Some Surprises that Come from Adopting this Dog Breed
You learn some amazing life lessons when you open your heart and home and adopt a pug. As the summer holidays end, and kids go back to school, many people are ready for a new routine and perhaps a new family member. Why not rescue a dog in need and save a life this year?
My rescue pug Kilo, from Homeward Bound Rescue, has certainly changed my life for the better. We found each other in August two years ago and I couldn’t image life without him now. However we have both had to adapt and have taught each other a lot.
My Rescue Pug Life Lessons:
1. Every Pug Has A Unique Personality
Just like people, animals have different personalities and needs. Certain breeds tend to have certain characteristics, but then within the breed, they can vary enormously because of nature and nurture.
Pugs are such a lovable, loving, funny breed but I do find them quirky. They do need a lot of attention, they like to be on the couch or your lap and they can tend to weight gain or get hot easily. I started out fostering because I have always had rescue dogs my whole life, but had never had a pug or other squishy face breed.
Kilo does not appear to have been socialized well as a puppy so he is not a typical sociable pug with strangers or other dogs. Pets are not usually inherently “bad,” but may have had a rough beginning in life that caused some behavioural issues. We are working on Kilo’s and I have learned a lot about positive training and socialization.
2. You’ll Save Two Lives By Adopting A Rescue
When you adopt a pug, not only are you probably saving its life, but you also give a chance to the one who will take its place in the rescue, shelter or foster home. Until every pet has a loving home, adopting is a great option.
3. Empathy, patience, and responsibility- Love Changes Everything
Caring for, training and showing a pet love can teach empathy, patience, and responsibility. The special love of a rescue can transform your life. Rescue dogs have had great success in programs with prisoners and youth, showing how life changing the love of a dog can be. Pugs can be a particularly loving and affectionate breed, breaking down emotional barriers. Nothing like pug hugs from Kilo when I walk in the door or cuddles if I am stressed. Plus he gets me up off the couch or away from my desk regularly to walk or play with him or do training sessions.
4. You Both May Learn to Trust and You Are Not Alone
Not only can pets give you unconditional love, but they often greatly improve your mental, emotional and physical state. By having a companion animal, especially a pug that you walk and cuddle and even talk to, you are never alone and are forced to get out and try new things. This can be very beneficial for those who may feel isolated. With patience, training and lots of love, your rescue pug will learn to trust you and you will have a best friend by your side.. all the time.. even when you go to the bathroom. I call Kilo my velcro dog.
5. Who Rescued Who?
Many former shelter pets and rescues become therapy or service animals or may become heroes, like search and rescue animals or PTSD Assistance Animals with K9s for Warriors. Pugs can make great therapy dogs reading with kids or visiting seniors. They can also alert to danger.
6. Stress Relief
Scientific research shows that looking at and petting dogs can increase hormones that improve moods and reduce hormones associated with stress levels. So, learn to take a deep breath and adopt a pug! Patting Kilo’s soft head and looking into his big eyes help me. Pugs have naturally slightly comedic exaggerated features which make many people smile. Kilo is VERY affectionate and also likes to do tricks and make me happy.
7. Become Healthier
Having a daily routine that includes many walks is a great benefit of owning a dog. Your body will thank you for the extra exercise and daily adventures. Research in Australia showed that dog owners got more exercise than non-owners. I have learned a lot about diet, nutrition, and exercise looking after Kilo the Pug. It has made me more active and in tune with my own health.
8. Live Life To The Fullest
The most important thing in life is to value it. Rescued pets are great for reminding us that a few of the best things in life we may take for granted, like the love of your family and a roof over your head, good food, health and maybe a cuddle.
9. The Power of Positive Training and Attitudes- Dogs and People Can Change
Many rescue dogs come from rough situations, but that doesn’t define them. They don’t hold grudges (though some may be fearful).
The best lesson you will learn is that with lots of love and positivity, anyone can change. We can all learn to forgive, to forget, to trust and let go of past pain.
Is your Dog A Rescue? Share Your Stories Below.
What You Need To Know About Homeward Bound Dog Rescue
A lifesaver for Pugs and other short-nosed breeds
What Makes Homeward Bound Very Special
Located in Ontario, Canada, Homeward Bound Dog Rescue helped to save the life of resident Pug-In-Charge, Kilo. Homeward Bound specializes in brachycephalic breeds like pugs and bulldogs who may have different needs than other dogs due to their short nasal cavity and sensitivity to heat. The rescue is run entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers who want every dog to find their forever home.
