaving you.  I have never heard a pug make the sounds she was making!  She was crying and barking and HOWLING!  Howling like a wolf!  It was the most adorable and the most heart-wrenching sound we've ever heard.  She was pretty much saying, "Help! I'm being pug-napped!"  It was very clear how much she loves you and how safe she felt with you.  She will never forget you and how lucky she was to be scooped up and loved by you!  We had a major breakthrough when we stopped to get dinner.  J offered her a piece of french fry and she looked at him SO dubiously, but then she tried it and loved it!  So I think after some bites of french fries she realized we couldn't be that bad after all and she finally settled down and snuggled up on J and she was much more relaxed the rest of the ride."

The bad news is that Lolly was totally won over by that french fry and is still partial to Dad!  :)

Lolly at home in New Orleans with her SEPRA blankie
Lolly and her Grandpa.  I could not love this picture more!
Thank you so very much for letting me be your foster mom, Lolly Pug.  I will never, ever forget you or stop missing you.  You taught me so much.  I hope to see you again some day.  (And Vito and Vinny sure miss you too.  Vito will tell you just how much he misses Lolly in the next post - and WHY he misses her so much!  We MAY just have another pugger in our house right now...)

Lolly's last week with us - Vito laid with his leg on her and she held his paw.
Vito and Lolly Pug

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lolly's Photo Shoot

Quick post to share the entire photo shoot for Lolly-Pug's SEPRA adoption bio.  I first discovered David Carlyon with Darkwood Studio last year through his volunteer work for Gateway Pet Guardians - a group I admire to the point of stalking!  They feed the strays in East St. Louis every single day (thanks in huge part to the most amazing PJ Hightower who has done this every single day without fail since the early 2000s), and rescue when possible.  They very recently were able to finally open their own emergency shelter after years of being a "virtual shelter" with only foster homes to help.  Find them on Facebook - they are incredible!

Anyway, V & V's Santa pics last year were done to benefit Gateway, and David was the photographer!  David also fosters for Gateway and goes on feedings with them frequently to take incredible pics of these gorgeous stray pups (and cats!).  After I saw the amazing work he does, we began emailing about doing a photo shoot for Vito & Vinny.  We did that earlier this year and the pics were INCREDIBLE!  (And yes, they need their own blog post - again, LAZINESS!)  But David also mentioned that he does free photos for rescue pets' adoption bios.  I took him up on that offer and he took these awesome pics of my Lolly-Pug for her bio.  Enjoy!!!


Vito is MAD, y'all.  I know you are shocked.   He's been trying to get a blog post up forever now and I (Mom) have just been too busy/overwhelmed/really-none-of-those-things-just-lazy.  One day I promise I will let him write his own blog post again.  But it won't be tonight!

We have a lot of catching up to do and as I've mentioned, Vito is horribly slow at dictating his posts to me to type for him, so I'm going to have to take on this massive post for him!  And if we have another incident like a few months ago where Blogger cuts it off mid-post and I have to break it up after already writing and posting a ton of pics - then I will just have to throw my hands in the air and walk away!  So fingers crossed we get this whole blog post done in one clean shot!

Alrighty then!  I can't believe it's already September!  Back in July(!) - Friday July 6 to be exact - I got an email from another SEPRA foster mom/volunteer, asking if any of our fosters could help with a little pug girl who was dumped at the high-kill/animal control shelter in Springfield, MO.  This was her picture:

Look at that tiny, scared baby.  Unfortunately, even though she was brought there by someone, she had to be kept on a "stray hold" for 5 days in case someone was looking for her.  Our theory is that a breeder dumped her there and claimed to have found her so they didn't have to pay the surrender fee.  This is so common.  And so sickening.  So I immediately said I would take her, but had to wait the 5 days - knowing that no one was looking for her - and knowing that this tiny girl had to be absolutely terrified in that place.  I couldn't sleep or think about anything else while waiting for those 5 days to pass.

On July 11, she was finally able to be sprung from prison!  The awesome volunteer/foster mom went to get her out of there.  She said she was adorable, but as I suspected, terrified.  She was also filthy. 


That night they took her to a very pug-friendly vet in Springfield to spend the night in her own quiet dog-run until we could get her to St. Louis the next day.  She also got a bath and nail trim, flea treatment, etc.  I had planned to meet the volunteer/foster mom in Rolla, MO (about an hour and a half from St. Louis) to get her the next day, but then got a call that an incredible volunteer who works with the Rescue Road Warriors could bring her all the way to St. Louis from Springfield!  You guys - this group is AMAZING.  This volunteer brought back my little pug-girl plus I believe 7 other dogs that day.  She does this every single week - drives from St. Louis to Springfield, MO - saving dogs from kill shelters and other horrible situations and getting them to rescue groups.  That is a 3.5 hour drive - one way!!

 All packed up and ready for her ride to safety!

 She got to be the transport driver's co-pilot!  She was very happy to be on the road to freedom!  And you can see, her teeth were NOT in good shape!

Turning on the charm by resting her chin on the arm-rest.  The transporter said it was a good thing she was so cute because she nearly stunk her out of the car with her gas!  Her gas continued for a few days after she arrived!  Luckily good food and no more fear of that awful shelter got the gas under control (but she IS a pug)!

Before Baby Girl Pug (as I named the album on my laptop in which I stored her Animal Control picture) even arrived, I named her Lolly.  And so, she made her way to our house.  And I fell in love.

 Just arrived!

Lolly is a tiny pugger - only 14 pounds.  She came in smiling and happy that day.  But she was absolutely EXHAUSTED.  She laid on the sofa with me, Vito & Vinny within 30 mins of arriving and slept as hard as she possibly could.  She had obviously been through a lot in the 5 days she spent in the shelter.  I would find out how much she had been through before that, in the coming days.


The first time I fed her (away from Vito and Vinny in my bedroom) was the first time I realized how scared she was.  I put her food bowl down and proceeded to do other stuff in the bedroom while she ate, like hanging up clothes, etc.  She jumped a mile and/or cowered ever time I made a movement.  It was both horrifying and heartbreaking to me at the same time.  What had someone done to this tiny adorable girl in the past to make her so scared?  As weeks went by, she still did this, as well as jumping any time the tags on her collar hit her stainless steel food bowl.  She also cowered in fear when I reached down to pick her up.  

A few days after she arrived, I had an unplanned get-together at my house, and Lolly got to meet some of my friends, including the V&V's best friends Kyle, Paul, and their Aunt Becky.  She was scared at first, but showed how starved she was for affection because it only took a few pets for her to just melt in to anyone.
Kyle and Lolly 

Paul and Lolly

 Becky and Lolly

Lolly on my lap  :)
We all assumed that Lolly had been dropped off by a breeder/puppy miller but the one thing that doesn't add up is that she is seemingly 95% housebroken.  She may have been a "backyard breeder" - i.e. possibly living in someone's house but just pumping out puppies for profit and being mistreated/abused.  She has definitely had puppies, which again broke my heart.  This tiny 14 pound girl.  She's estimated to be about 6 years old. She was spayed the week after she arrived, and had to have a dental and lost 4 more teeth - in addition to the many she was already missing, her breathing was just horrible, and she was even coughing & gagging at times.  

 Foster mama had never been through a spay and boy, is it different from neuters!  So much more invasive and sad!  But Lolly-Pug was feeling good enough by Day 2 to play with her much-loved Nylabone!

 Vito the photo-bomber!

While under for her spay, her trachea and soft palate were checked.  Her trachea was fine but her palate is elongated.  The vet didn't recommend surgery, but we sought a second opinion from a specialist.  In between those appointments, her breathing improved though, and the coughing & gagging all but ended entirely.  The specialist also did not recommend the surgery at her age - he said it is too risky and she has adapted.  I agreed, I hated the thought of putting her through it.  He also said she has likely stopped the coughing and gagging because she is now breathing clean air and has a good diet, compared to whatever hell she was living in before (and likely eating slop).

 First vet visit!

 Lolly at the specialist where she was an excellent ambassador for SEPRA and made lots of friends!  I was even able to give out two SEPRA business cards to people who had no idea that pug rescue exists!  When we walked in to the vet's office, poor baby just splayed out on the floor in fear and I had to pick her up and she clung to me.  But I think she might have known what she was doing - b/c that is what got so many people's attention in the waiting room and she ended up sitting on many people's laps and they got more information on pug rescue!  I think Lolly is really a smart cookie!  ;)

So!  Now that we have all of that technical history out of the way (this is what I get for not posting a blog in so long!) - let's talk more about Lolly-Pug as a PUG!  And how she gets along with her foster-brothers.  This little girl is so wonderful.  I can't believe she's been here for almost 2 months!  She immediately got along with the boys and they have been exceptionally nice to her - even letting her snuggle in to them and rest her chin on them.  Lolly is my first foster-girl, and I think there is some truth to the "opposite sexes get along better" because I swear it's like they look after her and take it easy on her.

She and Vinny seem to have especially bonded.  I think it's just because Vinny is so laid back.  He lets her lay wherever she pleases.


But Vito has also really taken to her - and more importantly, her dog bed.  You might recall about a bazillion posts about Vito tearing open the dog beds I have so generously bought for him over the years to try to pamper him and make him comfortable - only to have them torn up like stuffies.  Well Miss Lolly got spayed as I mentioned, so I brought out a donated dog bed for her to sleep on so she would not try to jump on/off the furniture.  And whattaya know?  Vito loves dog beds!!  Therefore he snuggles with Lolly pretty frequently.

Also during Lolly's stay, I went to visit a friend for 4 days so Lolly went to stay with another foster mom.  Here are the before/after pics - the after being the ONLY picture I've ever gotten of Miss Lolly-Pug "really" smiling!  I think she missed me?  And HOLY PUG, did I miss her (and the V's of course)!

Where exactly are you going??

 Oh yay!  You're back!

So, long post very long, Miss Lolly is an incredible little girl and we just adore her (yes, her foster brothers too!).  She has come a long way.  Not only is she my first girl-foster, but she's my first foster to have any sort of fear/possible puppy-mill issues.  So she has especially tugged at my heart in watching her progress.  She is like a different puggie since she's been here and especially in the last 2 weeks, compared to her arrival.  Having never experienced a pug with these issues, I expected her progress to be faster, but I know that's ridiculous considering what she must have been through.  But watching her conquer fears every day is an experience like no other.  She has now gone down the back porch stairs about 4 times on her own.  She no longer jumps when her tags hit her food bowls.  Her tail is up and curled and wags more than it ever has before.  She only rarely cowers now when I go to pick her up.  She makes huge strides every day.

She is now officially up for adoption through SEPRA (and I will share her entire photo album in a separate post soon!), and has a very interested potential family.  They recently went through a little storm called "Hurricane Isaac" though so we are all on hold for a bit (hint: they live far from St. Louis)!  ;)  Whatever happens, this little girl is going to make someone very happy and I will only let her go to the most perfect home, because I'm so in love with her.  She has taught me so much during her stay with us.

 Day 2
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...