Here are our two pugs, Lefty and Biscuit, playing with Mollie Nadler a few weeks ago (Mollie was doing some house painting and took a break to play with the dogs.)
Sorry for tilt here. I can't figure out how to fix it. That said, Mollie does look better in the horizontal position.
bout three weeks ago, on the coldest night of the winter up till that point, I fed Lefty and Biscuit their dinners outside and left for swimming practice, confident my sons would let the little pugs in from the dark, cold night and the surrounding forest in which bobcats and coyotes are rumored to prowl.
When I got back from swimming practice, Lefty--the plump male pug--was indeed in his spot in the kitchen, gnawing on a ham bone. But Biscuit, the lithe female pug, was not in her usual spot, that being the heating register where she regularly stokes herself with hot forced air.
I went outside into the previously described night and called for her. Unfortunately, her hearing is not that great these days, and no manner of shouts or whistles managed to summon her.
I called both sons on their respective cells--they had gone out to respective friends' houses--and asked them where Biscuit was. They both told me they had searched for her to no avail.
Lefty, the amiable but dumb pug, began begging for a dog treat. He is an adorable dog, but can be pretty annoying what with his insatiable appetite for food, and his nearly endless whimpering cries and beseeching for same!
"Lefty," I said, "how is it that you are here and Biscuit is out there somewhere, possibly being eaten? I thought she was the smart one, and you the dumb one, but here you are, and who knows where she is?"
We went out looking for her. I put on my headlamp and bushwhacked through the dark woods above our house, but to no avail, Lefty all the while at my heels. Then we reversed course and headed into the dark woods beneath our house. At one point, I could no longer see Lefty and feared that he, too, might be lost.
Finally, I managed to find Lefty, but his little female bride remained irretrievable.
Lefty and I went home, hungry and disconsolate, respectively.
It was so bitterly cold out!
I tortured myself with images of poor little Biscuit out there in the night, a smart and keen eyed pug whose greatest pleasure in life--more so even than food and treats--was her perch by the heating register.
I fell asleep, depressed, already in a state of pre-mourning.
Sometime around 4 a.m., I awoke and went downstairs to check the three doors to our house, hoping against hope Biscuit had somehow made her way back and was patiently shivering in wait to be let in.
Front door? No Biscuit!
Patio door? No Biscuit!
Kitchen door....but no sooner had I entered the kitchen, which serves by night as our pugs' bedroom, than I saw not one (1) but two (2) pugs in their twin pug beds!!!!
Biscuit was home and back inside!
In the morning, I learned from my older son Ben that when he got home at 3 a.m., Biscuit was waiting by the back door, and he let her in.
Safe and sound!
lash forward approximately three weeks to this very morning, Dec. 16h, 2010. My younger son Jack, now a high school senior and future Tarheel (accepted yesterday via early decision to his top choice, U. North Carolina-Ashville!), needed a ride to school.
We put the pugs outside and drove down to Leetsdale, locus of Quaker Valley High School, at 7:30 a.m.
I was back home by 7:45, and as I drove up the driveway, I beeped the horn several times to alert the pugs that I was back, that it was time for them to gather at the homestead, and that I would feed them their breakfast.
The temperature was 12 degrees F.
The pugs did not answer the beep.
They were not in their Dogloo outside.
I could not find them shivering in the garage.
The beloved pugs, on the new coldest morning of the year, one week and one day before Christmas, were gone!
I whistled and yelled for them, to no avail. I went inside and started making coffee. Sometimes, I think they can smell the coffee brewing and know that their breakfast cannot be far behind once this olfactory stimulus hits the air.
And like clockwork, I soon heard an insistent scratching of pug nails against frigid aluminum! They were back, robustly alive, uneaten by either coyotes or bobcats!
But when I threw open the door to see what was accounting for all the clatter, there was only one (1) not two (2) pug dogs there to greet me!
A shivering Lefty, who immediately began his pleading intercessions for victuals.
I let Lefty in and he begged even more frenetically.
"Where's Biscuit, Lefty?" I asked him, the entire horror-show of three weeks ago back in a flash of deja vu
Lefty replied" "Rrrreee yelpppp roofffff arrrryllllll arrrppp!"
Then he stamped his little feet in a food frenzy dance and began to yawn boisterously in a fashion my wife has taught him. It is adorable to hear him yawn in this desperate way--a signal that usually nets him food.
Hopeless, I said to Lefty, "I know you are a little dumb, Lefty. And I do not believe this will get through that thick occipital bone that cradles your brain pan. But please!
"Find Biscuit. Find Biscuit. Find Biscuit."
And then I sent him back outside without food. I imagined he would just hover by the door and start scratching it again to be let in. But to my amazement, Lefty trotted off with what almost seemed like purpose
Two minutes later, the scratching renewed. When I threw the door open to let him back in, I was absolutely astonished to see not one (1) but two (2) pug dogs waiting patiently to be let in!
Perhaps it was coincidence, Perhaps Biscuit chose this very moment to come back, completely independent of any search party efforts on Lefty's part.
But I don't think this was the case.
I think Lefty did, indeed, find Biscuit.
I think Lefty is, indeed, smart after all!
It is, I am convinced, a True Christmas Pug Miracle!
I fed them a fine bowl of assorted meats and meat byproducts followed up by dog treats for them both!
They are now downstairs cuddled together by the heat register, taking a long winter's nap.
And I, for the first time in many, many a year, find myself in something that faintly borders the Christmas spirit!
May all my swimming friends capture a similar sentiment this season as well! Here's wishing you all a faint bordering brush with the Christmas spirit!