I am glad to be back home and getting things back to normal. Yesterday Woman worked and went to the gym, and I slept all day. That's the way things are supposed to be. Normal. I love it. I did have a good time on my trip, but I am so happy it is over.
We left last Monday morning. Woman loaded me into my crate in the car and down the road we went. It took us 8 hours to get to Mobile. I barked for about an hour of that time. I was given two pee breaks during the trip, which was really cool, because there were millions and millions of weird things to smell when we stopped. We finally got to our friends' house around 6pm local time, and the People immediately locked me in a weird room with a washer and dryer and left me there alone to go to dinner! The nerve! I was pretty weirded out to be locked up in a strange place, but Woman says I can't be trusted, and she is right about that!
Woman brought my gate and my bed so I would be comfortable. I did like having my own bed, but I did not like that Woman left every morning to go to work! What's up with that? Ian stayed at the house with me and worked from there, but sometimes he left too and locked me up in that weird room again. Elena and her Mom were home most of the time, and I got to play with them and their dog Sophie, but I was locked up way too much for my preference.
I had a lot of fun playing with Elena. She is 5 and very cute. I have some pictures, but they're stuck on the camera. Woman said we'll try to upload them some time this week. I also had fun playing with Sophie. She is a yellow lab. We have known each other for a long time, but we haven't seen each other in almost 4 years. It was a good reunion.
The friends said I was a very good boy and that I am welcome back to their house any time. I was pretty happy about that, but I hope it is a while before the People drag me 8 hours down the road again. Also, I was pretty anxious most of the time, because things were just so different. I don't like change.
We left Friday afternoon - a little later than we had planned, and got home around 10pm. Atlanta traffic was a real pain. Woman drove some of the way, which was scary, because she's a bad driver! LOL!
Sunday was Woman's birthday, so Saturday and Sunday were her "birthday weekend." This meant I spent a lot of time alone at home while the People went off and had fun. No fair People! Woman says thanks to everyone who sent her a card. It was very thoughtful of you to remember her birthday and she really appreciates it. It rained most of the weekend, but she had a good time anyway!
Just wanted to let you all know that I am back from my trip to Mobile. I don't have time to blog about it completely, but it was a good trip. I got to stay at the Ruble's house and play with their little human person all week. It was fun. I'll fill you all in later. I hope you all had a great week too.
When we were downtown for my birthday, I saw several bumper stickers that read, "Keep Asheville Weird." I wasn't exactly sure what that meant until we were leaving and happened upon this scene ....
An old man riding one of those motorized scooters (that improve the quality of your life) down the middle of the street.
Swaying this way and that ...
Not even signaling to make a left turn.
LOL! Woman was laughing her fanny off. She thought this was just so hilarious. I wonder when a "motor" vehicle actually becomes a "motor vehicle." Is riding your zoomie scooter on the road like this legal? Does it have to have license plates? I'm perplexed. This is definitely weird! I guess the people with those bumper stickers want to ensure Asheville remains a safe haven for strange activity like this, and I agree, because it gives me blog fodder.
I will be in Mobile next week with limited access to my blog. I'll try to keep you all updated, but I'm not sure how consistent I will be. I hope you all have a nice week!
Here is a photo of me for you to enjoy. It's me holding a Goodboy Bone in my mouth. For some reason I didn't feel like eating this one right away, so I carried it around with me everywhere I went. I eventually did eat it - of course!
Some of you may have been following Nathan, Tricia and Gwenyth's story over at cfhusband.blogspot.com. Nathan is the husband of Tricia. Tricia has Cystic Fibrosis, a life-shortening disease that mainly affects the lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines. In the Summer of 2007, Tricia's lungs had become so badly diseased that she entered the hospital for a lung transplant, to find that she was pregnant. Nathan and Tricia decided to forego surgery until after the baby was born despite the poor odds of survival for mother or child. Gwenyth was born in January 2008, 3 months premature. Over the past 3 months, Gwenyth has grown from 1lb 6 oz to an amazing 3lbs 3 oz. On April 2, Tricia received her new lungs and is on the path to recovery. Nathan and Tricia's story has inspired thousands of people across the country, and their love for God and their faith in Him has been a testament of the strength He gives us to endure the most difficult times.