Each dog in the program is housed with a foster family to reduce feelings of abandonment and fear that a shelter environment can create. This is especially true of pugs, like Kilo, who were bred to be companions and become very attached to their owners. Dogs are showered with the love and devotion that they deserve, which helps bridge the gap between their old life and their new homes.
Medical expenses, shelter, and food are all provided to the dogs by donations from generous supporters. Every cent donated goes directly to the animal’s care. Potential adopters are screened carefully so that each dog is placed in its perfect home. Nothing is overlooked when it comes to the animal’s happiness and well-being, and that makes Homeward Bound a great rescue to support.
Could A Rescue Dog Be a Good Addition to Your Home?
Rescue dogs are full of love and ready to become your companion. Adopting an animal saves it’s life and makes room in a foster home for another dog to be saved.
Check out our Questions to Ask Before Adopting A Dog and Do Your Research.
Should You Foster A Rescue?
If you are not ready to make the commitment to many years of pet ownership, fostering an animal is another great choice to be involved in pet rescue. I started out fostering Kilo after my last mixed breed rescue dog Isabelle passed away at 16 years old because my daughter wanted a Bulldog or Pug over the summer but I was not sure about the squishy faced breeds. I decided to make him a part of the family when she went back to university.
Check Out 13 Questions to Ask Before Fostering a Dog on Talent Hounds.
Please support non-profit Rescue organizations in your community. Each dog rescued requires expenses such as vet checks, training, and fostering. Programs like Homeward Bound rely solely on their volunteers, donations and support from the community.
If you are considering a dog, #AdoptDontShop first because #RescuesRock. Or if you choose to purchase a particular breed like a pug puppy, please go to a responsible registered breeder.
Fun Facts About Our Favorite breed!
One of the key ways we can keep dogs out of shelters is to encourage people to do their research on their preferred breed before getting a pet. As I am now a pet parent to Kilo the Rescue Pug, I thought I would share 5 Cool Things About Pugs.
1) Pug History
The Pug is believed to have originated in China as a companion for Emperors, and then to have been imported to Europe around 400 years ago. The pug reportedly became the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a Pug saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him to the approach of assassins. The breed was popular with royalty, particularly during the reign of Queen Victoria in the UK, and frequently pampered like the royalty they are. (Or at least they think they are! King Kilo). The wrinkles look a bit like Chinese symbols and they have lion-like little bodies and love tasting food and alerting to danger or strangers (or in our case the evil mailman).
2) Pug Appearance and Physical Issues
The Pug is a squarely built, deep-chested, compact breed with short legs, a tightly curled tail and an unmistakable flat, wrinkled face with large round, dark protruding eyes. They are known as a brachycephalic breed like Bulldogs and require face cleaning in their wrinkles. They may be prone to breathing issues and are more susceptible to heat stress due to their short nasal cavity. If they do not get enough exercise and an appropriate diet, they can be prone to obesity, so make sure you can invest lots of time to playing with them and find healthy options. Their rolls look cute but it is best to keep them slim to not stress their knees and keep them healthy.
3) Their smooth short coats can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn, or black like Kilo
Kilo is actually a mix as he has fawn legs. Pugs require minimal grooming beyond regular bathing and brushing, but they do shed a lot (more than I expected, even with regular brushing). An investment in some lint rollers may be a good idea if you’re considering a pug. We have black hair on everything and Kilo loves white beds and couches and rugs.
4) Pugs are true companion dogs.
Although pint-sized, Pugs come packed with a lot of cheeky charm and love company and games. I call Kilo my velcro dog as he is always in my lap or by my side and gives lots of pug hugs and kisses (literally he puts his little front legs around my neck and hugs me- super cute). He sleeps or gets depressed if no one is home to play with or cuddle. He is rarely left alone for more than an hour and is particularly attached to me.
The cute, sturdy little dogs usually like children and if properly socialized and trained, can make great family pets. Pugs can make great apartment pets, though they do require lots of attention and the right exercise regime. Kilo and I do short walks, games and tricks and baby agility together bonding and keeping fit.
5) Pugs are usually smart and eager to please but can be a little stubborn to train.
Pugs are often very food motivated and seem to respond best to positive reinforcement, treats, and patience (Perhaps quite a bit of the latter). Kilo was not well house-trained when I started fostering him and still occasionally likes to mark white rugs or bath mats or has accidents, especially if it is raining outside. He is not a fan of getting wet. He loves learning tricks because he spends time with me and gets treats. He is still bad at recall and focus, especially out or with strangers, but great in the house.
If you have any funny stories about the Pugs in your life, please share them in the comments, we love to read them!