Monday, January 21, 2013

All about Daisy!

As you probably assumed from photos, Daisy is a petite sweetheart!

She is only about 12 pounds, is estimated to be 6 years old, and has a smooth silver/stone fawn coat that is slightly "smutty" (more black hairs and a blurred face mask).  She can be shy and is extremely submissive.  Her tail is down more than I'd like or am used to with a pug, which is a shame since it has such an adorable loop.  It perks up when anyone comes home/visits, when the harness and leash come out, when it's meal time, and when playing.  Daisy is agile like a cat with mad jumping and climbing skills.  Here she is on the back of the couch.

It must be her long and lean frame.

Maybe that's why she has a bit of a waddle to her walk...oh, I mean sashay.  ;-)  And she frequently army crawls.

I think she does this to scratch her belly.  Daisy suffers from allergies, but luckily they are controlled easily with frequent ear cleanings, a bit of pumpkin in her food, and a Benadryl as needed.

I haven't been able to envision a fun persona for Daisy yet.  I think it's been hard because she is very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  That dainty face of hers reminds us of a tiny mouse, yet her voice is deep like a gorilla!  When I hear her, specifically when she snores, growls, and sighs/moans in disdain, it always makes me think about the Disney Tarzan movie where Jane sounds it out...GOR-IL-LA!  Yeah, I'm weird like that.  Anyway...  When she barks and yips during playtime, when someone is at the door, or when she is at her most vocal (in the morning yelling at us to get out of bed and feed her), Daisy sounds very raspy like singer Kim Carnes (Bette Davis Eyes)!

I promise I will get more video that better shows off her vocal talents.  So believe it or not, underneath that calm exterior lies a crazy beast!  This reserved girl turns into a very aggressive player - almost psychotic.

Growls and barks, loves attacking toys, playing tug, and biting humans.  If you blow gently on her face she will lick and bite your lips and nose!  She often is in the mood to butt run and have someone chase her.

Daisy insists on sleeping under the covers at night, and so unlike the lady that she is, her underarms get clammy and stinky - almost as if she sweats.

Better not let her know I said that.  It could mean trouble for me.  ;-)  Yes, don't let her fool you, Daisy can be quite the demanding diva...or maybe [hu] man-eater is more appropriate.

She knows how to work her cuteness to have everyone in the room fawning all over her and doing whatever she wants.  She HATES nail trims.  HATES them.  A lot.  It's a miracle that I can get them done.  It reminds me of a game of Twister.  Despite loving walks and picking up scent mail, she HATES the grass - dry or otherwise.

She walks on it like a kid playing that the floor is lava.  I must admit it's hilarious.  And although she squats to pee, Daisy lifts her back right leg at the same time.  She is a silly girl!  Daisy is obsessed with meal times and will beg when Tim and I eat, but (probably because of trust issues) is very finicky when taking treats and, to our dismay, is NOT food motivated (for training purposes). 

Like Donald, poor Daisy has to put up with a list of alternate names and be expected to respond to:
  • Daisy Mae
  • Miss Daisy
  • Daisy-kins
  • Dollop of Daisy
  • Captain Insano
  • Daiz (pronounced like "days")
  • Daisy with her tail up

In addition to those nicknames I should probably add Tiffy.  Daisy reminds me so much of Tiffy that I find myself calling her by the wrong name too often.  I joke to myself that they are sisters from different misters.  It *could* be possible as they are both Texas girls.

Daisy was found on the streets with mange and bad dry eyes.  Luckily for her and us, the selfless folks at PugHearts rescue in Houston saved her.  We think she is a puppy mill or back yard breeder survivor and seems to have had little to no socialization with other dogs and/or a very aggressive, terrifying breeding experience.  We also think it is possible that she was neglected by a lady or that it was a woman running the "kennel" where she was kept.

Most likely as a result of her past, Daisy is uninterested in other dogs and gets nervous when Donald tries to play with her, or even when he is making lots of his noises/growling while playing with Tim or I or a toy.  It breaks our hearts to see her run away from Donald and for him to look at us wondering why.  He will sometimes bark at her in frustration.  Donald isn't the only one ignored.  She doesn't care to pay much attention to me.  It's obvious that she prefers men to women, almost like she thinks they are better protectors and can trust them.  She tends to sulk when Tim is away and stays in her bed for the most part during the day despite my attempts to play or cuddle.

