I am Walter and this is my World.

I am Walter and this is my World.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Piggy Puggy

Home at last! I picked Wally up late and skee-daddled him home, where he found and thefted the homemade treats I bought back for him (see leering pug above) and after snarfing several down, he went through his routines of re-entry, including peeing on every plant in the back yard and beating up each one of his toys.

He reserves his most ferocious love for Big Pig, his stuffed pig that's more or less the same size and shape as he is. Every night, and tonight is no exception, he takes Big Pig, shakes the hell out of him and then chews on him as he falls asleep. I think it reminds hm of sleeping with his Pug mom when he was a baby. Anyway, we're all home again and this is a quick snap of Walter and Pig Big at the foot of my bed, reuntied at last.

Goodnight Wally.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Water Pug

Walter does not appreciate his life jacket.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I should like a fancy hat, please.

I took Walter to the fancy pet store so we could get him something festive to wear for the neighborhood block party. I wanted him to wear something "jubilant" and he gave me a look as if to say, "I just better damn well not look like an idiot."

After perusing the sporty cowboy kerchiefs and new rhinestone-studded fashion leashes, Walter chose this winsome hat, and when I put it on him, he became so goofy-happy it was like he was channeling Doris Day.
He drove all the way home in his new hat and then trotted down to the party, where he learned be-dazzle the children with the spinner while stealing chicken wings and cupcakes off their paper plates.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Every Day...

When I eat anything, this is what stares me down. Walster Wallerton from Wallington Downs. Such a munchkin orphan. The vet says he has to lose some weight...so how do I ignore this face? Today when I ate a single gingersnap, this is how Walter looked at me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I actually have been giving some serious thought to Wally's Halloween costume. I looked at a little Petsmart pirate outfit or a little black and white striped prison-gang outfit, but then I thought...Walter doesn't know what a pirate or a prisoner is!

what would HE want to go as if he could pick anything????

the answer was easy. A chicken finger. Walter would want to go trick-or-treating dressed as his most revered hero. The chicken finger. I can't believe I even considered anything else.

I'm going to the store for papier mache right now. This can't end badly, right?

Mayonaise Crack Addict

Today I was making salad dressing, which called for mayonaise. I wasn't sure about that. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff, so I glopped out the requisite amount onto saucer and set it aside. I went on making the dressing and decided I just didn't want to use the mayo - I didn't want the calories, so I used an oil/egg substitute. It turned out pretty badly.

Anyway, I forgot about the mayonaise. Not for a long time - maybe 20 minutes, but it was long enough for the attack. It was sitting on the side board waiting to be dealt with and I was loading the dishwasher when I heard a clatter and thump. I turn around to see through advanced geometry and valiant effort, Walter has climbed a chair, used the sink as a springboard, and landed on the sideboard, where he was ferociously lapping up mayonaise as quickly as he could.
"WALTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I dash over, whip the saucer away and plunk Puggerton down on the floor. "No Wally," I say, "The vet says you're 2lbs overweight and eating mayonaise is beneath a dog of your breeding. You're Chinese for God's sake." Walter did not agree. Apparently, mayonaise is something akin to crack cocaine for pugs. He had discovered his new drug of choice, and boy was he pissed at me for taking it away.

He barked, he growled, he circled around like the withdrawl symptoms were already setting in. He was relentless. I finished cleaning the kitchen and put the jar of mayo back in the fridge, Walter studied my actions closely and parked his butt in front of the fridge and barked at it for the rest of the day. Then he went into "orphan mode" and whimpered folornly. The entire production was worthy of an Emmy, but just this once, and possibly only this once, I didn't give in. he's breaking me though....I can feel it.

Free-range pugs

I don't know if I can maintain my snarky brooding personality and own a little Puggy-poo at the same time. Ok, I just said Puggy-poo. Thats what happens to even the best of us when a chubby court jester comes to live with you. My days are numbered.

(The above is "Pug Hill," a great book by Alison Pace. http://www.amazon.com/Pug-Hill-Alison-Pace/dp/0425209717)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vaya Con Dios

Walter's Great Escape story just gets better and better.

Today I called his wonderful breeder, Kris, who lives close by. She watches Walter when I travel, which is great, because she not only owns 8 pugs herself (two of which are Walter's Momma and Papa) but she also babysits for lots of Walters siblings and cousins. So Walter literally goes home to a family reunion when I travel.

She asked me how I was and I said fine...and then she said, "Was Walter over in the grocery store parking lot yesterday?" What? I was stunned. How could she know that? I hadn't told anybody except my mother, neighbors and friends what happened...Had the secret society of Pug Police sounded the "BAD MAMA!" alarm? I know I would have. Anyway, here's how she knew:

Walter's biological little pug sister, Olive, was adopted by a nice family across town. It just so happens Olive's human mom was leaving the exact same grocery store at the exact same time Walter was found in the parking lot. (??) She saw this pug surrounded by people, wagging his tail while standing in a shopping cart and she thought it looked alot like Walter, but she wasn't sure. Of course she didn't have my number, nor did anyone because my little Wally had opted to go on his grand adventure without his collar, so she quick dialed Kris and left a message.
"Kris, there's a pug down at the grocery store. He looks alot like Olive. I wonder if it's Walter!"

