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The Shelter Pet Project




Samantha Donaldson


Boise, Idaho


Pug Pals

Why Pugsley is so special:

Pugsley is not your average pug by no means. Sure, he loves to rub his face on random objects and snort as he prances through the park with his little curled tail, but there is something particularly special about him. Pugsley is deaf. From the moment Joel, my fiance, and I picked him up at the local dog park thanks to a wonderful organization in Boise, Idaho known as Pug Pals, we knew he was a tad bit unique. Before we chose to adopt Pugsley, we had been caring for yet another pug with some interesting characteristics named Belle Furiosa and she was my everything.

We had picked her up from the local shelter and cared for her for nearly a year as her legs slowly deteriorated and she finally passed away due to an epileptic seizure. After caring for the dog no one thought was worth it, we realized what our true calling was to be. Picking up Pugsley was exciting. It had only been a few months since Belle had passed but I knew this was going to be another little love bug that deserved our care and that was enough for me.

He came out of the car wagging his little curly tail and looking extremely spritely for being nine years old. I immediately melted as he looked up at me and, from there, we took him to play and get used to us at the dog park. He immediately started eating rocks which I knew meant he needed to visit the vet. It turns out Pugsley was in great pain as his ear canals were completely eroded and he needed 18 teeth to be removed as well.

When we left the vet, we were told he would never be able to hear again. It was at this moment that I knew Pugsley was the right one for us. At first, Pugsley had a tiny head tilt due to his ears but, over time, that pain was significantly reduced and he seemed to easily become a part of the family. He loved belly rubs, snuggling with us in bed, annoying our two cats, Eclipse and Felix, and laying in my lap to enjoy a snack.

As the first year progressed, I could tell he was becoming antsy in the house as we went off to work and to do other things at night and this is when I began to test the waters and see if this pug was a traveling companion at heart. Within a few days, Pugsley had fully adapted to traveling with Joel and I and we have taken him ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!

You see, Joel and I were extremely fortunate to have met one another as we both have Asperger's and, therefore, an emotional support animal and each other actually significantly help with our anxiety and discomfort in regular social interactions. As we helped Pugsley travel around the country, Pugsley helped us find ourselves, learn how to be more sociable, and love one another completely. After spending a month on the road together, it was obvious that the normal life we once lead was not for any of us so now we plan on doing something FAR larger and FAR more exciting as well!!!

Over the next few years, we plan to travel across America as a trio that truly can't be beat and learn and grow along the way. After all, with Pugsley now being eleven, he may not have a lot of time left with us and he deserves to experience the life his previous owners (before Pug Pals found him) clearly could not afford him! Our first endeavor is SELLING EVERYTHING and when I say everything, I really do mean it. After that, we have to find an RV and hit the road by July! Along the way, we plan on stopping at all kinds of exciting places and also meeting with other pug owners and rescue dog owners as well to raise awareness of just how important and rewarding it is to get yourself a rescue dog over one of those adorable little puppies at your local pet store!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome, adventurous, PUGERIFIC day!!!

If your pet could talk, what would he or she tell us about you?:

Samantha is my favorite person and she cares about me dearly. I love 'snorbling' her arm in bed and getting belly rubs in the morning from Joel!

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