A couple of weeks ago my dad and stepmother travelled to Florida for their yearly vacation. Coincidentally, my brother and his girlfriend (who lives fairly close to my dad) were also traveling to Costa Rica for the week. So, that left me as the next, most qualified person to watch their two high-maintenance, geriatric pugs – Bubba and Missy.
Bubba and Missy are two of the most lovable, docile creatures you have ever met. They have been to my apartment in the city for a week once before. However, they were much younger, less blind and way more spry. I was also living with someone at the time, so there was an extra pair of hands on deck. Because I love them so much, nobody had to twist my arm to watch them, but I knew this time was going to be a lot more work and a lot more accommodation. So I took a week of vacation time and prepared for their drop-off on Saturday morning. Once my dad left, they looked up at me with the most pathetic little faces. And they were for sure, all sorts of mixed up.
However, they know me very well so it didn’t take long (about 1 hour) for them to settle in and get comfortable enough to urinate on my bedskirt. Perfect. I was beginning to wonder how the hell I was going to do this all week.
Our first adventure was to head to my friend Julie’s house to watch the New England Patriots playoff game. She had invited me over earlier in the week but I explained I would have not one, but two, four-legged friends in tow. “Why don’t you just bring them? They are pretty low key, right?” Low key? They are thirteen years old. All they know is low key. So I bought my low key friends a couple of Patriots bandanas, packed them up in the car and off we went. The Pats won but Bubba was particularly unimpressed.
As luck would have it, on Monday morning, Boston got approximately 4-5 inches of snow. This caused even more confusion for the already confused, non-city-dwelling pugs on their individual trips outside. That’s right…individual trips outside. I had to carry each of them separately down the stairs outside to do their business (4-5 times a day) because neither of them could make it up (or down) on their own. Silver lining: I met my goal of 10,000 steps almost every day that week.
Here’s a fun fact: pugs are often called Velcro dogs. Why? Because they never. ever. leave your side. And these two buggers are certainly no exception. When they chose a spot to lay down next to me, it was done in a methodical way so that they would know if I decided to take a call/send a text/sneeze/move/breathe. You get the idea.
Over the next several days I spent 24/7 with these guys. They would not let me out of their sight. Their entire world, everything they knew, had been turned upside down and I was the only thing that was still familiar to them. It was quite pitiful and my heart broke for them. I knew my dad would be back to pick them up on Saturday morning…but they didn’t. And there was no way I could explain it to them. So together the three of us made the most of it…spending the majority of our nights doing what pugs do best: snuggling.
Despite some accidents (read: multiple poops in the kitchen), a couple of 2am wake-ups so they could have a drink of water and a coating of pug hairs on the surface of everything throughout my entire apartment, I was sad to see them go. For those seven days, having two living, breathing creatures that were completely dependent on me, gave me purpose and responsibility. I am not in any rush to get one of my own, but I would definitely take them again for the week. Their snuggles helped heal my heart and those two little balls of fur totally helped pull me out of the funk I was in.
Well…I’m sure the wine helped too.