Victor came to rescue in 2014 after being found as a stray on Toronto's mean streets. We have always assumed that is where the aliens beamed him down to, as Victor is certainly from outer space.
We were Victor's first successful human colonization, first as his foster family and then as his foster failure family. Victor simply was ours from the first day he crazily took over our lives with his cheerful bad self. It's been five years and a couple of health problems later, but he is still exactly as funny and crazy as ever, getting into anything he can, biting us affectionately on the nose, screaming gleefully in the car, and sometimes fighting with the couch. We don't know how old Victor is, where he came from or what his name was, but we know he's our beloved puppy baby forever, and the best present we ever got.
Well, we are officially Foster Failures.
I suppose I knew that failure was coming when Victor was dropped off by the transport volunteer and he ran into the house like he'd been there all his life. Victor has a way of instantly owning anywhere he is; it's just part of his splendid little personality. It will never cease to amaze us that he was a stray.
We've owned pugs for nearly 17 years, and yet we've never known one quite like Victor. He was a big handful initially, both medically and behaviourally, but improved rapidly in all areas. But we fell madly in love with his merry little personality. He has a ton of funny behaviours, be it herding six big dogs at the dog park in a circle, kneading your lap like a kitty, merrily pouncing on our other male pug when he's in a sound sleep, or rolling all over the living room carpet and making goblin noises. Victor is irresistible, sweet, funny, and hilarious. Victor has also finally won over our other pug who will eagerly play with him, and tolerate being spooned on the couch. Considering our other pug is rather a solitary soul, it's very sweet to see them all bundled up together or romping around the living room, screaming.
We are very thankful to Pugalug for allowing us to adopt our Tasmanian Devil; he is a wonderful addition to our lives, and to the life of his poor beleaguered pug brother, who secretly loves it.
Victor was adopted by his Foster Parents! Stay tuned for a Happy Tails.
Victor continues to do well. He is a happy, spirited little dog who is a huge handful, but we love him just the same. Every time I think we have him outsmarted, he finds something new to get into. I didn't really think that some of the things he's gotten into (like a piece of our kitchen cutting board) would be of any interest to him several weeks into his stay with us considering he's had access to them all along, but I was wrong. He's a smart little devil.
Victor sleeps in the big bed with us, and while I've slept with a fair share of bed-hogging pugs in my life, I think Victor takes the cake in this department. I wind up pretzeled into positions I didn't think possible while he snoozes happily somehow in the middle. He loves to sleep with his foster brother on the couch at night, and his foster brother has finally accepted this arrangement. They are impossibly cute together.
His itches are up and down; we still haven't figured out what makes it flare, even on a strict diet. His hair is growing back a tiny bit at last, but he still has days where he itches like mad and his underbelly turns red. On the bright side, he doesn't shed much, but his coat is thin and he doesn't like the winter much. I think it's chronic yeast but we don't seem to be able to get it to stop from a dietary perspective. We will persevere. The tar shampoo baths help a lot, but chasing a delighted wet Victor around the house afterward is not for the faint of heart. Besides his itches, he's healthy and active and happy and devilish and we love him dearly.
We've realized over our time with Victor that he's not actually a pug. He's a Tasmanian devil. Being that he is the first Tasmanian devil that Pugalug has fostered, it's a learning curve for sure, but we have caught on to a few of their typical behaviours.
In all seriousness, Victor is doing well. He's just by far the craziest pug that we've ever met in 16 years of being pug owners. He honestly gets funnier every day, is charming and delightful, cuddly and sweet, but he's really goofy and a big handful.
Health-wise, he continues to improve. His itching is improved, but his fur has yet to grow back at all; he's still very bald underneath. He is weaning down on a lengthy decreasing dose of antihistamines, so we will have to reassess what happens when he's finally off them all the way. The tar shampoo baths help a lot, but he still gets red and inflamed looking skin at times. He's on a grain-free diet and doing well, but we aren't clear on what makes his skin flare. His general appearance is much improved from before though.
He's doing fairly well from the behavioural perspective by and large, as long as we remember to Victor-proof the house when we go out. He's not an easy dog to control behaviourally, but fortunately he's a pretty good boy. Oddly, he will bark at very slight noises, if you so much as clear your throat or clink a fork against a plate, but outside noise doesn't bother him at all. I have gotten used to working from home with him in my lap, and my husband has learned how to be a pug mattress when he watches TV.
Victor is a delight, but only for a family with a good sense of humour and some patience. There isn't any dog on earth that will make you laugh as hard as he does.
