The Magic Pug
It was June of 2011. I had been working at a new job for six months; it was a terrific situation but I was having a difficult time dealing with the loneliness of working out of my house so I announced to a group of friends that I was thinking of finally fulfilling my long-cherished dream of getting a pug to keep me company. My pal Tawdrey Baubles immediately got out her laptop and found a Craigslist posting for an adorable pug named Moogie who was being offered to a good home who would love him. Moogie's picture in the ad showed him wearing a chef's hat and I knew at a glance that he could use a change of scenery. I exchanged a few e-mails with the woman who had posted the listing, an angel named Sommer who had a gaggle of pugs of her own but was fostering Moogie after he had been put in a shelter when he was attacked by a larger dog and needed surgery. She had already turned down a few applicants feeling that they weren't worthy of having Moogie but I was somehow able to convince her that I was worth closer consideration, so she agreed to introduce us at the park near me on Hazeltine Boulevard in Van Nuys. The date was June 18, 2011.
I knew that I wanted Moogie from the second I laid eyes on him and after walking around the park to test my mettle and my doing a significant amount of tap dancing to convince Sommer of my merit in winning such a prize, she agreed to let me have Moogie and brought him to my house to stay forever that very afternoon. The first thing I did (with Sommer's blessing) was to rename him after a historical figure that I have always thought all pugs bear a striking resemblance to: Winston Churchill.
I loved Winston from the start but I made a shocking discovery about him a couple of days later when I was taking him for a walk on Van Nuys Boulevard. A young woman was sitting on the sidewalk looking thoroughly distraught as if she had lost every friend that she had in the world. Winston immediately bounded up to her and stuck his flat little snout in her face. Her whole demeanor suddenly changed as if the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders and she wrapped Winston in an affectionate bear hug. After a few minutes, she finally let him go. She looked up at me gratefully and said "I needed that." As we walked away and I realized that the short encounter with Winston had infused her with an energy and optimism that regenerated her very spirit, I looked down at my little pug in amazement and realized that he was magic.
Winston and I have been together for two years and the magic keeps getting stronger. When I walk him through the neighborhood, whole groups of small children implore us to stop so that they can pet him and then scream "I love you, Winston!" when we finally walk away. When I take him to the park, people often race up to us just because they want to see him up close. But wherever we are, dour faces suddenly melt into carefree smiles when passersby catch an unexpected glimpse of his pudgy body traipsing happily past them. And when we are alone together, I need only to look at his beautiful fat ass sprawled on the couch like an old sack of potatoes and my cares seem to melt away as quickly as the young woman's we had encountered on Van Nuys Boulevard. Happy birthday to my little pug Winston. Thanks for being with me the last two years, buddy. It's been magic.