The face of a pug will always elicit a response, no matter its current configuration. Its eyes are ever seeking, ever wanting. To have and to hold and to love a pug of one’s own is a gift from the universe that is truly unmatched. There is no greater love or sense of belonging that could compare. When nothing in this world makes sense, to look into the sweet face of a pug, you realize that all of the answers are right there. To love. To connect. To be silly. To take pleasure in the smallest acts of life. To rest. There is nothing else but this very moment. If you try to hold on for too long it will all surely slip away.
When out in public with a pug, strangers will stop and stare in delight. They will gasp and sigh, they will squeal and whisper. To glimpse a pug “in the wild” (not the actual wild, they are not the most rugged of creatures) is to get a secret peek at absolute joy embodied. If they notice you in return they will most certainly tilt their head in order to hear you better. Their eyes will widen in preparation to make a new friend. They may even approach as if to say hey I see you too what’s up new friend.
To share your life with a pug is to never feel alone, no matter how long it has been since you’ve seen another human. You will never be without someone to talk to, sing to, dance with, snuggle with, and always always share a meal with. You will have your very own personal security detail for every late night trip to the bathroom or morning shower. If you are feeling down they will cheer you up, it’s like they can’t even help it. Their mere existence is just love and joy in a soft little body. When ill, you feel the warm weight of their body pressed against you. I’m certain it shortens the healing time of nearly any ailment.
My beloved puggo, my shadow, my sidekick, my baby, my entire heart, passed away in the ICU on October 8, 2021. We spent twelve years together, growing and learning as we went along. He became very ill, very quickly and while he seemed to be recovering and doing well for a couple of weeks, things took a very sudden turn that his little body just couldn’t handle. Science did all it could to save him. Love did all it could to keep him. No amount of money or tears could make him feel better and finally he just stopped breathing. I was in the shower when the doctor called, I jumped out and grabbed the call, dripping water everywhere. I was on the phone with the doctor when it happened.
No heart break has ever felt like this. No loss has ever felt like this. I am grateful that he is no longer suffering. His physical absence is unbearable. My every thought and consideration, both mental and physical, was always him. When I was out of work and dealing with the return of some terrible CPTSD symptoms and terrified of the world, he was the for me. When I had a panic attack at my ex husband’s wedding reception, my puggo calmed me down when I got home. He always knew just what I needed. If I cried he would get me to laugh by making silly sounds and flopping around on the bed.
I have to learn how to be a human again. When my stomach gurgles I look for my sweet boy, thinking it is him. When I drop a crumb on the floor I expect to hear his paws fast approaching. I can’t bring myself to go into my backyard. I only have it for him. The worst is when I come home from work each day. He used to do a big stretch and then squeak at me and I would pretend that he was telling me about his day and respond, “Oh yeah, and then what happened?” and then walk between my feet as I scratched his back and little butt. “My baby butt!” I would say as he would quickly turn around and do the whole thing again. Now I just come home and cry.
My whole life revolved around him. Now he’s gone and I’m not sure what’s left. I’m still me but I feel like my soul is gone. I’m glad I have work, though I did take two days off, because it is a good distraction from my shattered state. Sure, it’s always there just beneath the surface, but I can cover pretty decently at work and no one’s the wiser for it. And I have a big project starting that I’ve been excited about for some time. It is in the small moments, when there’s no pretense, just mundane life things like filling the Brita pitcher or turning over in bed, that it dawns on me that he’s gone again and again. There was no greater joy in my life than coming home to that little muffin.
I cannot imagine loving anyone or anything as much as I loved him. He drove me crazy sometimes and somehow knew how to get into just the right amount of mischief. He was my reason for getting out of bed and for going to bed at a decent hour. He kept us both on a tight schedule. He didn’t get the concept of daylight savings time so I just tried to keep things as consistent as possible, regardless of what the clock said. He would never let me forget dinner time, that was always precise!
He was no big adventurer, though he had been to Gorn Rock and stayed in a Wig Wam in SoCal. I called him a shade seeking missile, he just understood what mattered in life. When he was done with something he made it clear and there was no convincing him otherwise. I appreciated that in him even when we butted heads. We had our routines down pat and had our own flow of doing things together at home. He hated baths but would always just go along with what I asked of him. I would always take those opportunities as an excuse to hold him, he wasn’t a fan, but he knew I loved it so would allow it. I would hold him up to the bathroom mirror and tell him how handsome he was.
Having the bed all to myself is confusing and torturous. I haven’t had a bed to myself since the 90’s. Well, there was that one year when my ex husband and I first split up but he was only a couple of blocks away and I saw him several times a week. No one in the world was ever as happy to see me ever than my puggo. Not family, not friends or lovers, no this tiny pug person was always SO excited to see me! I mean, he liked everybody, but I was always just as excited to see him too.
No matter what’s going on in your life or the world, you just cannot help but get excited when beholding the face of a pug.
I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.
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