Written by their owner, Dave.
They say that “time flies” but where on earth does it go to? I’ve just realised that Polly and Primrose, who came to stay for a fortnight back in early March, have now been with me for almost 5 months.
Recently the girls have taken to sleeping on the sofa upstairs at night. Then, anytime between 2 and 4 am they’ll come downstairs and jump up on my bed and stay there until about 6 or 7. At that time they walk all over me in an attempt to get me up and feed them. My partner Kate got me a Fitbit for Christmas. Amongst other things it records my sleep patterns. Quite bizarrely, my deepest and most restful periods of sleep occur when the pugs are on the bed with me. I had no idea they would bring such benefits with them!
As I write in late July, we’ve been lucky with the long, hot summer here in Cornwall although a bit of overnight rain to dampen the dust wouldn’t go amiss. Being on the coast we haven’t had the searing heat that some inland areas have experienced.
The girls and I get out every day for two or three walks – often with Auntie Katie and cousin Peanut. Where and how far we go depends on how hot it is but in the early morning or evening we usually end up on the nearby beach. I’ve just got to pick up their harnesses and they are jumping about ready to go, jostling one another to become the first to be dressed. They pull like a couple of mini huskies on the way to the beach, knowing exactly where they are going. When we get there and let them off the lead I am often treated to some “low riders” and both of the ladies have these silly grins on their faces. Little wonder as it’s got to be better than when they spent their days in a concrete outhouse.
Slim Prim, the speed machine, still runs in her circles, appearing to float over the ground effortlessly, happy to chase any dog who will tolerate her. She’s put on more weight and has become quite muscular but she can still be a little highly strung. She’s very much my little girl and needs lots of cuddles and reassurance. I sometimes call her TSB – short for, “Two Scats Behind”, which is Cornish vernacular for always bringing up the rear, she’s always sniffing somewhere, then realising we have moved on, hares after us. Mind you, this is a marked improvement on the times I turn to see her on her back, legs in the air and writhing in ecstasy in a cow pat or fox pooh.
Polly is the physical antithesis of Prim and has the balance of a drunken hippo. She seems a little “top heavy” and unstable but like a cyclist, the faster she goes, the more stable she appears to become. She is shorter in the leg than Prim but built like a tank and when she decides to step on the gas she is seriously quick and can hold her own with Prim and Peanut. At medium speeds her legs seem to splay everywhere and she looks as if she’s about to collide with herself. That grin is always on her face when she runs – perhaps I ought to rename her too, “The Happy Hippo”.
We spend a lot of time on the beach and Polly took to the water really quickly. We’d gone down one warm evening in June with the tide almost high. There was a comforting warmth in the evening sun which bestowed one with a sense of well being. At one point the beach sloped into a shallow pool about six inches deep then rose again onto a small sandbar. I walked out onto the sandbar and called the girls. Prim stepped daintily and with some trepidation, gaining in confidence as the water shallowed again, to join me. She got there and I was quite proud of her knowing what a drama queen she can be. Polly, somewhat surprisingly, walked back up the beach. When she had got about ten yards away she turned, pinned her ears back and just flew at the sea. A big bow wave spread out as she entered and she just seemed to overpower the water. There was spray everywhere! She got out on the sandbar, soaking wet and happily bedraggled with that endearing toothy grin of hers spread from ear to ear. That first time tears of laughter ran down my cheeks. Now, although I’ve seen her do this many times, it still cracks me up. I’m hoping that Kate has captured her aquatic antics on video somewhere.
Most evenings now we tend to end up in the water. The girls go in of their own violation – they just seem to enjoy getting wet. Perhaps it helps cool them down a little. At other times we might walk along a nearby wooded and shaded valley, next to a babbling stream and up an ancient pathway to a viaduct before we come home on a different track. It’s shady and cool and enables us to get out of the sun. The stream helps keep the air moist and the temperature down. There are access points to the water where the pugs can get in and have a drink or a paddle as needed. If we are lucky Kate packs a picnic, if not I always have a pocketful of treats to reward them with. These are halcyon days; days we wouldn’t have without the girls.
I spoke about the benefits of having two dogs in my last blog. When we’re out walking they have each other for company. They sniff about together, racing to catch up when they’ve fallen behind. They are so happy. While it is by no means obligatory we get out two or three times every day when we can, walking around 50 miles in a week. That may be considered excessive for a pug but split up, they cope with it easily. As well as the beach and valley we have the Heligan and Lanhydrock estates close by and a field within a quarter of a mile which is convenient when time is short or last thing at night. There are coastal walks all around us. I’ve never felt fitter. If it weren’t for the girls I would be sat in front of the television. The happiness they display is contagious. I often find myself laughing out loud at their antics. When we are out people always want to stroke them and they act as a conversation starter. I have made many more friends than I would have done otherwise as a result of having these two with me.
If you’re thinking about taking on a pug then stop prevaricating and just fill in the adoption form. It will be the best and most rewarding decision you will ever make. There are rescue pugs to suit most people’s lifestyles.
Adopting a Pug