Tag: dogs

In Memoriam – Sugaree

This is a very hard post to write as the wound is still fresh.  Two nights before we made settlement on our new RV (1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S) we said goodbye to Sugaree.  This is her story.

At the end of January 2017,  a black pug found wandering the streets of Memphis, TN and was turned into the Memphis Animal Services.  Memphis Animal Services contacted our friends at Mid-South Pug Rescue (MSPR) to see if they could help her.  MSPR agreed to take her in.  This little lady was in rough shape.  She appeared to have been over breed and was underweight from living on the streets for a while, not just blind; both her eyes had collapsed into their sockets.  On January 24, 2017, she had a mass removed from a mammary gland.  Through all this, she was so sweet and loving MSPR started to call her Sweetie Pie.

As we follow the pages on Facebooks of the pug rescues that we know,  Rachel saw the first picture of Sweetie Pie and said she wanted to adopt her.  So we contacted Cheryl at MSPR and made arrangements.  We decided that we were going to rename her Sugaree after one of our favorite Grateful Dead songs and from everything we were told about her was more than fitting (and it was).  On Friday, February 3, 2017, we left Philadelphia and headed to Memphis to see our good friends, Cheryl and Madeline of Mid-South Pug Rescue, but mostly to adopt and bring home Sweetie Pie.

Rolled into Memphis late Saturday afternoon.  We were meet at the door by Cheryl, Madeline, and their grumble and MSPR hospices staying with them.  This was also the first time we got to see Sugaree (fka Sweetie Pie) in person.  She was in very rough shape.  But we were undeterred to give her the best life we could.  Early Sunday afternoon we said our fare the wells and headed back on the road to return home.

Shortly after leaving Memphis we came to realize that this was going to be a very long trip home.  Sugaree would not sit still.  The back seat of the car has a dog sling to over the seats.  Somehow, she figured out how to get under the sling and slide down to the floor of the back seat.  Then she would manage to climb back up – sometimes under the sling onto the seat, sometimes on top of the sling.  Remember, this pug is blind.  So at a pit stop, we decided to block the sides of the sling with our suitcases.  This did not deter her.  She would climb over the suitcases and slide back down to the floor.  Yes, we were doomed.  By the way, she barked just about the entire time in the car (something she never outgrew).

Shortly after returning to Philly we took her to our regular vet, whom we just started using.  Upon exam, it was noted that she was underweight, had skin issues from the flea infestation (that was gone), the eye issues we knew about and that she had some issues in her back end.  We also had a full blood panel done.  We started on a program to help put on some weight.

A day or two later. the blood test results come back and they did not look good.  It was recommended that we have an ultrasound done of her abdomen.  Our worst fears were confirmed – cancer.   One of the vets at the practice specializes in Eastern veterinary medicine and it was recommended that we consult with her.  We were willing to try anything to give her the best life we could for as long as we could.  Long story short here, we started Sugaree on a routine of acupuncture and Chinese herbs with the goal of increasing her immune system and help her fight the cancer on her adrenal gland the best she could.

We also consulted with the eye specialist we use for our pugs and the pugs that come into Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue to see if the eyes should be removed.  It was determined that they were not causing her any pain or discomfort, so it was fine to do nothing at this time.

It did not take her long to fall into the daily routine of meals, treats, and walks.  She would be at the kitchen gate barking for her meal along with everyone else.  When the gate opened she knew just where to go for her bowl.  If we were sitting on the sofa, she would find us and demand to be brought up to sit with Jeff if he was there.  If Jeff was home and not in the living room, she would hunt him down so she could be nearby.  She was Jeff’s little girl.

She would join us along with the rest of the grumble on our RV trips.  Loved being outside when the weather permitted or snuggling with her bother and sisters (adoptive and foster) on the sofa.

The routine of treatments was not going to rid her of cancer.  We accepted that.  It was our hope that it would extend the time and quality of her life with us.  Up until the end, she had a good life with us.  Sugaree turned downhill very quickly.  She could no longer fight the cancer inside her.  On July 25, 2018, Sugaree crossed to the Rainbow Bridge in Jeff’s arms.

Be it 6 hours, 6 days, 6 months, 6 or more years we try to give our pugs the best of everything so they can have a long, happy and healthy life.

In loving tribute, we have named our new RV Chateau Sugaree.


“Well shake it up now, Sugaree
(We)‘ll meet you at the Jubilee
And if that Jubilee don’t come
Maybe (We)’ll meet you on the run”
– Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

Indian Summer And No Air Conditioning

It always seems that as autumn comes to Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas the temperature drops and the leaves start to change color.  Then, without warning, the heat and humidity return for one last gasp of summer.

Normally, this would not be a big deal.  Except, this year as the temps and humidity head up our AC at home died.  We learned this when we returned home on Sunday night after spending a nice weekend at Home d’Pug RV.   We could have suffered through the next few days until it was fixed, but the pugs would not have survived the higher temperatures.  This was especially true of our two forever fosters – Casey Jones and Maggie – who both have a collapsing larynx.

After the 2-1/2 hour drive home we packed the pugs and Tiger, our cat, (Yes! we also have a cat), additional dog, cat food, litter, litter pan, additional clothing we made the return trip to the Poconos.  Finally got back to the RV around 12:30 in the morning.  There we stayed the entire week.  I drove the two hours each way to work every day.

The AC motor was replaced on Wednesday.  We decided since the week as just about over, why not stay until Sunday.  This meant we spent 10 days at Home d’Pug RV.  Two adults, six pugs and one cat living in a 31-foot motorhome.

