Friday, August 9, 2013

Good Childhood Memories: Suki

I know I usually have a rather dim view of my upbringing, but the blog gives me an opportunity to let out some things I don’t normally say publicly. To give the blog a little more positive beat, I’ve decided to talk about some of the bright spots of my childhood.

Whenever I see a pug, I always have to laugh. They really are such funny dogs, their generally jolly personality, the facial expressions on that wrinkled up face, the short, deep bark that they have (which is rather unusual for a small dog, most have a high pitch yap of some sort, which I find highly annoying), and the snorting noises like a pig that they make because of their nose shape.

I also laugh because it brings back memories of a pug my family had when I was a kid. My sister is over 9 years older than me, which means she left home for college in northern Indiana when I was about 9 years old. Before she left for college, as is typical for high school students in the Midwest, she had to take the ACT test. Because she didn’t schedule a test date until close to the deadline, she ended up taking it at a high school in Greenville, Illinois, a town about 50 miles east of our hometown.

My dad had been thinking about getting a dog for my mom for a while, and when he went with my sister to the appointment to take the ACT (she was 17 years old by this time, but as a teen, she could get lost very easily, she does somewhat better now, but she still isn’t good with directions), he asked some of the teachers there about animal shelters.

Not an actual picture of her, I don't think I have any
When they came back, he brought back a tan colored pug named Suki. The shelter had said that she had belonged to a military couple from Scott Air Force Base here in Southwestern Illinois. The couple had been transferred elsewhere and couldn’t take her wherever they were going to. She was already 9 years by this point, but still had some considerable energy to her. She was used to her former owners taking her for rides in their car, and for several months, she would run in circles at the front door like she was chasing her tail as a form of protest when someone would go out the front door without her.

It was a new experience getting used to a dog that snores, you always knew when she feel asleep. Pugs can’t breathe very well through their nose, and can snore as loud as a large man. It was funny to hear both her and my dad snoring at the same time, and they never snore in rhythm, one would snore, then another, as if they were having a snoring contest. She was always a happy little dog, I never remember her getting angry with anyone, even a Miniature Collie we had at the time.

For some strange reason, she was what you might call a compulsive over eater. No matter how much food you would put in her bowl, she would eat it all, then act as though she was still hungry. Because of this, she had to be separated from the miniature collie during feeding time, because she would eat her bowl of food fast, then try to steal food from the collie, which would inevitably end up with a dog fight (although the pug started the melee with the food theft, she wouldn’t bite the collie or fight back, strangely enough).

This video from Animal Planet has more information about pugs:

The eye popping they talk about towards the end is possible. I have never heard of it happening due to a collar being too tight, it usually happens as the result of a hard impact to the face. Unfortunately, that’s what resulted in Suki’s death nearly 4 years later, her eye came out, and the veterinarian said that it had been out too long, and damage to nerves, etc in the eye was too severe, and surgery likely couldn’t be done safely because of the fact that she had congestive heart failure (we didn’t know that). My mom felt that there was no sense in putting her through the suffering of the surgery if there was the likelihood that she wouldn’t survive it anyway, and had her put down.

I still have fond memories of that jolly old pug, though, and I always get a good laugh when I see one, especially if it was a tan pug like her (some people call them “fawn colored” pugs or “Chinese” pugs).

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