Nathan and Tricia organized the first GREAT STRIDES walk against CF on the Outer Banks in NC last year. This year, Nathan has set a personal goal of $10k for the GREAT STRIDES walk that is being held tomorrow at Duke University. He is just $1500 shy of his goal.
I am asking that if you can donate to help Nathan meet his goal, please do so today. Help Nathan and Tricia achieve another victory in the battle against CF!
Several people wanted to see some baby pictures of me and hear about my first days with the People. I have already told the story of when / why / how / where the people got me, now I will talk about my first day with them.
After paying the breeder (by check), the People loaded me into the car, and I got to sit on Woman's lap in the front seat. I was very scared of the car, and although I acted all tough and cool a few minutes previously when the People were choosing between me and my brother, I became timid and frightened in the car. It was my first car ride, and boy was it weird. Our first stop was not home or the pet store, but Mr. Chris's house. That's right. We went to Mr. Chris's house before going home. That's when I met Chewbear for the first time. I was very afraid of her, because she was a lot bigger than me. I hid in Woman's lap the whole time we were there. Isn't that funny? I grew up to be bigger than Chewbear! I cannot find photos of this first meeting. Maybe Mr. Chris has some. I checked your flickr page Mr. Chris, but there is nothing there - do you have some archived on your PC?
After we left Mr. Chris's house, we went to the pet store to buy the Pug essentials. You know, silk scarves, diamond encrusted toys, that sort of stuff. I don't really remember this first visit, but I 'm sure Woman carried me since we didn't have a leash.
Finally we made our way home, and although the details are fuzzy, I bet I peed on the carpet pretty soon after stepping through the doorway. And so began my life of pampering! (Being pampered that is, not pampering others. And I'm not talking about diapers either.)
The People did not have a digital camera when I was a baby Pug, so there are not as many pictures of me as a puppy as there are of adult me. I will share some of the photos Woman has previously scanned into the computer and try to get her to scan some more.
This is a very early picture of me. The People used to be able to subdue me by putting me in a box. This didn't last long.
One of my first toys was a paper towel roll.
I warn you that there is some humiliation coming up. Woman used to dress me up in Cabbage Patch Kid clothes and photograph me. I hoped these pictures would never be leaked to the Internet, but if someone is going to leak them, I'm glad it is me.
Here I am as the Pugquistador:
And as proof that bow ties are not cool on anyone, here I am doing my Mr. Chris at the ACM banquet impersonation:
Here is the original Mr. Chris at the ACM Banquet (with Woman):
And here is my general Mr. Chris impersonation:
There are more baby photos of me, but this is all Woman has scanned into the computer at this point, and she says she is not scanning any more in today. What a poopy-head. Maybe I'll have some more to share with you later!
Man, I really need a bath. It's raining / snowing outside right now (winter mix - yeah, Woman is ticked off about that), and I'm a little damp, and geesh am I rank. I can barely stand to smell myself! Woman has a stuffy nose, so she probably doesn't notice, but how can Ian stand my stench? Bathe me people! Please!
We're going to Mobile next week for Woman's work. Maybe I'll get a bath then. I have not been back to Mobile since we moved 4 years ago. I wonder if it has changed much. I guess I'll see!
A: Well, I have lots of friends that are girls, but I think you mean do I have a "special" lady friend. Unfortunately, I do not, but I am taking applications to fill the position. *wink* *wink*
Q: How did you come to be with Woman?
A: Woman already told the story about when she first got me, but I will elaborate on that a little bit. When Woman and Ian got home from New Orleans for their anniversary celebration, Ian told her she could finally get a Pug. So, she started looking through the newspaper for advertisements for Pugs. She found two people advertising male baby Pugs. One was in Wilmur, Alabama, and the other was in Mississippi. Woman intended to visit both places and decide later if she wanted any of the puppies from either place. The People went to Wilmur first since it was sort of on the way to Mississippi (definitely closer than Mississippi at least.) When Woman got there, she saw me and my brother. We both wanted to go home with her very badly! We were jumping and crying and whining at her to pick us up. Woman fell in love with both of us and knew she was leaving that day with a Pug. I guess I whined a little harder than my brother, because I ended up being the one she picked.
