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Every once in a while, someone special comes into your universe, and their presence reminds you each day how great life can be. I'm speaking, of course, about my pug. Edgar.
My wife has had the pleasure of knowing E for most of his life. I met the boy a little more than a year ago -- in his late 20s -- and I must admit, it was a bit of a shock. My life has been filled with dogs from childhood, but they've all been some sort of lab and/or mutt creation and at least big enough to occasionally wrestle (By the way, dogs don't like to wrestle; I wish I had known that when I was a kid. Sorry, Midnight, Sam and Nike).
In those first few days, which included a not-very-well-thought-out-but-ultimately-successful attempt to sneak him into a hotel, these were my first impressions:
- That's a weird-looking dog.
- That's a loud dog.
- Does all his food smell this bad?
- Why is he licking me; we just met an hour ago?
- Dogs snore?
- My dogs will eat him.
Fast-forward to the present day: I'm more than used to E's face (I have dozens of pictures I can show you!) and the constant symphony of noises that emanate from it. The licking has become my daily wake-up call, immediately after which I trudge to the kitchen to feed him the canine fare I've become used to (serving it, that is). Not only did my dogs not eat him, they accepted him -- if begrudgingly -- right away (a development on the level of pigs flying given how dysfunctional the duo is, but that's a story for another column).
Even though he's the biggest Mama's boy you'll ever meet, E's my best buddy. In fact, I started calling him "Buddy" early on and he's so smart he began responding to it. So Buddy it was. And Buddy it is. He wears the pants in our family. Actually, he wears a scarf (Mama likes it, so my protests fall on deaf ears).
What Buddy wants, Buddy gets. You want to run outside, turn around and come right back in so I can feed you ANOTHER treat? OK, here ya go. You want to sleep with your head on the pillow, stretched out like a human while pushing me to the edge of the bed? OK, let me move over. You want to drive the ca ... Well, you get the idea. We happily spoil Buddy. It's impossible not to. Anyone who spends more than an hour with a pug knows what I'm talking about.
But my best friend has a dark side. A plumber made a house call the other day, and Buddy went ballistic. As soon as he heard the knock on the door, there was uncontrollable barking and growling and a shrieking sound I would describe as a lobster being boiled while singing a Yoko Ono song.
I'm not kidding when I say he had to be held back. Repeatedly. He wanted his pound of flesh. But I wanted our bathroom sink fixed a little more, so it was a rare instance of Buddy not getting his way.
There was some talk afterward that he should not be rewarded for such behavior. Granted, it was a tad embarrassing at first, yet, ultimately, the boy was just protecting his Mama (and maybe showing off a little for his buddy).
It wasn't long before I was giving him another treat. Proudly.
• Contact Matt Pallister at 800-296-5137 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.