Tiger’s Big RV Adventure

Tiger and Casey Jones

Tiger has been with us for over 10 years now.  She has moved from one home to the next and just rolled with the punches.  As the pugs started to come into our life she would leave them alone for the most part.  We did not take her to the RV as we were not sure how she would adapt to the small space with two humans and 6 pugs.   Of course, there was also the fear that she would get out which would not be good as she is an indoor only cat.  But the situation necessitated that she come along.

Tiger with the grumble

Much to our surprise (it really should not have surprised us), she just rolled with it.  We unloaded the cars, set up her litter pan, food and water dishes and let her out.  Tiger looked around and gave everything the once over.  By this time we were exhausted and I had to get up early to go to work.  Throughout the night, you could hear Tiger moving around, but no more than at home.

By early Monday morning, she had staked out the copilot’s seat as her own.  This is where you could find her asleep most of the day.  Her food and water were up on the covered stove top.  This way the pugs could not get to it and she could eat in peace.  Before long, she figured out the best way to get there was to hop up on the dining table and then make the short leap to the stove top.  She even found time to spend with the pugs on the sofa bed.

It got us thinking that maybe Tiger would do OK coming with us to the RV on our weekend trips.  Will need to plan out where to keep her litter pan, etc. so they are not in the way.  That will be our winter research project.

Keeping them behind the fence

The campground managers, who live on site, have two Papillons and had a fence built on their site.   In talking with Donna and J one quiet Sunday afternoon, they suggested that we do the same.  One of the grounds crew built theirs and we were welcome to approach Kevin to do the same on our site.

After talking with Kevin, we made a deal to have a fence built on our site.  It is not a normal in a fence as there are no posts dug into the ground.  Rather, it sits on top of the ground.  This means we need to find another way to support the longer runs.  This is still a work in progress.

Having the fenced in area allows us a lot more freedom in allowing the pugs to join us outside – especially as the weather becomes more comfortable for them.  The best thing about the fenced in area is at potty time we can just open the door and let the kids run out.  Ollie and Ming are a little slow in getting with the program.  They are eager to go outside.  However, both still look forward to going for a walk to do their business.

Having the fence has become a must for us if we are planning on staying in any one spot for an extended period with the pugs.  This fence has sections so it can be unassembled and moved to another site or campground.  We still use one of our x-pens to keep the dogs away from the fire ring when we have a campfire going.  The fire ring is one corner (not too close) of the fenced in area and we use the x-pen to block off that area.  It has worked great.  Of course, with any campfire, we keep a close eye on the grumble to make sure they don’t get behind the x-pen and near the fire ring.

Renovations ahead

We have planned an animal-free weekend for the first weekend of October.  It will be good to have some quality alone time.  The interior is also going to get a couple of renovations we have planned.

The kitchen area is going to get a new backsplash.  The carpets in the living room and bathroom are going to be replaced with vinyl flooring.  More on the renovations next time.

In Memorium

As we have talked about before, we forever foster two pugs for the rescue we founded.  Both have collapsing larynx.  Maggie came to the rescue in early June 2017 and underwent major surgery to fix her stomach that slipped past her diaphragm.  It was after the surgery that we learned about the collapsing larynx and she became a Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue Angel pug.

Monday (10/2/17) morning Maggie was having a very difficult time breathing and was in distress.  From the beginning, we knew our time with her was limited. With great sadness, we helped her across the bridge.  We did all we could for her.   Our hearts are shattered.

We hope you are having fun at the bridge our sweet Maggie Moo Moo.  We love you so very much.

Til we meet again.    ❤️💔😪😪



Dog Etiquette and Commonsense

Some people don’t know or care about proper dog etiquette nor use commonsense.  Rachel and I have owned pugs for over eight years.  We consider ourselves to be above average owners.  No, we are not bragging.  As part of being guardians, we strongly believe that you should educate yourself on the breed(s) you own.

Rosie, Ming and Olivander “Ollie” are our pugs.  In addition to owning three pugs, we also forever foster one pug, Casey Jones, for the rescue we started (Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue).  Rosie was adopted from a shelter in Arkansas, and Ming and Ollie were adopted from Philly Pug.  

Before making the leap into the RV life, Rachel and I discussed the pros and cons for taking the pugs with us.  This included the individual personalities of each of the pugs.  Rosie and Ming are very typical pugs in that they are generally very laid back and go with the flow.  Cassey Jones is also generally laid back but can exhibit food aggression at meal and treat time.  With the help of a professional trainer and a lot of work with Casey, she is much improved.  However, we still feed her in her crate “room” away from the other pugs.

This leaves Ollie.  Ollie is the youngest at about 3 years old.  We did not find out until about six months after we adopted him, he was taught to fight with his father.  (Don’t get me started on dog fighting.)  This explained why he would get stressed and agitated around other dogs.  With the help of our trainer, we have been working with him to lower his response in these situations.

In the short time, we have been camping in our RV we found a nice KOA campground about 2 hours from home.  In general, our fellow campers are very nice and respectful.  But, there is always that one.  Late one Saturday afternoon we were sitting around our campsite with the pugs in their x-pen.  Along came another camper walking his dog past our site.  He stopped to look at our dogs.  This was not a problem until Ollie caught site the other dog.  Ollie got upset and started to bark.

I very politely asked the gentlemen to move along.  He refused!  Not only did he refuse, but proceed to yell at the two of us that ‘we had no right to tell him what to do!’  Common sense would tell the average person that if a dog you are looking at is upset and barking you should move along.

The lesson learned here is that not everyone will treat you and your dogs with the kindness and common sense you try to live by are not shared by others, no matter the location.

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