In retrospect, Woman thinks the place she got me might be a puppy mill. I guess it depends on your definition of a puppy mill. She says my mama and daddy and five other adult Pugs were living outside in fenced-in "runs" made of concrete. The runs were probably 30 feet by 8 feet, and each one had a kiddy pool in it that the Pug could use to cool off. She said the pens were kept very clean, but still it was sad to see the Pugs caged up like that. When the People approached the Pugs' pens, they jumped and whined and wanted to be loved on. Woman doesn't think Pugs should live outside like that. She thinks we are social animals and should be sitting in laps. I agree! Woman says the people who sold me seemed to really love their animals though. I guess they just don't know that it is cruel to keep Pugs outside like that. Maybe they're just ignorant, and not necessarily greedy breeders.
Q: Why do birds sing?
A: Before researching this on the Internet, my guess was that birds sing for the following reasons; baby birds sing for food, adult birds sing for a mate or to indicate danger to other birds. I found during my research that baby birds do indeed sing for food, and the other things I listed, but also for other reasons such as:
to establish their territory
to keep the flock together
to encourage other birds (LOL)
to intimidate predators
Q: Why do fools fall in love?
A: My guess is that only fools would fall in love - LOL!
Nevis asks the Woman, "What are your 5 favorite movies and why?"
A: Wow, this is a tough one. It would be easier to list my 5 favorite TV shows, so I'll list both.
5 Favorite TV Shows:
The first three are comedies, because I love to laugh! Also, I can watch these shows on DVD over and over again and never grow tired of them. It's sad that 3 of the 5 are no longer airing, but rest assured that we own the DVDs.
Arrested Development (canceled by Fox after 3 seasons) is in my top 5, because not only are the plots hilarious, but the character development is great. Seinfeld has the funniest scenarios of any show I have ever seen, and the way they intertwine the various plots during an episode to come back together in the end is just genius. The Simpsons just get more wild and wacky with each season. Like the say on Southpark, "Simpsons already did it." There's just nothing they haven't done on The Simpsons. They're so awesome. Firefly is more of a dramedy than a comedy, but I still love it. It's funny, but also serious. Again, the characters on this show are just so awesome that I love watching them. Too bad this show was canceled after one season. Fox - you suck. And of course there's Lost. Who doesn't love Lost? Seriously. My grandma probably likes this show, and she hates everything! I hope the ending is not a let-down, but at this point I don't know how it can be anything but crap since everyone has built the finale up into something that cannot possibly be as awesome as we all want it to be.
OK, onto movies. This is a lot more difficult, because really, there are a million movies out there.
The Emperor's New Groove
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Shakespeare in Love
What I look for in a good movie is; characters that I want to know better, strong stories, and memorable moments that I can re-create in my head and with friends. Yes, this last one is kind of weird, but you would be amazed at how often family and friends quote lines from movies. It's rather addictive. The first four meet all these qualifications. Shakespeare in Love doesn't quite meet the final qualification, but the movie is just so beautiful that it makes the cut regardless. They're my rules, and I'll break them if I want.
RPM has several questions, but before we look at her questions, I would like each of you to go view her profile. Have you ever seen someone cite NASCAR and opera together in their list of interests? RPM - you are an intriguing woman!! Now, onto the questions...
Q: "Has Ian ever kissed you?"
A: LOL! No, he has never kissed me. It's funny that you would ask this question, because Woman has tried to get Ian to kiss me on several occasions. I don't know why he's so hesitant to kiss me. I kiss him all the time!
Q: "Are you a licker as well as a barker?"
A: Oh, am I ever! I LOVE TO LICK! I lick everything! I lick myself, I lick the hootie, I lick the people, I lick THE AIR! It drives Ian absolutely insane. In the mornings before Ian gets up, Woman and I sit out on the couch together, and she lets me lick and lick and lick. She tells me to get it out of my system before Ian gets up. LOL! It never works though.
