Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pugsly Loves Words

Pugsly is quite the vocabularian. (As such, he knows that's not a real word, but he likes it.) He has taught himself to recognize a large variety of food-related words, and reacts wildly whenever he hears one. His dad and I have learned to use substitutions for his favorites: dairy for milk (as in milkbone), morning meal for breakfast, supper for dinner, grain for rice (we can't spell it out; r-i-c-e sounds too much like "rice"). There are many others, and he teaches himself new ones all the time, so I have to be careful. Nothing makes me feel more like an ogre than pointlessly exciting the pug by careless food references.

Here is Pugsly, most probably contemplating his next word of the day.

Even though most of Pugsly's world revolves around the pursuit of food, his vocabulary doesn't stop there. He also likes to watch animals on TV, especially dogs. He's figured out that when I say "Ohhhhhhh!" in a high-pitched voice, that means there's probably an adorable creature on the screen. Also, "So sweet!", "How cute!", and "It's a baby!" make the pug stop whatever he's doing (if sleeping is "doing") and whirl around to face the television. If he's in a barky mood, he'll start right away, but mostly he just growls preemptively until he figures out if there's any reason to make a fuss. The most hilarious part is that the TV doesn't even need to be on. Whether I'm fawning over the fuzzy lovelies on Cute Overload, or telling Pugsly himself that he's a handsome baby, he still turns around to stare at the dark TV screen. Even when Pugsly is in a new place and doesn't know where the TV is, he still reacts the same way. When we were on vacation in a little beach cottage a couple years ago, the TV was small and perched on the top of a high cabinet; I must admit I made a few unnecessary "Ohhhhhhh!"s just to see the pug look wildly around the room, trying to find the television.

I had better not try to describe all Pugsly's amusing word knowledge, or this will go on forever. One last note: any sentence that begins with "Time to . . ." is fair game to be considered Exciting. Pugsly loves the word "Exciting." Its, well, exciting!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Josephine Loves Sunshine

Josephine is addicted to sunshine. Pugsly, as her ever-faithful companion, enjoys it on cold days and tolerates it on warm ones; either way, he's by her side. Right now they're sunbathing in the bedroom; it's their mid-afternoon sun spot.

It's been three months since we moved, and three months of record rainfall, so this past week has been Josephine's first opportunity to stake out her napping spots in our new house. Making it complicated: our south wall is 10 feet from the neighbor's. We only get direct sun when the sun's path and the neighbor's roof and the position of our windows create a "sunbathing trifecta." Josephine, as an avid sun worshipper, follows this trifecta throughout the day. 8-9am: Living room floor, through east window. 10am-1pm: Office floor, through south window. Necessitates me rearranging various post-move junk from left to right and back again to clear the floor for the sun's path. Fun. 1-4pm: Bedroom floor and bed, through south window. Josephine's very fond of the sunshine/down comforter combo, but she also can't seem to learn that dachshunds shouldn't jump off beds. So she's only allowed up for supervised napping, like this photo shoot. Wow, was she annoyed when I interrupted her! Still, isn't she pretty?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Josephine Loves Babies

This is brave baby Yuuki and his even braver dad, Kazuki, who let Josephine test her babysitting skills last summer. Josephine likes all things small and cute, so it was no surprise that she adored Yuuki on sight. All that soft, sweet baby skin conveniently exposed for easy licking -- what's not to love? Yuuki had never been licked before, but took it with a grace and aplomb beyond his years (or months, more appropriately), making only several post-lick grimaces. Note the look of consternation:

Kazuki kept up admirably with cleaning Yuuki's hands and feet between the dog licking and baby toe-and-finger sucking, but it was unavoidable that Yuuki ingested a healthy amount of dachshund saliva. I prefer to think of it as a boost to a baby's developing immune system.

Just before Christmas, a newly-crawling Yuuki visited again, and Josephine was much excited by his mobility. A baby who can move means chasing and frolicking! This time Yuuki decided he loved Josephine, too, but minus the wet tongue. To a dachshund afflicted by a compulsive licking disorder, this was unbearable, and resulted in much more grimacing and baby equivalents of "Ewwww!" Finally, both parties reached a compromise when I held Josephine firmly, rear end towards Yuuki, while he happily petted her bum. Noting Yuuki's preference for a dry dog experience, we gave Yuuki a wooden pull-along dachshund for Christmas. Here's hoping he names it Josephine and thinks of her fondly.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Pugsly and Josephine welcome you to the blog all about them. They would like to write it themselves, since I'm sure they have tons to say, but as Josephine does all her talking by licking, and Pugsly mainly grunts in a puggy sort of way, I'll have to do the actual typing.

A good place to start would seem to be the beginning, i.e. puppyhood, but alas! there are no digital pictures of that time. The digital age for this family started Christmas 2003, when the dogs were an all-grown-up 3 1/2 years old. (That was also the Christmas when Pugsly's Uncle Nathan sent him a holiday sweater that makes him look like a over-stuffed bratwurst, but that's a picture for another day). So instead, I'll start with various Things You Need to Know to fully appreciate PB and Jo:

1. We don't love Pugsly more than Josephine; he's just an extremely photogenic and camera-loving pug. Pugsly stays put and naturally strikes a pose whenever the camera appears, whereas the dachshund is in constant motion, leaving behind a trail of useless Josephine-exiting-the-scene snapshots. Countless Josephine-being-beautiful moments go uncaptured on film because the instant I come within licking distance, she jumps up and starts licking.
2. Pugsly is fat, but he has an excuse. He has calcium oxalate bladder stones, which require him to be on a low-protein, high-fat diet. This has turned him from pleasantly square & cobby, in Nov. 2004, to his current status of A Large Hunk of Pug. Pugsly and I are working with a new doctor and a revised diet to try to regain his thinner form. Until then, he asks that you keep all "That's a fat pug!" comments to a minimum.
3. Josephine is a jealous dog, who likes to be the center of attention, and is currently very annoyed that Pugsly has two Things You Need to Know and she is only secondary in one. Also there should always be at least three items in a list. So the third Thing is: Josephine is very pretty, and she knows it. Her theme song is "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. She prances a lot.

Please check back often for new and exciting (Oh! Pugsly loves that word!) updates about the lives and loves of Pugsly and Josephine.