Rebekah’s Story – Part 1: Skye!

We first heard about PDWRA when out walking our two pugs Betsy & Bella 14 years ago. We had bought them both as puppies from a not so good breeder (we knew we shouldn’t but we couldn’t leave them behind, we even went back for her breeding bitch when the breeder was ‘done’ with her & gave her a lovely home with a friend). 

Anyway, one day out walking we bumped into a lady who stopped to fuss our pugs. We got chatting about pugs, as us pug people do & she told us about PDWRA. We thought you sounded amazing, but having two poorly pugs ourselves we already had our hands full.

When Betsy was just age 7, she sadly passed away & Bella became very lonely. 

We wrote a sincere letter to PDWRA explaining the many health issues we had encountered with our pugs (epilepsy, cancer, vision loss, eye ulcers, food allergies etc) & how we felt that we had enough experience to take on another. We also shared how lonely & withdrawn Bella had become. 

We received a phone call from a lovely member of PDWRA who said she would do her best to find us a pug. A little while went by & we didn’t hear anything.

Then on 14th April 2016 I had a dream that we had a new pug. I woke up the next day so sure that today was THE DAY! I kept my phone in the back pocket of my jeans so that I didn’t miss the call. Sure enough, at 4pm, PDWRA contacted me to say that a pug had just come in who needed a home & would we be able to collect her that evening at a half way point between where she was & us. By 6pm we were in our car waiting for our new family member!  

I will never forget the lovely Rachel who pulled up with a very scared pug in her car. She told us that the pug was called Skye & that today was actually her 1st birthday. She told us a little bit about her back story, how she had been kept in a crate (which she filled end to end) & was already on her third home. We were told that she wasn’t toilet trained. That she didn’t love a walk or to socialise. That she mostly just loved her crate & considered that her safe space. 

We transferred her from Rachel’s car to ours, keeping her in her crate to begin with. On the journey home, Skye became increasingly anxious. Her panting became so extreme that we pulled over & took her out of her crate. 

I tried to calm her on my lap but she continued to pant & whine. Eventually, she turned to see our 4 year old daughter sitting in her car seat. She fought to get across to her. I will tell you at this point as parents you are always careful of introducing small children with a new dog! Skye gently sniffed her face, allowed herself to be stroked & then rested her head down on our daughter’s lap & settled down to sleep. She stayed there for the rest of the journey home. 

When we got home we put her crate in the living room with the door open so that Skye could enter it whenever she wanted to. She never even glanced at it again. 

The settling in period between her & Bella was a bit tetchy. Our Bella was tiny (5kilos whilst Skye came weighing 9kilos) but mighty. Skye had to learn that Bella was the boss but once she’d learnt to ‘ask’ if she could enter the dog bed, play with toys etc all was fine. 

Learning to settle with humans was a little harder. Skye was wary. She had a broken rib which had reformed oddly & was (is still) very nervous of roads. We are unsure if there is a link there. 

She would allow us to touch her but would cower to the ground. With our daughter however, she was a different dog. They instantly became best friends. With love & careful coaxing from our daughter she learnt to cuddle & be cuddled. We learnt quickly that she was always supposed to live with children. We have a woodland behind our house & we swear she can sniff out children playing in it. She will always go over & sit patiently by them awaiting a fuss. 

Skye LOVED a walk from very early on. We just think she hadn’t been walked! Grass was a novelty & she couldn’t get enough of it. She would sit by the front door & ask for another walk multiple times per day. She still loves a walk in the woods daily. There is a little stream in there & she has also been known to jump in & have a swim. She loves to race with our daughter & also learnt to pencil roll on command – something which is now her favourite activity & being the grass obsessed dog she is, she cannot see a patch of grass without dropping into a roll. 

She was also toilet trained in a matter of days. We think that no one had previously taken the time or patience to show her. In fact, she is the most trainable, well behaved pug we’ve ever had! Our daughter taught her to jump through a hoop, over a skipping rope & through a tunnel. She is also partial to a bit of fancy dress on special occasions. 

Skye has seen 4 pugs come & go through our family home. She is always the biggest & accepts her fate in the ‘pug tower’ as they all climb on top of her & use her as a pug pillow. 

We just celebrated Skye’s 9th birthday. The walks are less frequent (now 1-2 per day) & she has moulded the top of our sofa to perfectly squish around her body for her daytime snoozes which have gotten longer. 

But once out in the woods she is still like that 1 year old puppy who can run super fast (faster than any pug we’ve known, even keeping up with a local greyhound!). 

She loves us whole heartedly & has even slowly learnt to trust strangers & now loves a chin tickle. 

Here’s to many more years with our lovely Skye!


Please see Part 2: Mabel & Pixie!
Rebekah’s Story – Adopting Mabel & Pixie! | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (


Subscribe to our Newsletters

Would you like to join our mailing list to receive regular newsletters by email, with latest news and updates?

Please submit your details below.

You have successfully subscribed!