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I recently read a recipe for ice cream in which one of the ingredients was balsamic vinegar and my first reaction was, yech, who would mix vinegar with milk and call it dessert? But then, as it turned out, it wasn't bad and I was the one late to the party because vinegar ice cream was apparently all the rage amongst knowledgeable foodies.

I had a similar experience when I heard about the Sharpei Pug mixes who were coming into Toronto Animal Services South, rescued from a puppy miller breeding out in Mennonite farm country.

Sunday afternoon and I was walking up the stairs to the glass room where the two pups were having some playtime and before I saw them, I was like, "WTF? Why would someone combine those two breeds together and what market are they trying to sell to? What a ridiculous mix. Who in their right mind would ... OMIGOD THEY ARE SOOOOOOOO CUTE! THEY ARE SOOOOOOO CUUUUTE!" except, of course, that's not what I actually said out loud because that would be very unmanly. What I said out loud was, "Yeah, not bad."

But really, they were SOOOOOO CUTE! And very sad. They may be the saddest puppies I've ever seen which in a twisted way makes them even cuter (but only because I know they'll be snatched up as soon as they're put into general adoption).

As is so typical with many puppy mill pups, they've had little to no positive human interactions so when I put the leash on them and tried to take them outside for a walk, this is what they did:

The two wallflowers absolutely refused to budge and since I didn't want to drag them, I had to put one back into the kennel they were sharing, and carried the other one out.

Outside, I put the pup on the snow covered grass and he just stood there and started shaking. He wasn't shaking from cold. He was shaking from being scared. He'd probably never been outside, having lived his whole life in a puppy mill cage.

Not happy

Definitely not happy

The sun is too bright. Not happy

The pup stood and shook for almost ten minutes and I was about to bring him back inside when another walker came out with Ralphie. The pup immediately perked up and started sniffing the new dog. Ralphie, in turn, sniffed the pup and then, greetings over, they began to play, the pup a little hesitant at first but he worked up to full speed after a few minutes. They pawed, they climbed on each other, they mouthed and when the playing stopped, the pup stood still for a moment, uncertain again, then looked around, sniffed the air and realized there was a world to explore.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter.

6 Comments to “Sharpei Pug mix puppy 1”

  1. Biscuit says:



  2. Anonymous says:

    Ditto Fred on the cuteness factor!!! They are beautiful and your article as always is a joy to read. On a silly note, I joke when I get the chance that I just got a new dog, (I don't actually, nor have I ever owned one, but some of my favorite people over the years have been quadrupeds of the canine variety)she's a cross between a poodle and a rottweiler. Not much of a guard dog, but a viscous gossip. Or, how about a St. chihuahua.


  3. kb says:

    beautifully written...

  4. Jo says:

    I just had a 3 yr old Pug x Shih Tzu join me and - as a terrier lover from wayback - I was concerned she may be a bit 'precious'. Not so. Completely solid, incredibly balanced dog with the soul of a wolf. her health isn't great thanks to her puppy arm breeding but a succession of vets have all said,"Well she's a find and a half, what a fabulous dog." Suddenly I'm all about the Pug. These two are just stunning. I hope they soon have loving homes that will nurture and love them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seven years ago I adopted a 10-year-old pug/keeshond mix from a shelter. You wanna talk about a weird mix...

  6. Anonymous says:

    I had a puppy just like the one in the pictures. His name was Bubba, and he was the BEST dog I have ever had. If I could find a male, it would be a dream come true. The most loveable, smart and loyal friend I ever had. I still have not got a dog, due to no other can fill his paws....except maybe another. Its been 2 years of mourning! I would recommend this dog for a family of even one person. Again, loyal and loveable! I live in So. Cal. If anyone knows of a dog. please leave a message.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.