360 pugs rescued since October, 2005
Truman - 2015-2016
At the Rainbow Bridge

At the Rainbow Bridge

The absolute hardest part of rescue is letting go of the dogs that we cannot help. And Pugalug is sad to report that after consulting with Dr. Cochrane, the neurologist at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic, it was decided that the kindest thing that we could do for Truman was release him from his body.

Unfortunately, the brief mystery illness that afflicted him a month ago turned out to be far more serious than anyone could imagined. In the past month, Truman's foster family witnessed episodes of him becoming lethargic, ataxic and, for want of a better expression, out of it. Along with this, they had seen a sudden increase in aggression. Once a loving and cuddly boy, Truman had become extremely touch sensitive and was responding to even minimal handling with fairly extreme aggression.

Additionally, Truman had lost his house training and was both peeing and pooping multiple times in the house. To make matters worse, he was also beginning to have his back legs give out on him when walking and sometimes when he is eating.

Everything culminated in the extreme reaction that Truman had during his consultation with Dr. Cochrane, making it extremely clear that he would never be the dog that he was nor would he have the quality of life that he deserved. Thus, the incredibly hard decision was made to let him go.

In these kinds of situations, it's normal to want answers, but as often happens with matters of the brain, there aren't always answers to be had. The diagnostics, including an MRI, did not provide any conclusive reasons for why Truman had been deteriorating so rapidly; however, his behaviour certainly indicated a serious degenerative, progressive issue. One that would only continue to get worse.

Obviously Pugalug is not in the business of euthanizing young dogs, but sometimes a dog comes into foster care that is just not wired right and to keep them alive is both cruel to the dog and poses a significant risk to the humans and other dogs around him/her. Truman became a dog that his foster family did not recognize; a dog that had unpredictable aggressive outbursts. He had gone from being friendly and cuddly to being unable to tolerate any kind of handling from anyone, including the people he knew. His aggression appeared to have no triggers and no predictable pattern. He was losing bowel and bladder control as well as control of his hind end. He would appear to be unable to figure out where he was and would walk into doors, tread through bowls. In short, this young dog was in a cascade failure before our eyes.

Thank you to Blanche for being there for Truman as he was euthanized and provide support for his foster family Thank you to Dr. Susan Cochrane and her staff for their compassion and their efforts on Truman's behalf.

Most importantly, thank you to his foster family who tried hard, but ended up with a dog that they could neither predict nor trust. Pugalug owes our foster families a huge amount. They are the ones left with the questions and the empty bowls and the aching heart when these things happen.

Run Fast. Run Far. Run Free, Truman.

Foster Update, March 19, 2016

Truman has settled in nicely to foster life and plays well with both of his foster brothers. At first, he was a little nippy, but the resident pugs put him in his place and he does quite well now. It may be possible that he was removed from his siblings too early and was never able to learn proper 'dog-to-dog' manners and play behaviour. Luckily, my pug boys are very good teachers!

He is also doing well with his 'dog-to-human' manners. When Truman first arrived, he would jump on anyone when they came home, but we've been ignoring him until he calms down to teach him that coming home isn't a big deal. We also ask him to sit before we give him attention after coming home and he is doing so much better!

Over the past few days, Truman seems to have come down with some kind of mystery illness. It lasted just long enough to seriously worry everyone, then it suddenly resolved itself. We first noticed that something was off a week ago when I took Truman to Global Pet Foods (a place he'd been to a couple times before) and instead of enjoying his visit, he began growling at people - a definite first! The following day (Sunday), Truman was quite lethargic. In fact, he didn't want to go for his walk or even jump up on the couch, which is his favourite place to hang out. Even though he was eating, he seemed unfocused and less interested than usual. Needless to say, he had me quite worried. Then as suddenly as the symptoms began, they were gone. By Monday, Truman was acting as if nothing had happened, eager to play with his toys and foster brothers. Regardless, I will be keeping a close eye on him and will film the behaviours for the vet if I see them again.

Overall, Truman is a sweet, little boy. He loves to cuddle with everyone, enjoys going for walks and is great in the car. He would be a great addition for a family with just adults or with older children.



Introduction, February 19, 2016

Meet adorable Truman, an approximately 8 month old French bulldog who came to us from a local shelter who thought he might have some pug in him. We know nothing about his background or how he arrived at the shelter, but we know he was very unhappy there.

He has been in foster care for about a month during which time he has been completely vetted and pronounced healthy. His physical exam, fecal test and blood work (including titer testing for distemper and parvovirus) all yielded good results. He has been vaccinated against rabies and, just last week, neutered. The shelter thought he might have an eye problem, but we had him checked out by an eye specialist who said he doesn't have any issues.

Behaviourally, Truman has made great strides and is now a much happier dog. He has a very sweet personality and is a great family pet, although he might be better off with older children as he can get overstimulated. As a puppy, he has lots of energy and loves to play. Care has to be taken that he doesn't dash out the door. He is a dream to walk and loves running around in fenced spaces. He's not a barker and is much too friendly to be a guard dog. He's fully potty trained, but not fond of going out in the cold weather unless someone goes out with him. He has learned to sit and come on command.

Truman does need work on a couple of issues before he's ready for adoption though. First, he is exhibiting some symptoms of either separation anxiety or isolation distress so he will require an adopter who is home most of the time. Second, he is a biter/nibbler. His foster mom says he doesn't have a malicious bone in his body and she's sure he can be trained out of this behavior by the right person. Given that she doesn't feel she has the the expertise or experience to do it herself, Truman is moving to a different foster home under the care of a very experienced foster parent who will work on training him out of this behaviour. His new foster home also has resident dogs who may be able to help in his training. Stay tuned for progress in this regard.

Everyone who sees Truman falls in love with him, but whoever eventually adopts him will have to be able to deal with his high energy and strong need for attention.