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Pug Life

The Tails of a True Dog Lover

Pug puppy Rocky at 8 weeks
Published on February 10, 2010 : 16 comments

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve known that my life would not be complete without dogs.

My favorite memories as a child almost always involve my dog Zipper or some other dog experience. Zipper, a miniature schnauzer, was our family dog. He was the perfect pet for a little girl to grow up with and always the best attendee at our tea parties, letting us dress him up and play house with him all day long.

When Zipper was around 13, my family decided to add Cruizer to the family mix. Cruizer is a Jack Russel Terror (which is his nickname) who added spunk and energy to the Kamish clan. We were a two dog family until sadly, at the age of 16, my beloved Zipper passed away. It was hard to let him go, especially since he had been there for me as long as I could remember.

How Not to Buy a New Dog

Zipper the dog I grew up withZipper the dog I grew up withThe following spring, being the smart 18 year old I thought I was, I decided to "surprise" my mom with a puppy that would help ease her pain from losing Zipper (for the record: I would NEVER EVER advise anyone to buy a puppy as a surprise gift for anyone, and I would NEVER EVER advise anyone to buy a puppy from where I purchased this puppy from. Adopt!).

On my mom’s birthday, we surprised her with Ebi, a schnoodle (a schnauzer/poodle mix). This was probably one of the worst teenage decisions I had ever made, but at least now I know better.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I landed the perfect job at PetSmart. In the fall, I was registered to begin schooling for my massage therapy degree. The funny thing about this degree is that when I was around six or seven, I would always tell my Grandpa, whom I was VERY close to, that when I grew up, I was going to move to California and become a pet masseuse.

Cruizer and Ebi, my parents dogsCruizer and Ebi, my parents dogsWhile going through school, I, of course, toyed with the idea of actually becoming a pet massage therapist (notice the change from masseuse to massage therapist—that’s called growing up). Although it sounded like a fun way to live my life, the state of Nebraska deemed it illegal to give therapeutic massages to animals unless you had a veterinary degree. So much for that idea!

I continued to love my work at PetSmart while going through school. It was a great job because I was constantly surrounded by pet loving people like myself. There was only one group of distinctive pet owners that I just could not understand: pug owners. There were more pug books and pug memorabilia than for any other breed. I couldn’t grasp the idea that someone could have such a strong obsession for such an ugly, gremli-looking dog. To me they were plain and simply an eyesore.

Why would someone love something so ugly that snorted constantly? How could someone look at those silly faces with bulging eyes all the time?

Not long after I discovered this unusual group of pet owners, my boyfriend (now fiancé), Matt, had somehow developed a love for this breed! At the time, we were playing with the idea of moving out of our parents’ house and into an apartment together. And of course, we knew we needed a dog. I had my mind set on a wheaten terrier.

He had his mind set on a pug.

Puppy Love at First Sight

After unsuccessfully convincing me that we should get a pug puppy, Matt decided that I just needed to see what a pug puppy looked like in person. So, we headed to Auburn, Nebraska where a family had just had a litter of pugs.

Before leaving the car, I remember thinking to myself:

Just don’t give in, remember how ugly these dogs are when they are adults.

RockyRockyThat thought sure didn’t last long! As soon as the family brought out this little pug puppy, my heart melted. I knew instantly that I was in love. Just one look with those big eyes had me sold. I gave in with only one exception—that we had to find a place of our own to raise this little puppy within two months. I didn’t want to raise a puppy in two households, and thankfully Matt agreed.

After failing to rationally think this decision through (seems to be a problem with teenagers), we wrote out the check and were on our way back with our new baby. On the drive back, we were going through name ideas, and Matt settled on the famous film boxer, Rocky Balboa. As I cuddled this little adorable creature, our Rocky, I knew I was in love.

It didn’t take me long to figure out why those crazy pug people are the way they are. Pugs have more personality than most dog owners can imagine. All they want in life is a warm lap to cuddle up in and take a nap. Rocky began to change my whole view of pugs. They became precious and oh so adorable!

Matt, Jess, Lily and RockyMatt, Jess, Lily and RockyI would seek out people who had a pug just to talk to them about pug things. About three weeks after we got Rocky, we moved into our first apartment together. It was just what I wanted: independence from my parents and a place to be together with Matt so we could raise our baby together.

I still think back on those days when Rocky was just a puppy and wonder what made me decide to go along with Matt to see the little pugs. I can’t imagine how different my life would be today if I hadn’t made the decision to go along with him to see them.

