Part 2 of Rebekah’s Story – Mabel & Pixie!

We were a household of three pugs who in a short space of time dropped down to one. We lost Bella to old age after a happy 13years with her & our Jasper pup suddenly & too young, in February 2023.

We were left with our lovely Skye, who we introduced in Part 1 of my Pug-StoryRebekah’s Story – Adopting Skye! | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk)

Skye was not at all used to being in a one dog household. But we ourselves felt shell shocked & certainly weren’t looking to grow our pug family just yet.

We saw a social-media post on the PDWRA internal Facebook group for pug-adopters, about a bonded-pair, Mum & daughter currently being fostered. Mum needed some TLC. I remember thinking that they looked like a very sweet pair who would find a home easily. 
Later on that same evening my husband asked if I’d seen the cute pair of pugs on Facebook? I thought that was odd as he rarely uses social media & he would always err on the side of caution of adopting more pugs (he pretends to be a grumpy Dad but is a softie with them at heart!). 

Over the next few weeks I periodically checked for updates on them but saw none. I assumed they had a home lined up.

In mid June a post went up saying they were ready to be re-homed together, Mum as a long term foster due to health issues & her daughter as an adoption. I remember reading all the comments on that post & feeling surprised that no one was coming forward for them.
I tentatively inquired for some information on them. We were told that the little one was fit & healthy, just needing to be spayed. But that Mum had quite severe vision loss, some hearing loss & damage to her ears due to infections being neglected & a skin condition needing medicated baths. This reply came a few days before we flew out to Lisbon on a family holiday so we were in busy packing mode & didn’t get a chance to absorb it.

Once away, myself, my husband & our then 11 year old daughter discussed the pros & cons of taking on two more pugs. We’d had poorly pugs before & knew the heartbreak it could cause. We were still recovering from the loss of our previous pugs & were unsure if we felt ready for more so soon. We knew that taking on a pug with health conditions is a huge commitment – emotionally, financially & time wise. We think people need to be aware that yes they are very cute & cuddly but the reality can be quite tough sometimes! 

However, we kept finding ourselves going back to the Facebook posts & looking at their photos. We would chat about what we thought their personalities might be like, how we thought they would get along with Skye etc. 
Whilst away, our lovely pug sitters Roger & Pat were sending us videos of Skye. They look after many PDWRA pugs & always have a house full. Watching videos of Skye playing with others sealed the deal for us. It had been too long since we’d seen her happy like that. 
We told PDWRA that we’d love to offer them a home. It was all arranged so easily & quickly. We didn’t at all dread the holiday blues as we knew we were going home to something far more exciting! 


The pair had no recognition of their original names at all. So, as Mum was the epitome of an old lady, we renamed her Mabel. I will never forget our journey home with her. She fell asleep in my arms instantly & didn’t once move or make a sound. I had to keep placing my hand on her to check she was still breathing. I was like a worried Mum of a new-born! She felt so underweight & because her coat was sparse I could see her sore skin.

Once home it became clear that she was almost fully blind & she was bumping into everything. We put her out the garden & she span in a left circle 26 times before she did a wee. I remember myself & my husband looking at each other as if to say “we’ve got a right one here!” 

I would love to say that was a one off but it certainly wasn’t. Mabel is so perfectly wonky. She loves a left turn & will spin in dizzying circles too many times to count before going to the toilet. It’s not always that fun when it’s dark & wet outside but we’ve learnt to wear a hood. We’ve become a very tidy household who put our shoes away, tuck in chairs & generally keep obstacles off the floor for her. She is amazing & very quickly learnt the layout of the house. She can walk from her bed to the water bowl & to the garden all without bumping into anything anymore. In true pug style she also knows where dinner is served & will sit patiently in that spot from 4pm everyday until fed. 

We put her on a good quality diet which has helped her to gain weight, grow a healthy coat & stop the medicated baths. The recurrent eye & ear infections have stopped. She does suffer from the occasional bought of vertigo which makes her walk even more wonky than she normally does. But besides that she’s a very happy little pug with the wiggliest bum we’ve ever seen. She loves humans & if she hears a voice her little face will go up to the air & she will sniff until she finds you. Having Mabel’s face touch your face & watching her bum wiggle when she’s found her human is the sweetest thing! 

Whilst she loves us all, Mabel is most definitely my husband’s dog. She waits for him to finish work, knowing the time of day that it will be & walking in her left turns around the hall way until he scoops her up for an evening cuddle on the sofa. 


We renamed Mabel’s daughter Pixie, because she was so tiny. The daintiest little feet & a tiny face. Whilst short in size though, she certainly made up for it in weight! She resembled a barrel & could barely walk for 5 minutes without being out of breath & needing to be carried. 
She was mistrustful of humans. She would refuse to eat any food that we served her & would eye us cautiously. One day our daughter was so desperate for her to just eat something, she realised that if she rolled small pieces of food from afar then Pixie would eat them. That lasted a good few weeks as the only way we could encourage her to eat! 

Pixie would not sit on our laps or be cuddled. When we sat on the sofa cuddling Skye & Mabel, Pixie would sit across from us on the footstool refusing to be drawn in. She would sit upright & stare at us, never really relaxing. Pixie was also silent, never once making a peep. It was like she had no reactions or interest in anything, ever. 

One day she climbed from the footstool on to the sofa & snuggled up in the cushions next to me. It felt like a massive breakthrough that she’d sat next to me & relaxed enough to close her eyes. A few days after that she rested her head on my lower leg rather than a cushion. This continued for a few weeks. If I got ahead of myself & stroked her then she would back away. I had to learn to be patient & let her come to me. The first time Pixie climbed on to my lap for a cuddle was amazing & from there the cuddles never stopped! She loves to be picked up & carried around like a baby. She also found her voice – if anything a little too much & she will now boss us around until she is fed or gets a nibble of whatever one of her humans is eating.

With daily walks her weight dropped to a healthy size. Rather than being coaxed along pleadingly, she now loves a walk & asks for one each morning. We have a woodland behind our house which she loves to explore. In September she ran for the first time, something which we captured on video. She had spent months watching Skye run on the fields in the woods but never joining in. She now loves a game of chase with Skye & our daughter. 

I also call her my little stalker as she has gone from not wanting any human contact to following me everywhere. If I turn around I can guarantee she will be just behind me, looking at me with her beautiful big eyes desperate to be carried. I’ve become quite handy at being able to do many tasks one handed whilst she’s tucked into the other one. 


Mabel & Pixie really have completed our family & brought us all back some much needed happiness at a time that was very sad.

Thank you to them & as always to PDWRA for the amazing work you do!

Rebekah.

If you would consider adopting, please read more about it, at: Adoption | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk)

 

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