Monday, June 15, 2020

About Our Dogs - Puga and Mel (updated 10/1/21)

This is Puga. He is the first dog I ever had! Brian and I got him in 2006, right after we moved into our house. I had always wanted a dog when I was growing up, but it had never worked out. Brian was a little skeptical at first (despite him growing up with dogs his whole life!) but it turned out to be a really good decision!

We named him "Puga" because "pulga" means "flea" in Portuguese, and Brian had always thought it would be a fun name for a dog - I agreed and felt like this dog was definitely our "flea". Puga was our buddy and our "fur baby" for 8 years before Daniel came along. He was so smart and knew all kinds of tricks, including how to close the back door and how to only eat half of a treat. He was good at snuggling and he kept us entertained. He was comforting. When I would have tough days, he would come over and lick me gently. I tell people that he kept my heart open during all those long years of waiting and praying for a baby. He really did. We would give each other gifts from him, even on Mother's and Father's Days. We filled stockings for him at Christmas and gave him treats in a basket at Easter. He kept us company when we worked and played with us when we were done. We even celebrated his birthday!

Puga gave us hope and a lot of love and happiness while we waited to become parents. He has a special place in our hearts and no dog will ever be his equal.

I will never forget that first morning after we brought Daniel home. Puga came leaping into the nursery and sat on the ottoman with the biggest smile!! Dogs really do smile, and Puga just grinned.

He became Daniel's protector right away.

And no one and nothing else could make Daniel laugh like Puga could!

As Daniel got older, he liked to have Puga chase him so he would tie a treat to a rope and tuck the other end into his back pocket and run around while Puga tried to get the treat. Puga started sleeping in Daniel's bed with him. Daniel said that Puga made him feel brave. ♥

Puga turned 13 and had to have a tumor removed. That bought us an extra 7 months with him, which we are so grateful for. We started to see him decline again, though, and realized that he wasn't going to be with us for very much longer. That's when we found Mel.

This is Mel. His name is Portuguese for "honey", because "he's sweet like honey," as Daniel likes to say. We found Mel just two weeks before Puga passed away. Puga showed him the ropes - like how to go potty outside and which pillows were best for snuggling in. It was so good for us to see them together.

We knew Puga's time was coming soon, so we had Daniel say goodbye to him before he left for school.

We planted tulip bulbs over Puga's burial site and ate at his favorite restaurant for dinner (Chick-fil-A because he had always loved cows) and watched videos and looked at pictures and told stories. It was a sweet and sad week for sure. But the tulips came up this spring, and they sure do make our hearts happy.

That first week after we buried Puga, Mel was so calm and chill. He would just sit in my lap and snuggle me for hours. It was exactly what my heart needed. He's taken his job as comforter very seriously. He's also stepped right in to Puga's place as Daniel's buddy.

When Mel was tiny, Daniel liked to hold him on his shoulders and "play him like a tuba." Daniel and Mel like to play hide and seek together. They also play chase a lot in the backyard. 

Mel doesn't sleep with Daniel...yet. But I'm sure that day will come! They do a lot of snuggling at bedtime, though. Mel's a sweet dog and so good. He can't close the door or eat half a treat, but he comes when we call him and he loves being around us. We had to put his kennel in our room at night because he didn't like to be away from us! He's a pack animal and we're his pack. ♥