Wednesday, December 16, 2009


It doesn't matter that it's full on winter; that the weatherman says it's -9C today but it feels much colder with the wind; that out here, it IS colder with the wind.

That little house-dog still needs to go outside.  And there'll be none of this opening of the screen door and chasing him out to play on his own.  He's a pet.  He wants to be with his people.  Specifically, ME.

He's got trees to pee on and snow to dig into with his flat face.  In his world, these things can only be done with ME as his supervisor.  He loves the snow, but if left on his own, he'll go take a wiz under the lilac bush then crouch at the door shivering and looking pathetic until I let him in.

So I have no choice.  I bundle up and follow him out into the wastelands...

Everything looked so pretty in the summer.  I spent much of September pulling forgotten junk out of the long grass, trying to make some room.  Not that I specifically needed the room.  I just needed to work.  I wanted to do the work so my ol' Man wouldn't have to.

Now the hunker-downs are parked for the winter, soon to be covered.  The intrepid Pug plows his way through the soft stuff.

It's not deep.  We had no snow in November, and what we do have gets blown away by the harsh wind. Maybe the wind is feeling like I am these days.  Restless.  Slightly helpless.  Needing to do something but not quite sure where to throw that energy.

The wind has more energy than I do.

So does the crazy little dog, once he's done snoozing and snoring on Grandma's couch.

Sometimes he still looks out over the wide expanse of field and looks like he's about to run for it.  What really knocks me out is the little guard dog routine.  He sees a car going down the town line - how he sees anything with his whacky eyes is beyond my imagining - and growls like he's just spotted an enemy and must now go chase it away!  Of course the car keeps going, so clearly, the Guard Pug has done his job.

Then he has to go inspect that gnarly old camper that didn't quite make it to the scrap yard this year.

Then it's time to run up the hill to the garage.  This will be way too much fun in a month or so when the snow is up to my knees.  Pug tunnel!

After that he's got some serious snoring to do.  He's a very busy dog.


Four Dinners said...

How does the little fella cope with drifts? He needs doggy stilts!!!...;-)

marsh to the fore said...

You've reminded me that I have to record some of our special times at Tahoe with Plato. That is if I can keep track of him.

He is totally always going behind houses then roaring out, his doggy grin going, to see me again.

Fun times with a mutt!

Sydney said...

haha the pug

Funny you guys got snow. We got absolutely jack squat.

JKB said...

AW I love your pug!

He is the cutest EVAR. :-)

Marni said...

Aren't they awesome??

Paul Tee said...

I'm sorry but I have a hard time accepting the pug as a DOG. I grant you that he has the mental makeup of a dog, i.e., he thinks he IS a dog and ACTS in dog-like manner, but has not the physical endowments to live up to it. I mean there is no way in the world he would survive on his own. It is hard to see him as a working dog. Guard dog? A guard dog needs to intimidate, protect and chase off an intruder. At best a pug can only be considered as an alarm dog.

His specialty is to attach himself to humans, ingratiate himself, then manipulate affection, look cute or fetching. I admit he is decorative. Doesn't take up much space (though his personality does overflow), and is cheap to feed. The downside is that he has entitlements. He insists that he IS a dog, tends to be bossy and overbearing: you owe him attention, prolonged petting and constant fussing, etc.

I have always been around BIG dogs. Doubtless, it is vanity on my part, for if I have to be an alpha dog, then it has to be with dog(s) who enhance my self-image. Big like me, tough and fearless. So I could be a nursemaid to a pug, but not a pack-leader. Cuteness alone is not a determinant criterion.

However, each to his/her own.

Heidi the Hick said...

Paul, it's true: the Pug has very little of what's considered useful skills. But you listed his specialities except for one- he is a damn good companion. He makes me feel like I am loved.

You know I used to be a big-dog fan, right? I still love big dogs, but before this guy I didn't really appreciate the big personalities that small dogs pack into their bodies. Especially this breed... I often think it's no wonder he carries himself as if he is huge. I don't think he knows the difference!

So I accept that he'll never be a working farm dog. He just doesn't have it in him. But he's so good at warming my cold feet when I come in!

And there's one more thing about the Pug that appeals to me, and you nailed it when you talked about the kind of dog you want to associate with your own self image. My dog has an inflated sense of self importance and I personally often need to think a little more largely of myself. He teaches me about self esteem! However, he's loud for his size. I can totally relate!

And yes, he's a good dog-bell.

He's won my heart and totally converted me! I'd still take a big dog but I am a pug person forever now.

Marni, like I said, right?

Sydney, what part of Ontario are you in? We're in "The Snowbelt."

Marsh, tell dog stories, they're always fun.

4D, he jumps like a jackrabbit. I'm not kidding.

Jkb I love him too!

RuckusButt said...

Paul, you're lucky Heidi is a good sport. To most small dog owners I know, those would be fightin' words!

Lol, you call that snow?? I'm in Ottawa and we have a ton! Even with the wind and even in the fields. I love it! What I don't love is that it's -19 today :(

Heidi the Hick said...

This really isn't much snow yet. And I know it's only "cold" not COLD. We just got so spoiled by an easy November!

And Paul knows I can take it. He knows my dog can take it too... should've seen the Pug with Paul's Boxer this summer! HIlarious!

Paul Tee said...

Tribute to all dogs: Actually I only said what I said to add a little pepper to the debate--stir things up a little--beyond "Oh, isn't he cute?"

My family once ran a kennel, breeding two types of dogs, pulis and komondors. If you want to see a weird set of dogs, google them. The komondor is white (make that gray) big and brawny; the puli is small, black and brainy, and has twice the personality of his bigger cousin. I know both lines well, their disposition and habits, having helped birth and raise a whole tribe of them. We shipped all over Canada and the US.

It was not a business, but a labour of love. The cat, parvo virus had swept Europe and decimated both breeds. My parents were instrumental in resurrecting them from bloodlines scavenged mostly from Hungary, Germany and the US. Over ten years, we had about 600 puppies move through our place, named after rivers and mountains of Hungary. I wonder sometimes where they all ended up, all the bloodlines and pedigrees.

Until quite recently they were working dogs, hardy, low maintenance, not pampered house pets. They showed a degree of self-reliance not found in more domesticated varieties. One had to respect their independence.

Most dogs nowadays have become house pets, bred for social purposes. They are good at adapting to families and taking on the personalities of their owners, as Heidi said, make excellent companions. What makes them great, large or small, is the unconditional love and loyalty they come with. No wonder that they are men's best friend.

I really don't have anything against small dogs. Often they are the only realistic solution for people living in apartments or subdivisions. I live on a farm, that needs a big dog to face down the coyotes that are around us. They need to know how to swim and stand their ground in the bush. I'm afraid that I would overprotect a small dog, stifle their personalities, which are their best assets.

So please don't take offence. Heidi knows I was provoking, merely fishing for reaction.

Biddie said...

Aww..who's a tough lil gaurd dog??