Pug-ugly, but pretty dear; is it worth it?
Pugs have taken over from Tamagotchis as the must-have pet. But at a cost that would keep a poor abandoned mongrel in Pal for the rest of its days. Take your pick
Sunday 12 April 1998
One word for you - pug. From pounds 550 the next ideal city pet could be yours. It embodies the camp delights of all toy dogs, whilst bypassing the Barbara- Cartland excesses of Pekinese and Yorkies. Top this with the perverse kick you get out of owning a dog whose breed name is usually prefixed to the word "ugly" and one gets closer to understanding the unique experience of pug-ownership. With its large head feauring the trademark squashed muzzle, if the pug was any larger than its stocky 11 inches it might have a few self-image problems. But they have perfect temperaments: obedient and eager to please, comfortable with children, and they only need 10- 15 minutes exercise per day. Pugs are companion dogs that succeed where others fail; as John Smith, secretary of the Pug Dog Club put it: "Most people who buy a pug will always have a pug."
The only special care they need is keeping their ear and nose wrinkles clean. They shed hair, and have problems growing old gracefully, going obviously grey and deploying their porcine snorts with greater regularity.
It would be behind the times however to level any similar criticisms at their owners - the most popular breed in New York reaches far beyond the tea-party circuit. Their renewed appeal has been put down to the recent sale of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's pug memorabilia. The pug has also shown its iconic face in movies and in fashion. A wise-cracking pug stole scenes in last year's Men in Black, and fashion designer Valentino has named an entire collection after his pug, Oliver.
So if you're after something pedigree, a pug could be the answer. What else can fill the previously unexploited style window that is the bicycle basket? But for pounds 550?
The alternative is to go to a rescue society and provide a home for a dog who needs one. (Good dogs' homes employ animal behaviourists to solve dogs' problems before they are re-homed.) The decision is yours: to take on a dog from a refuge is to change an abandoned dog into a loved pet. To pay for a pug is to pay for a compact friend, an animated accessory and a surrogate child ... with the face of Jack Nicholson.
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca reclaims top spot to be named world's best restaurant
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...
£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...