For starters, my house wouldn’t be filled with every pug decoration you could possibly find. My walls wouldn’t be plastered with pug pictures and posters. I wouldn’t have a wonderful pug club, and I definitely wouldn’t have the pug rescue, Pug Partners. I wouldn’t have all the wonderful friends I have today because of the love of this great breed.

It is truly amazing to me to think that one of those crazy teenage actions actually shaped my life as much as it has. I am so thankful that I found this breed and that I know the rest of my life will be filled with joy from these adorable little creatures.

jesskamish-Jessica Kamish


Trudy (not verified) says:

February 11, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Trudy's picture

Who knew Matt was the one who got you into pugs! That’s great! Thank you for all you do. Yes pugs are the best breed. Big dog tude in a tiny package.

HighPoweredHoward (not verified) says:

February 11, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

HighPoweredHoward's picture

You make me so proud of you, I can hardly stand it…

Megan (not verified) says:

February 11, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Megan's picture

One set of pug puppy eyes looking up at you (or in our case two!), and you’re done! Game, set, match. And what would we do without them? You’re absolutely correct, it IS amazing how much pug owners adore their breed - they have the pug club, the pug rescue, and who can forget - Pug-O-Ween?! Pugs really are the perfect dog!!
Am I biased? Maybe. I’m just glad we fell in love with a couple of pug babies a couple of years ago as well… our lives would be so much different if we hadn’t. “Snort Snort” is all I can hear as I type this…our pug boys obviously agree=).

Anonymous (not verified) says:

February 11, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

Great article— you always have loved dogs— your first stuffed animal was a dog named Bob and your love has only escalated through the years. Poor Zipper enduring your school science project- he only wanted to take a nap….. Your phone call when you had survived your first two nights with puppy Rocky- wondering if having a baby would be easier. My answer was NO….. Your love of pugs shows through the incredible first year of Pug Partners rescue- your enthusiasm is contagious.. Love— your mom..

Megan Haskins (not verified) says:

February 11, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Megan Haskins's picture

Awesome article. As a fellow “pug person” I must say you do wonderful work! There are dozens of puggies all over that are grateful for your passion and dedication to the breed and the rescue work you do. I know Emmett and Rosalie are thriving examples of your good works. Thanks!!!! Megan

Nihonkara (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Nihonkara's picture

Great article. We enjoyed reading it, then thinking of our own experiences with our little boys. From the very beginning (7 weeks old to now). The only ‘problem’ with pugs, you can’t have just one! I have also passed this link along to the rest of my family. (All dog lovers.)

Debb (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Debb's picture

What a heartwarming article! Your genuine love shines through in your actions as well as your words. You are a wonderful example for people, Jessica.

mellis402 says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

mellis402's picture

Great article! I have a feeling we might be adding a 3rd to our pug-pack soon! If so there will be plenty for you to write about!

Molly (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Molly's picture

Such a wonderful article. I especially like the super cute “bigger” pug

Finch93 says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 17 weeks ago

Finch93's picture

I love it Jessica! :)

Jen Howell (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 16 weeks ago

Jen Howell's picture

Great article! I am so happy that you have continued this path and have kept the Pug Rescue going. I ofter hear such wonderful things about “that pug rescue” from people out in the community which proves that your doing a great job!

Keep it up. I’ll see you around!

Stacey (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 16 weeks ago

Stacey's picture

Jessica, it is great to see another endeavor of yours! You are such a talented woman. It has been a pleasure seeing you at the various pug events around town. Good job!

Katbron (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 16 weeks ago

Katbron's picture

Great article Jessica - and as an owner of three wonderful pugs - I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you for all you do to encourage adoption of dogs - I will never purchase again knowing what I know now about all of the dogs that need homes.

Marsha Kamish (not verified) says:

February 12, 2010 : 14 years 16 weeks ago

Marsha Kamish's picture

Wonderfully well-written article, Jess. I have to say, though, that you’ve never lived with a Poodle - but they’re not really dogs. ;) Ebbie is still my favorite! Give her a hug from me!

Kaoru (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 14 years 16 weeks ago

Kaoru's picture

Very nice article, Jessica! Nice picture of you, Matt, and the puppies, too! You do a wonderful job rescuing so many pugs!

Kim and Michael (not verified) says:

February 19, 2010 : 14 years 15 weeks ago

Kim and Michael's picture

How neat Jessica! We adore our pug that we adopted with your help through the pug rescue. I’ve had other breeds of dogs too but there is something special about pugs. We’ve never laughed and been so entertained as we have with our pug!

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