What a lady! brilliant and kind. Anyway, Kris being the Pug Lady that she is geared up to go investigate. (Because a pug is a pug and if a pug-lover knows there's a pug in distress, any pug, they're going to get involved.) She called the store and the kid who answered the phone told her he just got in, but everyone was talking about it and he's told the Pug is fine and was picked up by it's (insane) owner.

Now I find all of this amazing because of my original disposition on the matter. The moment I realized Walter was missing, I freaked out. I hyperventilated. I frantically thought, I have to save him, where is he? My sweet precious angel baby! No one else can save him but me! No one else will care about my little defenseless porkchop! I'm the only one! Oh dear sweet Lord in Heaven he'll be alone in this world! No one will see him, he's s small! No one will help him! It's a cruel awful world and I've let my soft-bellied love won-ton out into it! Football players will find him and use my sugardumpling as dog-fight bait! I'll have to get all Jodi Foster in "The Brave One" and whip up some seriously illegal vigilante justice! I'll go to jail, but I'll deserve it! How could I let him loose alone in the world??

But Walter wasn't alone in the world. He was saved by pretty much everyone else in the world EXCEPT me. In the span of 20 minutes my "defenseless" dog had comandeered city officials, store employees and caring citizens, all of whom apparently agrees Walter shouldn't go to the pound. He was just too cute. They decided the person among them with the biggest fenced-in back yard should take him home and the others would call all the surrounding pounds and vets and leave contact numbers. Then they would make fliers and start asking around the neighborhood if anyone had lost a pug. Defenseless indeed. All these people helped him, not to mention phone calls were rocketing around the city about his well being.
I was just the crazy lady with no shoes on running around frantically, unable to call Walter's name out loud because I was hyperventilating. And all of this, I must tell you, I find to be the most marvelous lesson, if I can learn it. While I was thinking All is Lost! All wasn't lost. the universe was very neatly stitching together a safety net to catch Walter.
This Amazing synchronicity started clicking into place. Kris says Walter crossed the street with a group of people. He jogged to the corner, hung out with the group of people waiting. (people always cross there because the grocery store parking lot fills up quickly, so the park on our side of the street and cross over.) Everyone thought he was with everybody else. Then he just kept trundling along to the big place where "zay sell zah cheekin finners," and he skip-dee-deed to the parking lot, where there were the most people (fun!) kids (funner!) and the ocassional moving car, which is the "funnest" because he loves to chase them.

The universe keeps stitching things together, and collected a group of saints who stopped everything they were doing and turned their concerned attention on Walter. They fed him, watered him, gave him kisses and waited until the weeping, wretched owner (me) showed up to "save" him. But if I hadn't shown up, a WHOLE OTHER SAFTEY NET was being put in place.
The moral of my little story, at least to me, is that there are forces at work far greater than we can imagine. There are more good people than bad. Even if you think everything is lost, in fact, everything is just beginning.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heart Attack

I meant to start this blog long ago...April 15 2007 in fact, the day little Walter came into my life and changed it forever.

The beginning was hard. This is my first dog and my first pug. I knew they were alot of work, I'd researched them intensively but even still, those first few weeks getting up every 4 hours to let Walter pee was even harder than the books said it would be! The amount of paraphanalia I bought for him took up an entire kitchen cupboard and several large baskets kept on top of his top-of-the-line wicker kennel. And the vaccines! I don't know which was worse, how expensive they were or watching Walter get them. He was always so confused afterwards, how was he to know I'd paid for this mean lady to hurt him!

But we got through it and I started to learn alot about Walter "Biggie Smalls" McPuggins. I could write a book on his odd habits, love of chicken fingers and social farting skills. (As in, not-so-social. He'll just let it rip whenever he pleases.) He soon worked his way deep into my heart and right into my bed, where he sleeps every night, with his head on the pillow.

Things I loved about him I had no idea I would love:

1. His little Pug butt.
2. His "bark" which is more of a "quack."
3. His ability to fart while looking lovingly into my eyes.
4. His amazingly intricate "preparing to sleep" routine, which involves collecting favorite toys from around the house and beating the hell out of them on the bed.
5. His amazingly intricate "I'm home from vacation" routine, which involves collecting all his toys from around the house and beating the hell out of them on the bed.
6. His fishstick breath.
7. His yawning sound. Much like a teakettle.
8. His anger towards anyone feeble walking past the house. Big dogs and muggers are fine, but God help any little old ladies or teacup yorkies that dare pass. Walter will not have it.
9. His disdain for store-bought dog food. He can't even believe you'd try to give him that crap.
10. His snoring. I'll never feel like a single girl again.

