Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 1, 2010

My Friend Pug

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I was blessed with many good friends as a young boy.  From those in the neighborhood to those at school, there was a real friendship as if we were brothers.  There were Sonny, Bobby, Ray, Little John, Ray, Stephan, John, and Bobby, just to mention a few. (No repeat in friends — they just happen to have the same names.)

But the friend that truly stuck closer than a brother was Pug.  It was more of a love relationship than a friendship.  It began the summer before fourth grade.  I was working at my job for that week.  My family assignment was to dig around the roses in the garden.  It was tough work breaking up that red clay.  I remember looking up from my work and seeing this new friend.

She had four legs, a long tail, brown ears, long nose,  big brown eyes, and a beautiful white coat!  She came to me and with that longing look was asking me to pet her.  Thus began a long, long relationship.  I immediately called her Pug.  I cannot say why, she just looked like  Pug!  She was a mixture of Spitz and Collie.

The Atlanta area had begun to require new rules for dogs, and many people chose to abandon their dogs rather than conform.  Our area began to see many stray dogs.  Pug was one of those.  She was several years old and showed her maturity and feminine heart.

I needed Pug as she needed me.  We had recently had to give our dog, a large St. Bernard, away because many people were intimidated by his size.  I had always had a dog and was grieving over the loss of my dog.  Pug seemed to have a mother instinct as if she was going to care for me.

We did everything together — or at least what I would allow.  We were inseparable the rest of the summer.  Whether going down to the village, into the woods, or playing in the neighborhood, Pug was by my side.  She was companion and protector.  She loved people as most Collies do, but she was always on guard as others approached  me. It seemed to be that spirit of a Spitz.  It was obvious she would defend me if necessary.  My dad had helped us boys to build a clubhouse.  It was complete enough to spend the night in, and we did often.  Pug was there — as a friend, and to make us feel safe.

When school started, she thought she would go also.  It was necessary for a couple of days to have her detained until I was out of sight.  As I would hasten home from school, she would see me coming up the hill, and run to meet me.  She was every boy’s dream dog!

As I began seventh grade, we moved to a nearby town where my dad bought the family business.  This provided new territory for Pug and me.  The woods were closer, the creek was nearby, and we could even pitch our tent and camp close to the house.  (See blog, Peachtree Creek, She was my hunting dog, but seemed to influence me about sparing all our animal friends along the creek.

We had to remodel the home my family purchased.  The old kitchen became my bedroom.  It had a door that led to what was originally the back porch.  It was also the coldest room in the house during the winter.  Pug would sleep just outside that door.  In the hot summer, I would leave the door open and Pug would lay against the screen door.  Again, I had no fear with her there.  The cold winter nights, unknown ( I assumed) to my parents, I would open he door and let her come in and sleep.  Who would ever let their best friend sleep out in the cold?

Pug would spend the hours while I was at school at the family store.  She soon made a new friend.  His name was Butch.  He was the biggest and meanest dog in town.  He was a big brown bulldog.  He would come to the store everyday because my dad would wrap up a piece of meat for Butch.  Butch would take the wrapped meat in his mouth and head for home.

However, he changed his mode of operation.  When he saw Pug, he quit going home and would just lay there all day with her.  They were soon known in town as the “new couple.”  Butch was not as fierce as everyone had thought.  He was just another fellow in love and his disposition changed.  His owners soon understood why he stayed away from home all day.

I left home as a 21-year-old and went to Texas.  Pug stayed with my folks.  Our relationship had changed some — not in how we loved one another, but in time spent together.  About a year after I left, I received word that Pug had died.  I am glad I was not there.

Through the years I have had people to ask, “Do dogs go to heaven?”  I would rather not have to answer that.  I don’t believe so, but what a surprise it would be if Pug was there when I arrive. Many people have special pets in their lives.  They are part of our living here . . . and I will always treasure the memory of Pug, my best friend!



1 Comment »

  1. Loved, loved, loved this story. As a dog lover, I can relate to your story, however, I do disagree. I believe dogs will have a place in heaven and I hope to see many of my deceased pets there when I die. That would be such a special treat for me to be reunited with Casey, Sandy, Tippy, Giffy, Dajo, Zack, Bo Bo, Duchess and Foxy. I’m an old woman and I have always had at least two dogs at a time.

    Comment by Jody Jeffers — September 1, 2010 @ 8:00 am | Reply

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