Victor continues to do well. He has had a course of antibiotics and is on a decreasing dose of antihistamines to try and stop his itches. While he's much better, he's still an itchy guy at times, and it's hard to know what's habit and what's genuine itch. The vet also gave him omega 3 fatty acid to put on his food to try and help his poor bald underside grow back, as well as a topical anti-itch spray. He's certainly a lot better than before, but still has a way to go, and he still has to wean all the way off the antihistamines and see what happens then. Some of his itching seems to be a self-soothing habit more than genuine itch, he will suck on his hip as he settles down to sleep at times like a baby with a bottle.
Victor had his screening blood work, and he has both increased lipids and proteins in his blood, so we switched his food to a lower protein and fat diet to try and amend this issue. He's actually a remarkably healthy and svelte guy at 20 lbs, with energy like he's been drinking Red Bull, which made this result surprising, so change his food we did. He is doing fine on the new diet, but will have to be monitored for a while.
Victor needs some behavioural work for sure; he's mostly quite a good boy, but unfortunately has some bad habits, in that he gets into trash cans and table surfs. Obviously being a former stray is at the root of some of this and anxiety is understandable, but he'll do it even when we're in the house, steps away from him. He's amazing at digging into corners and under things and helping himself to things you didn't even realize you had; every time I think the house is Victor proofed, I turn around and discover that he's found something I never thought he would possibly be interested in, like an ant trap (which fortunately I got away from him). He loves nothing more than to roll on something smelly too. I am pretty sure Victor is at least one quarter ferret.
He's still a bit obnoxious at times with other dogs and can be a humper, but we are working on that; he does respond to the spray bottle when we absolutely need to, but is getting much better about listening to verbal commands, although he can be pretty single-minded. He's good with our other pug and inspires him to play, but we are also working on Victor's habit of randomly licking his foster brother on the backside, which is frankly pretty gross. Don't let Victor kiss you.
Other than that, Victor is a delightful and hilarious little dog, hugely energetic, active and vocal, tumbling all over the place like an acrobat, but also with a sweet and cuddly nature, draping himself backward over my husband on the couch and snoozing happily upside down, folding himself into a little ball on your lap, and riding with his head out of the window in the car. We are bringing him to the local dog park, where he wins friends and influences people. I keep telling him I'm going to put him in the Calgary Stampede, as after we get back from a walk he trots in circles around the kitchen floor like a horse, yelping for his cookie.
Victor is a very special little guy, a great big handful, and as my neighbour calls him, a certified pain in the hiney, but totally hilarious and delightful and charming and worth all the effort. I've never met a pug like him.
Victor Hugo Jones, formerly Pugsley, is a delightful, neutered approximately 3-year-old fawn male that was surprisingly found as a stray in Toronto and spent some time in the TAS before coming to Pugalug.
Victor is a delightful little busybody of a boy with a merry little spirit and even a few tricks; within half an hour of arrival he demonstrated that he knew how to roll over, and learned how to high five in the next half hour-pretty smart guy!
Victor has a couple of health issues; he arrived in the throes of a terrible atopic dermatitis that likely stems from yeast, and was affectionately known in our house as the itchy new guy for several days, as the poor thing was chewing and licking and dragging his belly on the ground. He is now being treated with an antihistamine and antibiotics and is already markedly better, but has a lot of hair loss on his belly and neck and a lot of lichenification (grey scaling) on his skin as a result. He will be reassessed after his medications are finished and it will be determined if he needs a skin scraping to test for specific allergies or not. According to the animal shelter vet, he also has some corneal lesions that will be reassessed later, although his vision seems to be quite good, and they are questioning luxating patella (aka floating kneecap), but considering how very nimble he is, I am not sure this is correct. We will evaluate further as time goes on, but he will be kept on a grain-free diet to prevent exacerbations of his itches.
Victor is affable, affectionate, and funny, and has even gotten our other older pug to play with him a bit, which is quite notable as our pug is pretty solitary by nature. Victor does have some behavioural challenges, although nothing too difficult; he is remarkably monkeyish about getting into things and even tried to taste an ant trap, much to our dismay. (We got it away in time, never fear.) However, perhaps because of his time as a stray, he can be a garbage eater and table surfer on occasion. This doesn’t seem to be anxiety based and is just a recent behaviour, he just quickly figures out where there might be something delicious to snack upon and either tips the trash or hops onto the table. We are taking steps to Victor-proof our house more appropriately. Victor also needs to learn not to be so pushy in playing with other dogs, and needs to work on not barking at strange noises; all will come with time and training. Victor seems okay with cats thus far, but is pretty quick to chase another animal if it seems like fun. He is friendly with all people that he meets.
Victor otherwise seems quite well; he has taken to his new diet quite well, he enjoys his antler horn chew sticks, and apparently likes purple heirloom carrots as he thought the one he retrieved from being dropped on the floor a delicious treat. He’s a very funny boy and incredibly affectionate; I sometimes call him my love sponge. I think he will do well once his medical and behavioural issues are attended to.