Q: "Do you ever get to go on the grounds at the Biltmore Estate?"
A: I have never been to the Biltmore. Isn't that sad? Woman should take me this weekend! Woman says the reason I have never been there is because they like to eat lunch at the restaurants while they're there, and since they don't allow Pugs in restaurants, I don't get to go with them. Blasted restaurants and their policies built on discrimination of Pugkind!!
RPM also has a question for Woman.
Q: "What kind of soap and moisturizer do you use on your face? Your skin is so pretty."
A: Awe, how sweet. It's funny YOU would say that, because you have gorgeous skin yourself. I do not think I have nice skin, but most women probably feel this way. When I was in high school, I slept EVERY NIGHT with a mint mud mask on my face. I can still remember the smell of it. It was the consistency of mud, but then dried to a hard texture that cracked in the night. It was very uncomfortable, but this was the only way I could control the oil and blemishes, and still I had a lot of zits. My skin is really oily, but used to be a lot worse when I was in high school. When I went to college, I stopped doing this. I guess I was just tired of it. My skin did clear up in college though. Now days I just use Dove moisturizing body soap and Oil of Olay lotion - just the cheap stuff in the white bottle. I also use Estee Lauder maximum coverage foundation (probably why you think I have nice skin) that is 15spf and Merle Norman powder. I despise the sun and hide from it as best I can.
Priscilla is asking Woman to help her change out the banner on her blog. Let's see if Woman can figure it out for her.
A: Your current image is named bg_hdr_bot.jpg. To replace it with another image, go to your "dashboard" in blogger, and select "modify template". Now search for the string bg_hdr_bot.jpg, and change this to the new image you want to use. You will need to change the entire string that is in quotes; ie, starting from the http part of the string. If this doesn't make sense, let me know.
I will try to get together a baby picture post and a hot tub post for you all for later. I must warn you though that Woman has been sick the past couple days and is very busy at work - a bad combination for blogging!
So I'm pretty tired of clicking on some of my links every day only to find that the blogger STILL hasn't posted a new entry - we're talking months of dead air here people. So, I've deleted all you stagnate bloggers. If you decide to start blogging again, leave me a comment so I can add you back. It's not that I don't love you, it's just that I can't stand the daily disappointment from you - LOL!
I have also added some new blogs to my links. If you're not on there, let me know, and I'll add you now. You do have to promise not to get sick and/or die though. Woman can't take any more Pug tragedies. I know, it's a lot to promise, but it's best for everyone - especially you :)
I have a little time to devote to answering some more questions today, so let's get started.
Doozy asks, "Norman, if you could be any other animal, what would it be?"
A: Geesh. This is a difficult question. I really like being a Pug, and there aren't a whole lot of other kinds of animals to pick from. How many other types of animals are there? Two? Three? Let's see; there are cats (I have seen these at Gammy's and Kari's house), fish (I have seen these at Gammy's house), other kinds of dogs (I have seen these at the dog park), and that's about all the kinds of animals I know about existing. I think I'll stay a Pug, thank you very much. I don't like water, and cats have too much of a loner mentality. Pugs are the perfect animal.
Pam would like to know, "What / where is your favorite spot in the house and outside?"
A: Well, Pam, my favorite spot of all time is snuggling with Woman on the couch. She's the spoon, and I'm the puddin'. She says I'm her snuggle monster, because I am a very aggressive snuggler!! I think she enjoys it too. When I'm outside, I like to hang out under the maple tree at the top of the yard. I can see all the sights and sniff all the smells from that position, and there is good shade up there. Sometimes I rest my head on a tree root. Woman thinks it's the cutest thing ever, but she says that about everything I do, so who can tell?
Pam also has a question for Woman. "Are you working on any knitting projects right now? Do you knit on projects all year long or seasonally when it gets colder?"