Please leave me alone.
I'm waiting for dad to get home,
and I can't be bothered with anything until then.

But when Tim is home, she lights up.  To say that she is attached to him is a big understatement!  And of course, he just adores her.  

Daisy is daddy's girl.  She will follow him everywhere.  Tim tested her by wandering around the house, even circling the kitchen island and coffee table.  Daisy was there with him every step.  When Tim is home she doesn't mind laying next to Donald or playing with one of us while Donald is occupied.

I don't want to mislead anyone, Daisy is a very happy pug and she loves being doted on!  And we have made some progress on her insecurities.  In the last few weeks, even days, she has been keeping her tail up more often, she has occasionally growled at Donald's advances when she is on her daddy's lap, I (yes ME) got her to wag her tail the other day just by talking to her, and she has been showing interest in cuddling on the couch and playing with me when Tim isn't around.  Daisy was only in foster care for a couple of months before we adopted her so I think she is still warming up to the idea of living a normal life.  We think Daisy will continue to come out of her shell, and I can't wait to share her growth with all of you!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

All about Donald!

Someday I will tell you all about how Donald found his way home with us, but for now, I want to tell you all about him.

He was saved from the streets in Texas, heart worm positive (negative now thank goodness!).  Probably dumped by a puppy mill or back yard breeder is our guess.  He is estimated to be about 5 years old.  He was named Donald because his rescuers at PugHearts thought his "noises" sounded like a duck.

Donald loves his duckie from Urban Hounds!

I think he tries to talk and whines like a baby when he is anxious.  I have heard him say "I want my momma" many times.  Seriously.  He comes close in this video when I left the car to get some food on our drive home from Texas.  I'll try to get a better one later.

He also makes perfect sounding "ruffs" and "arfs" when barking and regularly throws his head back howling "woo-woos".  Check him out at my parents' house.

Donald has one of the most expressive faces and loves to communicate.  I swear he likes to have conversations...and tell me what to do.

So far in only 3 months, Donald has racked up the following nicknames (in order of most frequently used):
  • Donald Man
  • The Nibbler
  • Big D
  • Mr Donald
  • Little Man
  • The Donald
  • Benjamin Button

Donald is as cute as a button.  He is a little guy at only 14 lbs, but has that husky pug shape.  He has a handsome golden fawn coloring.  His skin is very wrinkly, and he has a scruffy neck.  And please, don't get me started on the most adorable little pug feet with black hairs by his nails.

With the large wrinkle on his forehead, he reminds me so much of Salinger sometimes.  He has become quite a tail wagger.  His whole back side wiggles when he wags his tail, which has the most perfect curl I've ever seen.

Yes, Donald is a momma's boy.

No denying it, he melts my heart.  He is a pro at cuddling and loves empty laps, especially mine.  Every night he sleeps curled up by my side with his head on my shoulder.  He gives the sweetest kisses.  Donald likes his daddy too, but we have a special bond.  I can't express the joy he gives me, and I hope I am making him happy too.  Unfortunately, maybe because of this bond, I am trying to get him over separation anxiety.  We had to take a break working on this because of the holidays, but we'll get back at it soon.  I'm looking forward to testing out the Thunder Shirt.

Since Donald is so talkative, it's hard to imagine him having a different voice, but I envision his persona to be a combination Scooby and Scrappy Doo or maybe like Chester and Spike from Looney Tunes.  He is scared of many normal household items if he hasn't experienced them before, yet he is dominate and can be very pushy and bossy.  I imagine he wants to be cool just like Sid.  Yes, Donald is an alpha dog (somewhat unusual trait for a male) and loves to act all tough (even though a blow-dryer is his nemesis...ssshhh, don't tell him I said so).

Donald prefers the ladies.  He can get along fine with all other dogs from what we have seen before and after we adopted him, but he seems to want to play with the girl pugs.  And he can't wait to meet a special girl in California - Tiffy!  Donald loves to play.  He's hoping that Tiffy will run around with him on their first date.  Unfortunately Daisy wants nothing to do with him (more on that in another post).  So far Donald hasn't met a toy he doesn't like.  His Nylabone from his second foster mom is his night time binkie.  He loves to chew it in the big bed.  He will bite at the squeakers, but he's not set on killing them or totally destroying the stuffies either.  He likes to bite our hands, nibbling like he's eating corn on the cob (hence one of his nicknames) - just like his buddy Rupert.

