Douglas and Simone
I got Douglas as a 14 month old in 2016. I advertised on the NZ PUG Facebook page for an adult Pug as I had enrolled in a Canine behavior and training certificate at Uni Tech, I had been approved for the year long course with my other dog who is a Samoyed, a month before the course was to start my Samoyed came up lame and turned out to have hip dysplasia, and so of course he would not be able to cope with the physical aspects of the course.
I had always wanted a Pug and I was not in the position to borrow someone else's dog for the course, so needed to get another dog to complete the course. I put up a post on the page explaining my situation and had a lovely breeder send me a message about Douglas, she had kept him as a puppy due to him having "dry eye" and she felt it was unfair to sell him, I went and met him and we fell in love with each other, he has been my best friend ever since.
I had him fixed and took him along to the course to be assessed, they passed him. During the first term, people seemed to think "why does she have a pug here he won't be able to do whats required" and completely underestimating Douglas, But by the end of the term he was doing amazing and passed his end of term assessment with an A, completing a controlled agility course (agility course with obedience incorporated into it).
During the 3 week break between terms, Douglas got a small cough, I took him into the Vet and they said it was nothing to worry about but then were looking at his eyes and realised his eyelids were far too big and not closing, this was the cause of his dry eyes. When he was a puppy they would not have been able to pick this up as he was still growing so just diagnosed it as dry eye.
There was a operation he could have to correct this, so he had the operation to make the eyelids smaller so they can completely shut, the operation was a success but he still requires steroid drops as the pigment from his pupil had spreed across his entire eye, this is a way the eyes protect themselves when they couldn't completely shut. He is still on these drops and the pigment has reduced significantly but not completely yet.
Soon enough we were back to course for the new term. He then continued his good work by getting another A in his scent assessment where he had to find a hidden Kumara in a room, this was slightly harder to train for as he is so food driven he just wanted to eat it but we got there in the end, he did amazing impressing the teachers and all that had doubted him.
He then got a A for his end of year assessment this included a free style performance of a collection of things we had learned throughout the year, for his performance he did a long distance command to climb a ladder, walk along a skinny cat walk, jump down onto a platform and then wave to me, he then jumped down and meet me at a low tunnel which he had to crawl through, then come between my legs, and weave through them 3 times to finish sitting between my legs and give me a high 5!! ( Not hard at all!?)
He was very much loved by everyone by the end of the course and proved pugs can do anything!
Since then he has still spent everyday with me, he has had a broken leg due to my horse standing on him, when he was supposed to be in the car and jumped out of the low window and got underneath the horse, after 8 weeks in a splint he was fully recovered and has no on going problems.
When we took him for his vaccinations this year, they mentioned his breathing was not so great and he should have a soft pallet and nasal trim, this was around the same time Trademe had announced they were banning the sale of brachycephalic breeds. I thought the Vet was jumping on the bandwagon because he was saying all of these breeds have issues etc etc and also mentioned Douglas should have had this operation at 6 months old? I was not so convinced since Douglas seemed find to me and this had never been mentioned in the past when he had his eyes done or broken leg ? Actually the Vet had said that he had good size nostrils! Who should I listen to ?
The Vet who had suggested his procedure was not his regular Vet. I kept this in mind and over the last 6 months i noticed him struggling when he slept and would only play for a very short amount of time before he was struggling to breathe. I took him back to his regular Vet, who said his nostrils had in fact shrunk as he had grown and thought the surgery would be a good idea for him. So he was booked in for the next week and had the surgery.
He is now 5 weeks post surgery and is doing great! He less noisy when he sleeps and breathes, he plays more and has more energy, I think its the best thing we ever did for him.
If you are wondering if you should or shouldn't do it, I would say just do it! Douglas's quality of life is so much better now, we do not have a lot of money but I would do anything for my best friend and the surgery was only $1300 including doing his teeth, which was one loose front tooth being removed, it was well worth it.
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