A: I am currently not working on a knitting project right now. The Christmas sweater I made for Sarah was pretty intense - I worked on it ALL THE TIME, so I am taking a break. I usually start knitting in the Fall when gardening season is over. When it's gardening season, I don't have much time to knit! I have chosen the sweater I am making Sarah this year for her birthday, so I might start looking at yarn for that. Now that she has a baby brother, I will make him and her birthday sweaters so I'm not overloaded at Christmas. Also, I am going to make myself a sweater this year. I'm pretty excited about it. The pattern is from my Celtic Knits books I got for Christmas, and there is a lot of cabling involved! I don't want to spoil the surprise by sharing the pattern right now though :)
Two Pugs would like to know, "Why can't we get into the treat cupboard when we want?"
A: Well, Pearl and Daisy, if you can't get into the treat cupboard when you want, then I would say you're not using your Puggly wiles very well. You need to get those people wrapped around your paw so tightly that one flash of the sad eyes sends them running to the treat cupboard! On the other hand, if we had thumbs, we could get in that cupboard on our own. I think Pugs should unite to do away with cupboards altogether!!
Tami wants to know, "Will Woman always have a Pug or other critter in her life even when she is very, very old?"
A: Tami, I cannot imagine my life without my little snuggle monster Norman. When the time comes when Norman has to leave me, I am sure I will get a new dog - maybe even a Frenchie. Don't tell Norman though. I love having the company of a dog, and they're just so entertaining and sweet. I don't think I could stand to be without a friend like Norman. (Even if he does pee on things and step on my boob every now and then!)
I'm almost done with the questions, but I'll save some more for later, because Woman has to go to the gym now and work off that Thin Mint she ate this morning - LOL!
I received a lot of questions from you all! How exciting! I can't answer them all in one sitting, and a lot of people want to see baby photos and pictures of the People in the hot tub, so I'll save those two things for later posts. But, let's get started with some of the questions now ...
Well, Ladypug, pug tails are like barometers into a pug's mood. Woman refers to my tail as my pugometer. When it is fully curled, she knows I am in a happy mood. When it is partially uncurled, she can tell I am nervous, apprehensive, tired or anxious. When it is completely uncurled, she can tell that I am absolutely exhausted or terrified of something. The actual physical reason why our tails are able to curl and uncurl the way they do is because the tail is composed of vertebrae just like a spinal column. So just as you can bend your back forward and backward (to an extent), we are able to bend our tails too!
Girville had a boatload of questions. I'll answer them individually.
Q: "Why won't Ian let you sleep in the bed?"
A: Well, Girlville, Ian doesn't like to share. Also, he says I'm a dog and don't belong in the bed. He thinks it's bad enough that I get up on the couch. I just count my blessings that my bed is now in the bedroom with the people. For the first 4 years of my life, I had to sleep either in the kitchen or in the hallway outside the Peoples' room!
Q: "Where is the bestest place you've ever been on vacation?"
A: I'm not sure I have ever been on a proper vacation. I have, however, been "pugsat" while the People go on vacation. I would have to say the bestest place I have gone for pugsitting was AM's house. I got to stay there for a whole week. Do you know that the Pugs at her house get marshmallows? There's no better place in the world than a place that dispenses marshmallows to Pugs.
Q: "What's your favorite thing to eat?"
A: It has not been until recently that I finally got me a taste of People food. When I developed the Mast Cell Tumors, I was put on an all-natural diet of beef and broccoli, and holy cow is it ever good! After two years on this diet, I do find myself craving the crunchy goodness of a goodboy bone though! So, I would have to say that goodboy bones are my favorite thing to eat. They're just so darn crunchy, and I love to crunch things! I also love popcorn. Ian gives me two pieces when he makes it. I used to get more than two pieces, but he says I have become a jerk about popcorn, so I only get two pieces now when he is finished eating all that he wants.
Q: "If you could pee on anything, what would you choose?"
A: Well, I pretty much do pee on anything I want to pee on, but the one thing I have never peed on that I really resent existing is Woman's computer. She works on it all day long, and I really don't like it. It's gets all the attention, and it dings and grinds and whirs and stuff. Yeah, that's what I'd pee on.
