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Pug love

Jim's Jams

October 3, 2012
Jim Krajewski ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Jam of the week: "Electric Candyman" by Flying Lotus feat. Thom Yorke

I have always been a dog person. Perhaps it's my allergies, or perhaps it was a series of very rude cats early in my life, but I fall on the canine side of this possibly false dichotomy. My family had a black lab mutt, Purdue, for much of my young life. Yeah, you can also tell where my family's allegiance in the Big 10 falls. We mostly called her "Purdie," and she was probably the best dog I could have hoped for as a kid.

Time passed, and so did Purdie, which was as hard for me as I would assume losing a dog is for anyone else. That was early in high school, and for most of my high school life we didn't own a dog. The subject had come up a few times in passing, and my dad wasn't in favor of getting a dog.

One night, my parents were watching an episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos," and they saw a video of a pug running through the yard. My dad proclaimed that if we were to get a dog, it would have to be a pug. My mom was on the phone the next day making contact with the person who would sell us our pug.

We contemplated on possible names as a family for some time. It eventually came down to days before we would get the pug when were eating at an italian restaurant in Bloomington. Out of the ether, my dad pulled out the name "Casimir Puglaski," after the American revolutionary war hero Pulaski, who has a day commemorating him in Illinois. To be frank, that's about as much as we celebrated our polish heritage.

Casimir, or Caz for short, arrived at our house the summer before I went to college. We got her as a puppy, which was a first for our family as Purdie was adopted. I remember watching my dad chase her around the yard as she ripped flowers from my mom's garden and made a game of making my dad late for work.

She grew into a much more docile dog, preferring an open lap or heat vent over chasing rabbits in the yard. My sister described her as the most catlike dog she had ever seen. Caz was quiet, hid from thunderstorms and the roaring sound of a vacuum.

Easter of my sophomore year, my mom decided that she didn't have enough pug hair in her life, and Lilly came into our home. Lilly, like Caz, was a fawn pug with a light coat with dark hair around her snout, eyes and her ears. However, she has a slightly protruded snout and is built lighter than most pugs. My sister, always accurate with her descriptions, said these odd features are due to the fact that she is half-demon.

I remember taking photos of Lilly after we took her home. The second we let her loose, Caz perches on my mom's lap and stares at this little, insane dog with a look of sheer terror. I think she knew how weird this dog was long before any of us did.

Don't get me wrong, Lilly is a sweet, but still weird dog at times. She perches on the tops of couches, is always close to Caz and licking her ears and would never come down stairs until she was at least a year old. When she's not doing those things, she's running around and biting anything she can.

Pugs are such weirdly sweet dogs that I couldn't help but fall in love with both of them. Now, in Webster City, I'm over six hours away from them. I think I need to find a local shelter to volunteer at to get my dog fix, because I miss them dearly. I'm not sure if I'll get a pug when or if I do own a dog later in life, but the idea of seeing their cute, scrunched up faces always makes me giddy to go home and visit.



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