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I adopted Eloise in December of 2010 … four months after I had lost my first pug, “Pup”, who I had had for 14 years. The last few years of Pup’s life were filled with many challenges, as he had developed many special needs. I used to work at my local humane society and I always had a strong connection with senior, special needs dogs as I knew that they have harder times finding homes. My mom was a nurse, so I believe I must have inherited her caregiver gene. Anyway, after Pup died, my plan, when the time was right, was to adopt a senior, special needs dog … preferably a pug. This is how I came to meet and adopt Eloise.
She was 8 years old when I adopted her. She had come from a neglectful situation. She was blind, had arthritis, a thyroid condition and was not housebroken. I was instantly drawn to her adorable picture on NIPRA’s website. I knew I could give her a good home. I wanted her very much. I was so impressed by how thoroughly NIPRA vetted my application … they care about all their pugs … and that made me feel that much better about adopting through them.
Honestly, I never expected Eloise to be with me until August of 2018. Based on her background, and her special needs, I thought that she’d have two, maybe four, years with me.
Eloise was the goofiest, silliest, sweetest and, yes, strongest dog I have ever met … and I don’t say that lightly. Her spirit was so indomitable and so special. Our bond was incredible. She had so many adorable idiosyncrasies that bring a smile to my face when I think of them. All of my friends loved Eloise … she had celebrity status! The children in my apartment complex loved playing with her. They knew she was blind and they were always gentle with her.
We had a great life together! Eloise loved cuddling, wrestling, car rides and just sitting in the grass in the sun. Rabbits and squirrels didn’t even bother running away from her when she came out. I always told Eloise that I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or an insult!
Yes, she did require extra care and extra patience, but I felt that was just part of her wonderful soul and spirit. She was my family. She was my baby and my best friend and roommate. It was an honor to be her dad.
It is always heartbreaking to say goodbye, but the warm memories of this amazing dog will be with me the rest of my life. While I appreciated it when people told me how lucky Eloise was to have me, I always corrected them and said that I was the lucky one. She was incredible. I miss her dearly. She brought out the best in me … one of the many gifts she gave me.
For me, at least, only a pug can break my heart … and only a pug can fix it.
I would encourage other pug lovers, who have it in their hearts, to consider senior and special needs ones. Every pug deserves a good home … every pug!
– Eloise’s Dad