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Pet Happenings AUGUST 2012

Not your typical working dog
by Jessica Turquette of the Moab BARKery

When you think of working dogs, you think of Border Collies, German Shepherds and sporting breeds but all breeds have a job that they were bred specifically for, even the little guys. There are two Pugs that have been doing their job for many years now, Buzz and Brutus at Desert West office Supply. Business owners, Lorrie and Cary Lange are dedicated Pug people and have been in the company of the breed since childhood. When they decided on Buzz as a young puppy their intention all along was to have this little guy working right along side them. Pugs should be a good match for shop work, according to the American Kennel Club; this is an even-tempered breed, exhibiting stability, playfulness, great charm, dignity, and an outgoing, loving disposition. Who wouldn’t want a dog like these dogs to greet them? There have been many years and treats for these two working Pugs, and here is what their experience has been so far.

Buzz and Brutus the Pug Dogs on the patio.Buzz who is now 10, has the ideal personality for being a shop dog. He is sweet, social, and loves attention from all ages. Although he is a very typical pug personality, he’s not so typical for the breed size. Buzz is large for a pug, but a leggy and lovely gentle man. Most pugs should resemble a box in shape and stature, Buzz is the taller super model version. He prefers your devoted attention and will ask for it with those soft brown eyes too! Buzz did well adapting to being at work as he had the advantage of starting as a puppy, and has the cool, laid back attitude to go with all that experience. He does however have some food issues.

Like many dogs Buzz is allergic to grain. When he would eat food with cheap fillers in it like corn, wheat and soy his immune system would react causing a wide range of skin and digestive issues. Owner Lorrie talked about how many drugs and “prescription foods” did little to relieve his problems. After doing her own research she discovered that if she fed him a food without cheap grains he did much better. Like many owners, she was relieved to find that better foods can make all the difference to their pets. Buzz now eats grain-free dog food and treats to ensure he keeps his immune system in good shape so he doesn’t miss any of his days at work. Even though he’s still a working dog into his golden years, he’s taking some time off and staying at home to watch over those incredible Moab sunsets

Buzz and Brutus the Pug Dogs.Brutus came to the Lange’s a few years after Buzz when they got a call from the shelter about a Pug that needed a foster home. Brutus was found near Ken’s Lake and had been adopted and returned a few times. He had more problems than most people wanted to handle and he needed a gentle and understanding home. Since the Lange’s spoke fluent Pug it seemed a good match. Brutus came from obvious abuse, not knowing how to play, and was very scared of even simple things like the stairs. Potty training had been his biggest issue and can be a common problem for Pugs. Often when dogs suffer abuse, potty training can be a life long challenge.

He is shy, reserved and very cautious at first but once he warms up to you is very sweet. It was not a natural match at first for Brutus in the store; he had a hard time with new people, and some major separation anxiety. Even to this day if someone he likes leaves the store, he will whine. It took many years of patience and positive reinforcement for him to be comfortable. Although he is no cool cucumber like his brother, he manages his days well and keeps out of most trouble.

Brutus is also large for a Pug, but not like his brother with those super model legs. Brutus is a chow hound and would be as big as a house if he had his way. There are these big lovers in all breeds and some dogs literally lack the part of their brain that understands when they are full. I suspect Brutus is one of these dogs. I have one she could eat her body weight in treats if left unattended. Lorrie slows down Brutus’s eating by putting a big rock in his bowl (the rock gets sanitized in the dishwasher too, what an awesome mom!). He has to eat around it and therefore eats more slowly. Pugs naturally inhale a lot of air when they eat, and that attributes to some serious puppy “fluffers” late at night when you’re all trying to watch a movie. By slowing down his eating, he not only digests his food better but it reduces the amount of gas as well!

They also do NOT feed him a diet food. Diet dog foods are filled with low quality grains to boost fiber intake and reduce fat intake. This only works for humans, and even then there are better ways. They feed him a high quality, high protein, high fat food with a small portion. This method is much better for maintaining and losing weight. Eating fillers to feel full doesn’t help your pet loose weight, portion control does.

The Lange’s are dedicated and savvy dog owners, and in turn their sweet dogs have been lived a very happy, healthy and fulfilling life. Although it hasn’t always been easy working and living with their pets, they are a great teams and I always appreciate that I will be greeting when I stop by Desert West Office Supply on any Tuesday or Friday.

Humane Society of Moab Valley Adoption Day dates for August 2012

Moab BARKery Ad Moab BARKery website

To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

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