Stephanie Thompson, contributing editor for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, recently attended Puggerfest with her 7-year-old daughter Micah, and their pug Princess. Was it fun? Did anything go wrong? Find out here!
Q- What is Puggerfest? Where is it held?
Puggerfest is a big pug party, if you ask my daughter Micah. According to the organizers, it’s a fund-raising event for Homeward Bound Pug Rescue. It’s held in Oklahoma City, about 30 minutes from our home.
Q- What activities are held at Puggerfest?
Micah’s intuition was right and it was a big party. When we walked through the gate it was overwhelming! Pug dogs EVERYWHERE—more than a hundred (and more than 400 pugs attended in all!) and they were all off leash! (in a safely enclosed area). Micah, Princess and I hesitated at the entrance as we watched the parade of pugs sniffing and romping about.
The man laughed. “Of course! All pugs are friendly!”
They had contests: Longest tongue, pug races, tallest pug, best costume, best trick, best kisser, curliest tail and coronation of king and queen. They were also cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, had a photographer, a dog interpreter, and naturally, several pugs up for adoption.
Q- Did Princess participate?
God made Princess pretty, not talented. But she is a really good kisser. She and Micah are practicing for next year.
Q- What were the qualifications for the King and Queen contest? Did Princess enter, or was she content to remain a Princess?
The dogs who received the most votes were crowned King and Queen. And the way one voted was to buy a ticket. So literally, the title of king and queen pug dogs went to the highest bidder. But it’s all for a worthy cause, pug rescue efforts. Next year, I’ll be ready and maybe Princess will sit on that throne.
Q- What was the funniest thing that happened at Puggerfest?
Pugs have several traits in common: they snore, they love to sleep and they are all obsessed with eating! When some human sat down at a picnic table with a hamburger, hot dog, or bag of chips, pugs came from all across the yard, crowding in anxiously awaiting a crumb to drop.
Q- What, if anything, went wrong?
Micah loved playing with the dogs up for adoption, and really wanted to bring home another dog. After begging me for a couple hours and presenting Princess and me with several potential four-legged family members, I wavered. “Find out how much it costs to adopt a dog,” I told her.
There were no signs, so Micah went to the nearest worker, who was in the food area. She came back and said, “They’re three-fifty.”
I understood the need for charging a fee for adopting a dog, but that was more than I was prepared to pay. I had to break it to Micah that we just couldn’t pay $350 for a dog at that moment. She was so sad.
That night, I got on the website to try and figure out why they charged so much to adopt a dog. Finally I realized. Micah had asked at the food table, “How much are the dogs?” The price she got was $3.50 for a hot dog, not 350 dollars for a rescue dog!
Q- So, is another Pug in your future?
Homeward Bound Pug Rescue is always in need of foster homes and we do have a big back yard. My husband and I are considering applying for a foster match to try and see how life is with two pugs. It’s uncharted territory since Micah is an only child and Princess and only dog.
Q- Tell me about Princess.
Nothing compares to life with a pug. Because of their comical faces, you can’t help but feel happy. And that curly tail! We sometimes uncurl her tail and she immediately turns and tries to catch the tip of it. Princess likes to go outside and wait with Micah for the school bus in the mornings and starts wheezing and whining about five minutes before we leave the house. That’s how we know the bus is coming!
Q- What are some of the reasons that you love pugs?
The cocking of the head when they try to understand what we’re saying. That smashed in face and those big round eyes. The outstretched curled tongue and the way they race on a body that is too stout for their petite legs. There is never a bad day with a pug. My brother-in-law says Princess is the ugliest dog he’s ever seen every time he comes over, but to us she’s a pretty princess!