Dogs are the perfect connectors in life and I have been blessed making many special friendships with dogs and their owners over the years. I would like to introduce a second family who have two dogs of the same breed and their story.
A few years ago a house on our street had a rental sign go up. We were excited to know who would move in. A young couple moved in from the States, with their two pugs. I would see the wife out walking their two dogs a lot, and reached out to her realizing being new to a big city would be difficult without any family or friends nearby.
I found Georgeann easy to talk to and very funny, so our chats were always something I looked forward to. I would look after their “boys” – Rocky and Brutis – when they would go away and found myself quite fond of a breed I knew little about. They were adorable to pat and their snuffling sounds was very endearing. Their love of a piece of ham on return from a walk was very cute with their round torsos spinning in circles for their delicious treat!
Georgeann and her husband Jim reminded me of Ken and I when we were first married, before kids, and owners of our first dog Chip, a chocolate lab.
Having a puppy/dog prior to children is a great warm up to parenthood. Deciding on what type of dog to get and when, choosing a name, sharing the big responsibilities, losing some freedom and the finances a pet can bring are some of the similar traits. Deciding on rules and consistency, plus following through, are others that mimic parenting.
Georgeann and Jim lived in Toronto for a few years and then moved back to the States for a job opportunity and to be near family. We were sad to see them leave as they became part of our neighbourhood and those on our street had enjoyed having them here too. They had become parents to an adorable boy named Griffin while living on our street.
We watched her walk by our house with Rocky and Brutis throughout her pregnancy and then with her son in a baby carrier on her chest with a dog in each hand! When they left Toronto Griffin was a toddler and we will miss seeing him grow up. I contacted her recently asking if she could answer some questions about having two dogs of the same breed. The following are her answers to my questions and some awesome pictures of “their boys”.
I asked why she chose the pug breed. She replied that they researched online to see which breed would suit them personally. They lived in a town home with no yard, so they wanted a small dog. They were thinking ahead of having a family, and a dog that would be great with children, plus a breed requiring minimal grooming. As soon as they went to a breeders and saw eight “pink bellied pug bellies” crawling all over them there was no turning back!
They were encouraged by the breeder to take two puppies but hesitated with this being their first dog together, and wanted to see how much work one would be. A wise decision I think!
When Brutis was three they decided to add another dog to their family. In her words, “He was like a piece of popcorn…bouncing all over our house. His energy was endless and even being a small dog, he required a lot of interaction and physical play. We really wanted him to have a constant playmate (doggy play dates were not cutting it). Plus we both worked during the day and he seemed a bit lonely”.
She was convinced Rocky was meant to join their family. They loved the breed already but despite having a wonderful relationship with their first breeder they decided to rescue a dog from a shelter the second time around, knowing there are many needing good homes. Finding a small dog from shelters near them was tricky, as many would be gone quickly to their forever homes. A big dog was out of the question due to being in a town home and its limitations.
Before getting Brutis – their first dog – Georgeann was unaware that specialty rescues existed. They tried pug rescues without luck, but then one day went to a shelter to check out the dogs. Rocky was there and melted Jim’s heart. He was haggard and skinny and putting up with a dog howling beside his cage constantly. He was in terrible physical shape, and had not received a check-up yet, and they were considering putting him down.
This special couple decided to take him then and there despite missing fur over a good portion of his body due to allergies, and malnutrition. Georgeann says now that “he could stand to sign up for Weight Watchers and there is no shortage of dog hair in our house!”
I asked about the change from one to two and how this has affected their lives. She replied that “the majority of the adjustment was financial. More dogs meant more food, more vet bills, etc. Brutis took a while to warm up to Rocky, but now they are buddies. “It made us more of a family. It was gratifying to be able to save Rocky, but in reality he has given us so much in return, that he is the one that did us a favor by coming into our lives.”
When asked if they would get another pug years down the road she said most likely they would try something else as they could not be replaced with their distinctive pug personalities.
When asked what kind of comments she gets when the public see the two pugs she replied, “well my boys are big loves so people comment that they are the biggest pugs they have ever seen.” They are often asked how they can tell them apart but to Georgeann and Jim they have unique looks that makes it easy for them to differentiate.
I was curious if she grew up with two dogs and she said that they had one for a while but at one point her mother took in another dog that another family could no longer care for, so there were a few years with two dogs.
Brutis and Rocky were a feature on our street, but no doubt have a fan base in Denver now! I am glad they were the connector to our friendship.
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