My Grumble – an Introduction to a Pack of Pugs

I’m up to 4 pugs now. Officially a “grumble”.
Some people have said they can’t tell them apart, so here’s a little introduction and a cheat sheet to help with that. All lined up like this, they look as different as night and day, and night and day….  A love of food is what they all share in common.

Moose                        Buddha                Dreyfus                Marty



First there’s Moose. He stands out because he’s actually 1/4 beagle. More ‘silver’ than tan and a little longer nose, he’s the snorer of the group. As in, sooooo loud he can wake people up in another room! The beagle in him comes through in his personality. He’s a scenter and a runner. The king of ‘unauthorized walks’ means he can find a small hole in any fence. Moose doesn’t have an ‘under coat’, he almost never sheds (good), but from October to March, he wears sweaters inside the house and outside (a lot of work). He is the least photogenic dog I have ever encountered. Grumpy is his ‘name’ and Opportunity is his ‘game’. He was an owner surrender I happened upon in Vermont while on vacation about 10 years ago.  They got him virtually untrained at 6 months of age from a pet store (via a puppy mill) and was labeled as a “designer dog”, fancy name for “mutt”. My husband always wanted a pug, and Moose was 3/4 of the way to that goal. He has an “I don’t care about anything” attitude and barks at everything and everyone who goes by the house – continually. He’s taught all the other pugs to howl, so it’s good thing we live in the country. He’s 11 years young.



Because you can’t just have one…..Next is Buddha. He’s the most handsome pug ever. He’s like a little prince who woke up one day and found himself among paupers, so most of the time he looks perplexed. Perfect in every way and he just floats when he trots. He came from an ‘only-dog’ home and was an owner surrender. Whenever there are treats to hand out, Buddha always hangs back, never wanting to compete with the other dogs and hoping his sad expression and polite sit will ensure he’s not overlooked. He has a large personal space when it comes to the rest of the grumble, but is never aggressive. Very polite in his manners, he never leaves my side when we go out on an adventure. Because he’s almost totally deaf, he’s learning hand signals and to read the other dogs’ reactions so he knows what’s going on. He relishes his outings, especially when he is the only dog who gets to go – so he is the one to accompany me on the walk to the barn at 6:30 every morning to feed the horses. He is the first to remind me when it’s time for dinner and when it’s time to go to bed. He’s 11 years young.




Dreyfus was a stray. He came into rescue via a humane society, and was a total mess: hair loss, skin and ear infections and literally starved. He’s the most affectionate of all of them but at the same time he’s alpha over all of them. Somewhere between 5-7 years of age, he has very little pack-sense. He started out not knowing how to share, or take his turn. Whatever he wanted, he’d just barge in and take it. Because he’s a little more sooty in colour, and his personality, he reminds me a little of Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days. Total tough-guy on the outside, but a marshmallow inside. Dreyfus has  Fonzie’s “look” down pat, even the half closed “bedroom eyes”. He has made it his mission to learn how to fit in, and how to anticipate my every move, so that he can position himself to the best advantage.  Extremely smart, but always somewhat in ‘survival mode’, he’s had the biggest challenge because on top of everything else, he’s had to learn a new name. He carefully calculates every new encounter, but is incredibly athletic. When he is corrected for making a mistake, he is always VERY apologetic. He loves to steal (and eat) apples from the pastures. He never leaves my side, and in fact as I write this he’s the only one here with me, sleeping at my feet.



Named after Marty Feldman of Young Frankenstein fame because his left eye is a little wonky, like a lazy eye. (Years later we discovered another pug, a famous one in fact, named “Igor” who was named after Marty Feldman’s character in the same movie. Igor and I share the same birthday, but I digress.) Marty is as nervous as they come, like twitchy nervous. He’s also the itchiest of the four, he’s the most insecure and he’s the most playful. He doesn’t have ANY personal space and gets himself in hot water regularly with other dogs, as he misreads EVERY situation.  So, he’s mostly scared of other dogs, and much prefers the company of people. Marty is a champion at licking people’s feet, he’s extremely good at it. Marty is the only one of the 4 who is not a rescue. We got him at 8 weeks old to give Moose a friend after we said goodbye to old Bismark, another rescue dog and Moose’s rottweiler companion. Marty is now 9 years old.


There you have it. The Pug Grumble of Rideau Lakes!


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