One of the absolute hardest parts of dog breeding is placing pups. Even though we know what amazing homes they're going to, it's honestly like sending a human kid off to college .... multiplied by 100. Even harder? Placing an older pup that you let "grow out" .... a pick of the litter. In Scarlett's case, she was the pick of 4 different litters and she honestly is truly amazing. But the facts are, we simply can't keep as many pugs as we'd like because the grumble just gets too large and less manageable. And, these truly remarkable ones need a special home of their very own. Our home is awesome and we enjoy life in a large grumble sort of way but the 'brilliant' and 'old soul' pugs just seem to thrive with more one-on-one time. Scarlett is definitely a brilliant, old soul. Yes, Scarlett is beautiful, but it was her temperament and brains that called me ..... that eye contact (from a truly young age) was beyond amazing and it was always as if she was reading our minds.
Tomorrow, Scarlett will be flying to Virginia with her new family to begin the next chapter of her life, so it just seemed that a camping trip to spend time with her and a few other pugs was fitting. We snuggled by the campfire, took some nice walks, and just sat silently listening to wind, birds, leaves rustling. We took time to savor and I think I'll treasure these memories. I know she'll be too busy with her amazing new family and I pray she moves on with zest and no looking back .... but, perhaps, there will be a smell or taste or sound where she remembers her year with us and treasures the memory as much as we will treasure her for the rest of our lives.
It's like this with all the pups who leave us but there are certain ones who leave such a mark and Scarlett is one of them. I know some Pickwick pug owners understand how these guys are our children, even when they "go away to camp" -- forever camp -- and we hope you know HOW MUCH we appreciate the photos and updates. We get to continue to live beside them through your updates .... even though we are miles apart. When we never hear from owners we worry so much .... did the pug die? Did the owner die? Did the owner have to surrender the pug to rescue? Is the pug happy? Is the pug blind? Is the pug beautiful? Is the pug behaving? We understand totally if things happen ... that's life. We've lost dogs tragically over the years through house fires or freak accidents. But we'd rather know if something happens than always wonder. Some people are private and we totally get that. That's part of the price we as breeders risk when part with the pup. We also understand how busy folks' lives get but, when we don't ever hear anything, then we worry that the owners are too busy even for the pug. So, just in case gentle readers and dog owners don't know how much even just one photo means to us, I thought I'd share that here. It's a bit like with human children .... you never ever stop worrying about them no matter how many years go by.
We got back from our camping trip just in time to swing by the vet to get Scarlett's health certificate. She is SUCH a healthy pug and so beautiful. I could tell the vet and the vet tech were questioning our judgement to place her but, in the end as they saying goes, "you can't keep them all" and she is going to THE most amazing home. She'll be joining a senior female pug so I've been lecturing Scarlett about how important it is to treat her elders with respect. She looks at me as if she understands, lol, so we shall see! But what great memories for me from last week's camping trip at Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Amy Aberg McLelland, co-owner Pickwick Pugs