This little Wally-woo has become family. I confess, when one gentleman caller informed me he would never sleep in the same bed as a dog, I very quickly showed him the door. Not a hard decision at all! Love me, love my pug!

So today, when Walter escaped from the backyard through a gate the lawn guy left ajar...I had a panic and heart attack simultaneously. Where did he go? What did he do? Where should I look! I hadn't microchipped him yet, and his collar was off so I could clean the peanut butter he had somehow gotten on it. He was completely without ID! I tried to keep my panic down. I knew I had to find him and these first minutes were crucial.

I had only let him into the yard ten minutes ago, but ten minutes to a Pug running full tilt is a long time. I started to hyperventilate. I couldn't think straight. I jumped in my car and then jumped back out. If I drove I might miss him - he's so small!! I started running around like a chicken screaming WALTERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

My neighbor asked what was wrong. I could hardly speak, I thought I was going to faint.


She, angel that she is said she'd start looking for him and she took off down the street. I just tried to clear my head and I had an idea. I live on the edge of a quiet neighborhood, three directions from my house lead into big lawns, friendly neighbors and relative safety. I knew if Walter had run in any of those directions he would be ok. The big worry was the main road one block away from us. One of those big straight 6-lane roads that people speed down like a highway. If Walter was there, he was definitely not ok.

So I ran, barefoot and crying to the busy corner. I didn't want to cry, but I really couldn't control it. I must have looked insane. I was pacing back and forth calling Walters name frantically. After a few minutes of wringing my hands and avoiding eye contact with all the perplexed motorists speeding by, I hear this woman calling to me from across the street. She was yelling:


Her voice was drowned out by traffic noise, but that was enough for me. I knew she meant Walter. I charged headlong across the street, not even looking. Cars honked at me, the crazy lady crossing against traffic, but I didn't care. I didn't even know if I was about to be hit, I just ran. If I didn't find Biggie Smalls, I didn't want to live anyway.

"Where!" I shouted at the nice lady, "WHERE?!?!" She pointed to the big grocery store parking lot. The grocery store???? He's never even been here before, we never cross this street! Why would he go there?? (He probably smelled the frozen chicken fingers.)

I didn't stop to chat with nice lady, I sailed past and cruised around the corner, out of breath, tears-stained face, only to see WALTER!!!!!!! There he was, sitting in a red shopping cart pretty-as-you-please, nonplussed and surrounded by TWO police officers and a half dozen grocery store employees and concerned citizens. They were all fawning over him and petting him and someone had gotten him a dish of water. Why were so many people around him? Why was someone taking a picture of him with their camera phone? How did the police get involved?

"WALTER!" I yelped and charged over...but upon reaching him, all the panic and fear I'd pushed back came rushing back. I just started to sob. The group was surprisingly understanding. Even though I had no ID, (or shoes,) they didn't question the fact this weeping drooling lunatic was obviously Walter's mom. Walter, who looked like he was having the time of his life at first, saw me crying and actually started to whimper and tried to scramble out of the cart and into my arms. "I guess that's mom!" someone said, "he already knows he's in trouble."

I had to wait a second before I could pick him up. I was shaking so badly I thought I'd drop him. The nice grocery store lady went and got me a coffee. The woman who first found him in the parking lot "weaving in and out between cars" gave me a big hug. The cop gave me a mini-speech about getting my dog microchipped. I just wanted to kiss each and every one of them. I was so grateful. When I told them Walter had somehow crossed the 6-lane street next to us - they took a collective gasp.

"We figured he belonged to someone on this side of the street!" someone said, "how would he have gotten across without getting hit? It isn't possible!"

That made me cry harder. I have no idea how my directionless, woggle-eyed pug made it across 6 lanes of traffic and into the frozen chicken-finger place (What I imagine he calls it) But he did. And thank you dear Lord, he made it alive and into the arms of some very kind and concerned people. I thanked them all profusely and picked wiggle baby up.

Walter and I walked back home, me carrying him with my face buried in his coat. He smelled so good. I had just given him a bath the previous night, and used new French doggie shampoo. He probably thought I was getting him ready for his big day out. I let my neighbor know he was safe and took him inside, where I made myself a cocktail the size of my head and collapsed. I thought about all the things that could of happened and how lucky we were and how I'm going to fire the lawn guy and cite "incompetent gate latching" as the reason.

Oh Walter.

I'm recovering, but in those horrible moments when I thought he might be gone forever, I realized just how much I loved him and how much he's a part of my life. This squiggle-tailed butter monkey has become my true love. I made him chicken fingers for dinner and called in an appointment at the vets.

He's getting microchipped tomorrow.