We adopted Rocky and Rosie (aka the Tarot Pugs) in the end of March 2014, after the sudden loss of our first pug, Tomo.
We found an advertisement that was put online about two weeks after Tomo had passed away, but we weren’t sure we were ready to have another dog.
There was a hugevoid that was left from losing Tomo.
A few months before Tomo passed away, we had considered getting a second pug. It was months before Tomo passed or even had his first bout of illness, that we had talked about the possibilities of getting a puppy or adopting a rescue pug from our local pug rescue.
We had thought and discussed about the expenses that would come with having a second dog, and how we would accustom Tomo to sharing his personal space with a new pug.
We dreamed about camping with Tomo and the second pug, and each of us having a pug of our own to take on walks so that one of us isn’t just holding the leash while the other holds the little poop baggie.
It was a couple of weeks after Tomo passed away, I was searching online advertisements to see what was out there. Tomo left such a void in our life, that we weren’t really sure when we would be ready to accept another pug in our lives.
At first, I was just looking to see about breeders and thought that by contacting a breeder, we would give ourselves enough time to deal with everything before the next litter was born.
However, I found an advertisement for two pugs that we being put up for adoption and needed to be kept together as a pair.
They were brother and sister and could definitely not be separated.
I mentioned it to my husband, but he wasn’t sold on the idea. He felt at first it was too soon and kind of was leaning towards raising a puppy. Yet, not just one puppy – he was thinking of two puppies!
I wasn’t quite ready for the middle-of-the-night potty breaks, housebreaking all over again and the constant work a puppy demands, not to mention to added expenses of veterinarian bills and vaccinations needed for the first year or two. (Although, “puppy breath” and clean puppies are certainly delightful!)
A Change of Heart and Mind
Then one day while I was at work, my husband texted me and asked if the two pugs that I found online were still available. So, I emailed the owner and inquired while I was at work.
After 5 pm on that same day, I received a response that they were still available even after almost two weeks of the advertisement being online.
I arranged a meet-and-greet for the following weekend, which my husband had strictly said to me the day before, “We’re just looking to see.” (Even though I had withdrawn the money in case we changed our minds; a small monetary fee that I considered more a gesture of goodwill rather than “purchasing” the duo.)
We met the owner and right at first Rocky was excited to see us, Rosie held back in the wings to see what was going on.
We chatted with the owner as Rocky and Rosie wandered around the living room and kitchen. The two pugs were to come with all their belongings: food and water dishes, crates, a wooden barred gate and all their collars, leashes, brushes, shampoos, nail trimmers, etc.
I was smitten and surprised at the size difference between the two (Rocky weighs about 25 lbs and Rosie is about 16 lbs), but I looked to my husband to give the final verdict.
I could see in his face that we weren’t leaving without Rocky and Rosie in tow.
A New Home for Rocky & Rosie
As my husband packed up our Mustang with their belongings (which I was surprised everything fit in the trunk), I stayed inside to get final instructions or any other information that we needed to know.
We put on Rocky and Rosie’s collars and leashes and lead them outside to the Mustang, letting them hop into the backseat as I sat with them in the back as we drove on our way home.
Rosie started to clean Rocky’s ear as we were driving the 15-20 minute drive back into the city and they seemed completely relaxed, as if they had been expecting us.
There wasn’t any crying or anxiety shown by either of them. We stopped to pick up some dog food (Royal Canin Pug formula) on the way home, then introduced them to our neighbourhood.
The snow in our parking lot didn’t make it easy for us to find a spot for the pugs to go to the bathroom, although the snow was starting to melt somewhat.
After a quick potty break, we brought them inside to get them acquainted with their new home.
The day that Tomo passed away was quite traumatic for him and us. The pancreatitis made him lose all control of his bladder and bowels, with terrible vomiting and shaking, and that day and for the following week, I was steam cleaning the carpets and cleaning even the baseboards.
I had started to clean our apartment as a way to distract myself after Tomo passed away, since it was difficult to just sit and read or watch TV and be alone or with my husband and without Tomo next to me.Sadly, we had to throw away his blankets and orthopedic bed because they were badly soiled.
I thought I had cleaned enough to get any remaining stains or odours out of the carpet using pet formula cleaning solution (no matter how much I have cleaned it even to this day after owning a pug for 5 years, the pug hair will never completely come out).
However, as soon as Rocky and Rosie entered our apartment, they went right to the last placed in the living room where Tomo had unfortunately peed.
They sniffed and snorted all over the living room floor, and then Rocky made his “mark” on the living room ottoman where Tomo had vomited on his last day. (We later threw the ottoman out since it needed to be replaced.)
I knew then that Rocky and Rosie had made it “their home” too.
They jumped on the couch and lay down, making themselves comfortable in front of the TV. The complete change of scenery, people and scents didn’t faze them one bit.
They adjusted really well to everything.
The Pugs Feel at Home
I spent the first night alone with them on a Saturday night without any problems. As the days went on, their personalities started to shine even more brightly.
We learned that Rosie is a little Houdini and can get out of her own crate and went through a phase where she would wake up between 2 am and 4 am and want out of her crate – not to go potty, but rather to get the day started and chew on her prized possession: the Nylabone.
Rocky had a hard time adjusting to our potty and walking schedule for the first few months, so there were a few “house accidents”.
They love attention and always want to sleep next to us on the couch, although Rosie sometimes like “alone time” and will go in her crate on her own to sleep.
If I sit at the dining table to do office work or my readings, they’re right under my chair or feet cuddling each other, either licking each other or snoring away.
As I sit at the laptop or reading tarot cards, Rosie frequents laying on my lap, while Rocky sleeps on the floor by my feet (or paws at me to get attention).
The Struggles of Pug Hair
As a side note to this story, for anyone that thinks pugs don’t shed because they have short-hair has never seen my apartment – now magnify that by two. If you come to visit, you bring a nice souvenir of pug hair home with you for free.
I love to wear black clothing, yet with two fawn pugs, I carry a piece of them, i.e. hair and lots of it,wherever I go (I swear you can find pug hair at my office and anywhere I go).
A big lesson we have learned with Rocky and Rosie is to never leave your drinks unattended in the cup holders of our couch because 1) Rocky will most likely lick the cup or bottle and 2) unless you like the taste and texture of dog hair, you’re definitely going to get some in your drink. Bottled drinks with a cap have come become very useful, but it doesn’t prevent Rocky from licking the caps.
With a pug, you’ll always have two eyes staring at you whenever you are eating something. Now I have four, which they love to creep closer and closer until they’re sitting on you, hoping for any crumbs to fall.
A Part of Our Hearts
Rocky and Rosie came into our lives just at time right time when we needed them most, and I can say that they probably needed us too.
As the one year anniversary approaches on Tomo’s passing, Rocky and Rosie definitely make it easier to manage every day and certainly give us a good reason to get up in the morning and start our day.