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Letter to the editor 2, March 4, 2021

For the love of pugs

Dear Editor,

In reference to Brian Gallagher’s Kick in the Arts column, February 25.

First, in an effort to thwart any possible repercussions from the MFA, or any other animal protectors, I must profess to being a confirmed animal lover. I even donated my first-born to the cause. Well not really donated, she does get paid... now. And I never met a dog I didn't like.

Mind you there was this one cur, of the hundreds that would charge out of farmyards as we peddled by on the back roads of upstate New York, who tried to make a lunch out of my right calf. I like him a bit less.

My next door neighbour's late wife, also a dog lover, was fixated on pugs. She, being legally blind with cardiac issues and basically house-ridden, spoiled them with treats and little exercise. They rarely lived beyond six or eight years. She named them, in succession, all Pugsley delineated with a number i.e. Pugsley III. Pugs as a breed have a propensity to easily become obese and hers all were that plus, hence their short lives. Pugs also put on fat in an interesting collection of bands on their corpulent bodies. One day, observing Pugsley IV (or V, vague now and irrelevant) shortly after digging out a rotten tree stump, I noted a similarity to something I had just seen. With the brown face, and the cream coloured rippled body, the pug was doing a great interpretation of the June bug grubs I had found in the stump. I mentioned that to my neighbours. I feared I might cause her demise.

It was a good five minutes later before we could stop laughing and be able to breathe normally again. Amazingly the unspoken message seemed to have gotten through and the dog went on a diet, lost weight and lived several years beyond the others.

Alfie Epstein

Les Cèdres

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