He growls viciously when playing but no need to be afraid, it only means he's having fun.  One of his favorite things is to hold a toy with his paws biting at it while on his back.  Adorable.

Donald has his own version of the pug butt run.  He has to be really riled up and he doesn't do it very often.  Sorry this video is a little all over the place but it was so hard to film.  And in all honesty, it really doesn't do it justice.  It's just one of those things you have to see in person to really appreciate.

I'm guessing he doesn't run around a lot because of his bad back/hips/legs.  We aren't quite sure what is up, but he's not in pain.  He has a hard time jumping on the couch and is a bit clumsy while playing sometimes, but he doesn't let those things bother him.  We will likely have it checked out by a specialist soon to make sure there's not anything we can do now to help correct it, or at least prevent further issues as he ages.  Despite that, he has the most regal quick walk, just like a show pug.

He enjoys being outside and going for walks.  Loves all the smells and scoping out the neighborhood.

Donald is an impressive marker.  He has many peeing styles and will even poop mark (with or without leg lifted)!  Unfortunately, I think the grass (more specifically the high levels of mold in it thanks to the Midwest climate) is contributing to Donald's allergies.  They can be bad, lots of itching and scratching.  He is already on a great quality, restricted diet and we haven't found an antihistamine that seems to work for him.  I think come spring we will have to get him tested for the allergy shots so he won't have to be on steroids.

He loves food, is very treat motivated, barks and hops at meal time.  This is good since so far treats have helped him to get over his nervousness of new objects (even the hairdryer).  Here is a video just before breakfast that his foster mom sent me this summer.

If you can believe it, he is even more animated now so I'll have to get an updated video to post sometime.  Despite his passion for food, he doesn't beg when Tim and I eat.  I can even have a snack on the couch with him on my lap and not worry about it.  Now if I were to leave the room with the plate in reach, that is a whole other story...

I could probably go on and on about my boy, but this is plenty for now.  Next up, Daisy!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Let's get this blog started!

Hi everyone!  Welcome to Pug-a-Boo!  I must admit that it feels a bit strange to be back creating/editing posts, but I also have to admit that I missed blogging greatly.  For those of you that may not know, I should probably introduce myself.  My name is Christy Boostrom, but as my Blogger login and Face Book account implies, I am the proud mom of a very special angel pug, Payton.  I know I'm biased, but she was just so incredibly beautiful.

March 21, 2003 - March 30, 2012

I helped her pen the blog Pugnacious P.  It was a labor of love.  I am so thankful for the recorded memories of her last year and for all that it has done to raise awareness of Pug Dog Encephalitis and provide hope to many.  If you are not familiar with her miraculous story, I'd encourage you to browse through her blog.  She gave me so much in her short life, and I owe her so much.  As I start a new journey at Pug-a-Boo!, I'd like to dedicate this blog to my girl, my love, my Payton.  I love you always and miss you everyday.

For those of you that were avid Pugnacious P fans, I'm going to do things a little different at Pug-a-Boo! Donald and Daisy, who I will introduce you to in a bit, will have opportunities to provide their two cents worth, but I will be doing most of the writing.  And while I don't expect this will happen often, I may stray off the topic of pugs [GASP!].  I'm a big foodie and love to cook...and I know our pug readers won't complain about seeing a pic of something tasty.  ;-)  Lastly, as many of my fellow bloggers know, it is very time consuming to post often.  I don't think I will be able to keep up with the same frequency of posts that we published over at Pugnacious P.  I also don't want to feel any pressure of a schedule so only when I have news or a funny and cute story or a great pic of the pugs to share will you hear from me.

So now let me introduce you to the newest members of the Boostrom family.  We adopted Donald and Daisy in October 2012 from one of the best rescue organizations, PugHearts of Houston, TX.

Me holding Donald and my husband, Tim, holding Daisy

Rescue pugs are a new experience for us and it has certainly been different having two, but they are such good dogs - blessings that bring us constant joy.  There is so much to tell you about each of them that I think individual introductory posts are in order.  Stay tuned!