Loved To Death, 2009

Loved To Death, 2009

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For twelve years I wanted a pug.

In August 2006, my brother and I drove to a truck stop along Highway 5 in Tracy, California to meet a big, purple semi which was on its way from Salem, Missouri to Los Angeles. The driver and his wife made weekly trips between the two cities, and on occasion, delivered puppies on behalf of his sister, the dog breeder. On this particular day, he had with him a tiny fawn pug. And she was all mine. It was an odd manner in which to obtain a dog, but I didn’t care.

Sukie was a sweet puppy, very social and happy. However, she had her flaws. She peed everywhere. She pooped with reckless abandon. She destroyed the carpet in every room of our house. Too much barking. Two rounds of puppy school. A strange addiction to cat litter. Chewed drywall.

A year later, we did it again.

Roxie, an eight week old velvety black pug with the flattest face I had ever seen, was delivered to us from Los Angeles in December 2007 by a lady in a hybrid. Potty trained from the start, she was promptly deemed “the smart one.” Not a single day of puppy school required.

The inspiration for this book came from one of Sukie’s favorite toys, a bee with rope legs and an obscene stinger that we named “The Beenis.” After snickering endlessly at the demise of his stinger, I began to notice that the manner in which most of the dog’s toys met their end was pretty humorous. Lammie’s ears. Glowie’s lips. Mr. Froggie’s ankles. The beloved suede mouse belonging to our cat….all loved to death.