A: I think people will be surprised to learn that before I met my first Pug, I was a cat person. That's right - a cat person. I didn't like dogs at all. However, in 2000, Ian and I attended First Night Mobile on New Year's Eve. One of his former teachers from the University of South Alabama, Wanda, was there, and she had her little baby Pug, Maggie, with her. I took one look at Maggie and fell in love! In just one moment, I lost all interest in cats and yearned to own a Pug. I begged Ian for a Pug every day for 4 months. When my birthday came in April and there was no Pug, I was pretty ticked off. Ian explained that he was hesitant to get a Pug, because he was afraid I was just in a "phase" and wouldn't want the dog for long. (Is that really my personality? Maybe so - LOL!) Two months later, we celebrated our 1-year anniversary in New Orleans. When we got home, Ian announced that we could finally get a Pug. We got Norman on June 4, 2001, the day after our anniversary.
Q: "How did you choose Norman?"
A: I'll save the big story of where Norman comes from for later, so I'll answer this question briefly now. The breeder had two male Pugs available, Norman and his brother. I felt his brother's face was a little too black on the forehead area and Norman had markings that I found more attractive. Sure, I wanted to take them both home, but that of course didn't happen! Ian says we're a one animal family.
Q: "What all are you going to grow veggie/herb wise this year?"
A: I have a gardening blog that tracks my progress and is full of pictures of my many gardens. It is located at ashevillegardener.blogspot.com. But, if you don't feel like cruising over there now, I'll tell you that we are growing just about everything - lots of tomatoes, lots of corn, peas, green beans, soybeans (edamame), several types of eggplant, four types of squash, green peppers, hot peppers (in a different bed so they don't cross with the green peppers), cucumbers, basil and tons of other herbs! Also, I am installing a new perennial bed this year from plants I am growing from seed. I'm pretty excited about that! I just LOVE gardening!
A: My name was actually chosen before the People found me. Woman knew she wanted a Pug named Norman, so she went looking for the Pug named Norman. I guess that means no one really gave me my name, it's just my name. Just like no one really gave me my curly tail - it's just my tail. Maybe God gave it to me?
Q: "Do you get to sleep with Woman at night?"
A: I only get to sleep with Woman when Ian is out of town or when Woman sleeps on the couch. Sometimes she has trouble sleeping in the bed and goes out in the living room and we get to snuggle together on the couch. Although sleeping in the big bed sounds like a fun place to sleep, it's actually not all that restful for either of us. Woman tosses and turns in her sleep, and I like to snuggle up really close to her. So, each time she turns, she wakes me up. It's a real pain in the butt. I still jump up there when Ian is gone though, because after all, it's the big bed. I just can't resist!
OK People, I need a nap. I'll answer more later. I hope this Q&A session has been informative.
Pam recently had a little question / answer session on her blog that looked like fun, and since it's a nasty overcast day today, and I have nothing else to do, I thought I'd offer up the same thing on my blog. So, leave a comment with a question, and I'll answer it. The question can be to me or to Woman, or just a general question possibly inquiring as to why the sky is blue or why ducks float. I can't guarantee that I know the answer, but I'll try my darnedest to at least entertain you.
Hey People! I hope you're all doing well. I have just been chillin' lately. I was really tired from all my birthday fun, and I needed some "me" time. In case you're wondering, I ate my big cupcake the day after my birthday. Woman said I had eaten enough the day of my birthday, so we saved the big one for the next day. It was really good. Woman had a taste of it too, but she said it was pretty bland. I don't know what she's talking about!
I did get to unwrap a present the day of my birthday. It was a new hootie! I just love hooties. I have pictures of me opening the present, but they're not uploaded to the computer, so I'll share them later. I love opening presents! I introduced new hootie to old hootie, and they are getting along well. Ian keeps warning me that old hootie is going to get thrown in the trash because he's so skanky, but Woman defends old hootie for me. I do expect to not be able to find old hootie some time in the near future though. Poor old hootie. I'm going to go throw new hootie around now. Have a nice day!
Location: Asheville, North Carolina, United States
I live in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, and I am an ornery little pugger. Although I am only awake about 3 hours each day, I work a whole lot of mischief into each and every minute.