When I first saw Krumpet, he was staring at me from a photo on Tinder. His master had made the wise decision to add his pooch in his profile picture because that does increase the likelihood of people chatting you up. I was obviously part of that statistic, even though I used to think pugs were weird looking. It then took about a month and a half for me to actually meet the dog; the master was constantly going away on business trips and dating consistently was proving a challenge!
I will always remember meeting the little furball: I was invited over for dinner, and when I rang the bell, I was greeted with a lot of barking. When the door opened and I was ushered in, a small creature was yapping at ankle level, his curly tail wagging excitedly as he tried to jump up and down. While the man was cooking, the beast and I got to know each other on the worn-out three-seater couch, it’s middle top cushion completely dented to match the dog’s favourite sleeping spot.
So this was a pug, I thought. The mushed face, the big eyes, the wrinkly forehead. And the loud noises! So much slurping and snoring coming from such a small thing. But Krumpet kept staring at me with those big eyes, and he basically looked like a king perched on his throne like that. He let himself be petted and his soft ears reminded me of a bunny’s: I was sold.
As time went on and I got to spend more time at his place, I realised that Krump had been living a life of privilege. Unless someone else required that space, the other side of the bed was his. He actually slept on a pile of pillows near his master’s head, a bit like the princess and the pea! He also had a dog bed on the other side of the room, and of course, the sofa with its dog-shaped dent. While I might get a “you look nice today”, Krumpet’s ego was being constantly inflated by sweet nothings murmured into his fur by his adoring pug Dad. If that dog could speak, it would tell you that it has its owner wrapped around its little paw.
While I slowly moved in, Krumpet and I had to come to an understanding about the bed. I’m a restless sleeper and that double wasn’t going to be big enough for the three of us. So the dog slowly had to learn to sleep in his own space, be it his favourite couch, or his bed which I ended up turning into a tent filled with pillows and blankets. I learnt how to walk him without struggling (trust me, when a pug doesn’t want to go somewhere, it’ll let you know), and how to pick up poo without feeling grossed out. He vomited after dinner, and once I got back to find diarrhoea all over the kitchen floor. I taught him the command “towel” so he’d wipe his paws after a muddy walk, and while his Dad was away giving conferences in exotic locations, Krump and I enjoyed watching all my favourite shows on the big TV while he gently snored by my side.
I finally caved and decided to start an Instagram account for him. It seemed the fashion at the time, and my phone was already littered with photos of him anyway. We had a slow start, and we’re never going to be the next Puggy Smalls, but we have our fans (over 2000 followers!) he makes people happy wherever he goes so that’s more than enough fame.
Krumpet now has different beds all over the house, and always alternates when he wakes up mid-nap. Couch, bed under the table, couch, bed near the heater… And let’s not forget that when we do let him on the bed, he can stay there for hours! Barking occurs whenever someone rings the doorbell, walks down the stairs, when the postman comes…
Pugs are infamous for having a plethora of health issues, but we had so far been fairly lucky with Krumpet. Like many of his kind, he has pigmentary keratitis, where his lashes scrape the cornea and slowly damage it until they eventually go blind. Many people chose to have the eyes operated on, but that is best done when the dog is very young and can recuperate well. Krumpet has eyedrops twice a day and while he will more than likely go blind in his old age, he has so far only lost some vision. He is very lucky to have very wide nostrils, and so he has not had to have anything done to improve his breathing. British pugs are known to be too inbred, especially if you buy them from someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. US pugs, like Krumpet, are slightly better off. Thankfully, things are changing in the right direction, and reputable breeders are trying to fix their snouts and nostrils by breeding them with different types of pugs.
Krumpet has been a little sick this past couple of months, and while we initially thought it might be cancer, based on the CT results, it’s thankfully “only” fungal rhinitis. This will still mean surgery and medication, but it’s not terminal and we are so relieved to know that he has many more years ahead of him. When we thought it might be the end, we were incredibly distraught and spent a horrendous weekend while we waited for results from his biopsy. We really consider Krump our fur-baby, and I know while most pet owners will feel that way, a lot of other people do not, or don’t understand.
Krumpet has slowly but surely settled himself on my heart, and I can’t imagine a life without him. I hope to have many more lazy mornings with him, snuggling in the bed, and I dream of getting him a younger sibling to play with as he gets older and goes out less, a little buddy to sleep with him all day. I have already had him painted by someone we met online, and I eventually want a huge painting of him to have in the house. My mother already calls him her granddog, and we have been exchanging pug themed presents for a while now. Once you go pug, there’s no going back!
So what about you? Do you own a pug, or do you want one? Or do you have another breed that you love? Share your thoughts and photos in the comments!
Also add Krumpet on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook: krump_the_pug.
Pictures: author’s own