Saturday, July 18, 2009

What I Learned From Going to a Pug Meetup

Today was a pug meetup. For those of you non-dog people, it's a big play date for pugs and their humans. I originally got involved with them because I foster pugs for SEPRA, and it's a good way to advertise. But, actually, I'm finding that pug people are easy people to get to know. Randy and I already gave our number away to another couple who was looking for people interested in having a game night. Fun.

So, while these little activities were purely for enjoyment, I learned something today that made me realize how important what I'm doing is (and on a much bigger scale, what organizations like SEPRA are doing...). 

DeAnna, the pug meetup coordinator and manager of the SEPRA Missouri sect, pulled me aside today to tell me a story about Charlie, the foster Randy and I just adopted out. He was a stray found wandering around Georgia in severely poor health (e.g. starving, skin allergies from flea bites, losing fur, and browning of his black coat). It just so happens that a family in Georgia, around the area Charlie was found, was looking for their young, black pug. The description matched that of Charlie. It was a mother of 4 children who was using this dog as her "breeding" dog. Yep, a puppy mill. We can be sure of this, because Charlie has a little blue dot on his underbelly. I never knew what it was but guessed that it was a un-desolved stitch of some previous surgery. I learned today that puppy mill owners tattoo their dogs with dots in a similar fashion to branding cows. It was probably her main source of income. The location she had given had been around where Charlie had been picked up. Therefore, he probably wasn't a stray for very long... which means his horrible health conditions were not induced by being homeless. Rather, they were induced by poor care and neglect. Sickening. 

As Charlie (now re-named Omar) came through the doors to the pug meetup with his new mommy and pug brother, Miguel, my heart broke for what he had to endure in his previous life. He came to us in horrible conditions... his back covered in scabs... his nose dripping of green fluid. But his tail still wagged. His tongue still gave kisses. His eyes still had life in them. Here was the most loving, forgiving, and forgetting boy in the world. He has no reason to be so loving towards humans, but he is. He came in and gave kisses to everyone in the room at the pug meetup. His life is good now. And he's a gorgeous boy. Sleek. Coat shining. A spring in his step. He still has the tattoo (which makes me thank God he's far, far from Georgia), but he's also got a new lease on life. 

And that's why I love being a foster home for rescue dogs. Because these dogs deserve it. But I don't do it just for them. Dogs like Charlie help restore my faith in life and love.  


Jen S. said...

What a happy ending to such a sad story. I'm so glad that he found a good home. Keep up the good work! It's so important. :)