Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Friday, July 27, 2018

And on this day....a pug was born

Today is The Old One Eyed Blind Pug's 12th birthday. I had to wait until he was almost nine to have him in my life, but it was worth the wait. Besides, I had another Old One Eyed Pug I was caring for then. To be able to have had two of these creatures in my daily life is such a gift.

The two pugs are very different from one another. Billy, the first pug, was born to a farm family in Minnesota. He was much needier than Hughie is. Hughie was in a home of a couple and my recollection is they fought quite a bit and Hughie often ended up alone, contained in a room. In some ways, I think this made him even braver than he might have been. At some point, Hughie was run over by accident by a delivery truck, and that is how he lost his one eye, and became blind. Or he was somewhat blind from birth due to a congestive disease that was not cared for properly, so he went blind soon after losing the eye. A kind woman took Hughie on because the couple was not caring for him properly. But she herself was not in good condition and was very limited in bending over and such-and with a small blind dog, you do a lot of bending over to help them. She didn't want to, but she decided she had to rehome him to the right person.

At the time, I had been pugless for about three years. Being pugless after you have been pugged is a sad state. Pugs really get into your heart. I wasn't exactly looking for another pug, but I always said if an elder or needy pug came along, I'd take him. So I was minding my own business, and a friend emailed me about this pug that was on Old Dog Haven, a wonderful place out west that helps rehome elder dogs out of shelters. When I saw his face, and that he was blind, with one eye...well, it was like my old pug was hitting me over the head,

Pick up the phone now!

And I did. I talked to the woman that needed to rehome him, and there had been a person interested, but as I talked to her, she changed her mind and knew she wanted me to have him. I'm so grateful for that. Another of my friends, who I lovingly called my Goat Hauler, as she had driven several goats to me from Seattle area to Apifera, a 12 hour round trip- she met me halfway in Tacoma, and the pug known as Hughie entered my life.

He was so well behaved, so brave and unafraid of his new home. He immediately adapted to navigating the rooms and areas he could not see. He never whined, and you could also tell that if you raised your voice, he cowered a bit. Like I said we had heard he'd come from a fighting home, so it took him awhile to understand when we yelled at the TV, it was not about him. We yell at the TV a lot these days, so we also balance it with lots of soothing talk. When we came across the country from Oregon to Maine, Hughie rode with Huck and Mud in the backseat, and each night we slept in a different barn stall, with the dogs, the barn animals remained in the large trailer. Hughie was just a little champ, content to sleep in his bed that he knew so well, even if it was in a barn that he could not see. He enjoyed french fries on the trip, and now in Maine he gets a banana each morning which he relishes, reminding me to relish my banana too.

Hughie is completely blind but he lives a wonderful little enchanted life. He is carried out to the garden in the morning, does his business and comes in and eats. Then he naps in one of his many day beds. At night he is lifted onto the couch to watch tv with us, and that is after he helps Martyn chop any vegetables for dinner. He has a sweet little call of 'Woo-woo" he does when he excited or happy. He is no pushover.

I would tell anyone who finds a blind dog that needs a home-don't turn away. They do not need your pity, they need you to see them as a possible wonderful addition to your family. They are resilient and have other senses that help them navigate. I have so many blind animals, and not one of them is a burden, each of them brings me joy and also reminds me that physical challenges in man or beast do not close the door to being a contributing member of a household.

I love you Hughie. I am so glad I am not pugless. I am so glad you are here with us.