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

TO BE HONEST, it wasn't going to be long before we stopped fobbing ourselves off with redundant lumps of plastic as pets. Tamagotchis, last year's bleeping cyberpet annoyances, have died of malnutrition, and it's time to start learning how to take responsibility for something of the flesh-and-blood variety.

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.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

    £28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

    Recruitment Genius: C# .NET Developer / Application Support - Junior

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business has an industry r...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

    Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
    Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

    Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

    David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
    Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

    Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

    A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
    10 best DSLRs

    Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

    Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash