It's already been fairly well established how much I love smooshy-faced dogs, so it should be no surprise that I have here another round of pug photos. How I met this little guy is sort of a funny story, though. I am a user and fan of the website flickr, which just about everyone knows. And on that site I'm a member of a few Pug groups (and several other breeds) and sometimes when I'm down or bored I'll browse through these groups and enjoy some cuteness. About four or five years ago now I found a very, very handsome little black pug with a most unusual favorite toy - a stuffed octopus. One of my dogs has a similar obsession with a stuffed armadillo, so I instantly had a soft spot for the little man named Otto. Otto's toy was named, appropriately, the Ottopus. I left some comments on the Otto photos, and eventually his owner and I became contacts on flickr.

I was living in NH at the time, and she was living in Portland, OR but was a transplant from Portland, ME. Turns out she had even vacationed in the small town on the lake where I lived in NH as a child. Because really, it's a very, very small world.

Fast forward another year, and I am now in the process of selling all my belongings and driving 3,000 miles to move to Portland myself. Flickr being the social site it is meant she knew I was coming with my pugs. I was here for about a month before we all went and met at a dog park - with our three snorty faced guys in tow. Pugs are very much people dogs, so they sort of sniffed and said hello to each other, then went back to focusing all their attention on us. It wasn't a great doggie play date, but Otto's mom and I totally hit it off.

We try to meet up for dinner and drinks, but not often enough. But when we do, I always make sure to go in the house and say hello to little Otto, who just like my own dogs, grabs a toy and spins and spins in place with excitement that he has a visitor. Of course, more fun than this is that pugs are super reactive when you talk to them - somehow they managed to breed into all pugs the habit of the "head tilt" which is amusing and endearing and gives you a real sense when you talk to your dog (don't we all?) that he's really, really listening intently. You say something, and the head tilts one way. Continue, the head tilts the other. Now...if only they hadn't bred the extreme hatred of nail-trimming...

I digress. Otto came to see me recently in the studio, and we bribed him with several of his favorite words, including "carrot" and "party." Who doesn't love a dog who loves a good party?!

Otto the happy pug!

Otto - the handsomest black pug I know!

Otto gives us his best concerned face.

the smiling pug

The dignified pug.