Protecting Shelby's Eyes
Here we have Shelby in her Doggles. Since she's always leading with her eyeballs, we felt it was important to protect her. This way, she can stick her head out the car window, ride in the motorcycle, and tear around the beach without stuff getting in her eyes. If you check out Pug Rescue sites, a lot of pugs have eye trouble. Sometimes due to genetics, other times they have a minor scratch on their eye, but exacerabate it by scratching at it. As a result some pugs have had to have their eye removed. I figure Doggles are a small investment to try and prevent Shelby from scratching at her eye if it bothers her. Doggles are frequently shown on dogs with a snout. Shelby can push the doggles down, right off her face. For flat faced dogs, I think a strap on top of her head might need to be added. Also, we are still trying to find the right tension on the straps so that she can breathe properly.
And oh yes, she hates them. But we are hoping that some bacon treats will fix that over time.
Turning into dog people?
Steven and I are making a conscious effort not to become like the characters in Best in Show.
One evening, during one of her hyper moods, Shelby became agitated and started barking at a point above my bed. This went on for about 3 minutes. I investigated and found nothing.
Steven was home one night, and Shelby began to bark at a worn plaster scupture next to the fireplace that his father had molded. So we each came to the same logical conclusion. Shelby sees dead people.
Why on earth would we assume that Shelby, who has a lot less brain than us, has paranormal visions as opposed to simply play barking. Some kids have imaginary friends. Maybe Shelby has imaginary enemies? The explanation in clear. We are turning into dog people, and this must be stopped.
What does it mean to have a "smart dog"
I've read that it doesn't mean they are trainable. However, Shelby has learned "sit" and "down" commands. Because she is smart, she rarely does it if she notices we don't have a treat.
We chose a pug paritally because they shouldn't require vigorous daily exercise, however, I do notice that intellectual stimulation really helps Shelby burn off her puppy energy. Dog puzzles that are available at the pet store, meeting people, going for a drive, all help reduce her bouts of hyperactivity towards the end of the day.
If you don't care for licking, then a pug is not for you. Anytime Shelby is not asleep, or eating, she is licking. Some licking is very cute and affectionate. She frequently licks new people, familiar people, stinky people, everybody. Sometimes she really goes and it borders on obsessive cleaning.
The bulging eyeball
Pug eyeballs are very exposed. In fact, when I feel around Shelby's eye, very little of it is protected by the skull. Poorly bred pugs sometimes do not close their eyes entirely, and develop cataracts, and when they get over-excited, I have read that their eyeballs can possibly pop out.
I do notice that sometimes Shelby sleeps with her eyes partially open, and so I close them for her.
Pugs love food. Consequently, they have a tendency to get overweight, and risk hip dysplatia. We are trying not to feed Shelby scraps, however she has a naturally forlorn face, and that does get her table scraps occasionally. Here is Shelby at a friend's house, begging for snacks. Mostly we have fed her "aquired tastes" to discourage her from begging. To date, Shelby has tried little bits of lemon, pickles, and red onion. She never refuses, even if she clearly doesn't like it.