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Going into this, I knew a few things:
1.) I can't go without having a pug in my life for long. I have withdrawals. I feel nervous and ungrounded. I miss the companionship and pug love way too much. I am simply a healthier, brighter person when I have a dog in my life. They help me stay grounded and live in the present moment. They are great teachers, little confidants and comedians.
2.) As much as I love and adore the seniors and will continue to foster and rescue them - I knew after losing 2 beloved seniors in such a short time frame that I could not put myself through that loss emotionally again anytime soon. That meant my next pug would need to be young and healthy so he or she would be with me a long, long time.
3.) I would NOT adopt from a pet store or ever "shop" for a puppy, putting money back into the puppy millers pockets. Basically enabling them to continue their horrific treatment and crimes against animals. So I knew I would adopt from a shelter or rescue when the right one came along.
4.) Plummy taught me after losing the Sausage that it was ok to open my heart to another pug again. That the key to healing, is actually love. I also knew that neither the Sausage nor Plummy would want me to be sad or lonely for pug love, especially when there are so many homeless out there in need.
But how to know when it is the right one?
I first saw Norman while perusing the hundreds of sad little homeless pug faces on Petfinder..
It still blows me away how any pug could possibly be homeless. It seems impossible, but sadly, so so many are. That's the reason I rescue.
Norman was listed by Help Save One, a wonderful all-breed rescue organization that works tirelessly to save dogs from being gassed in high kill shelters and they pull dogs from some of the worst puppy mills. We have worked with them before on some Curly Tail puppy mill rescue cases so I felt really comfortable adopting from this organization.
As soon as I saw Norman's picture and where he was from, I contacted HSO straight away. I didn't use any special rescue treatment though; I went through the normal proper channels as any potential adopter would and just let what happen, may.
Norman wasn't the first pug I had applied for - most of my other applications got passed over, the dogs were too far away or the shelters never got back to me so I assume they were inundated with applications because it is very rare to get a healthy pug puppy in a shelter or rescue.
To my surprise, I was contacted by the head of HSO (who was also fostering Norman) within an hour of sending my email. I found out from her that Norman was pulled from a puppy mill in Ohio - he was one of the lucky ones.
Norman's foster mom had never fostered a pug puppy before and she has quickly gotten attached to the little guy and wasn't going to adopt him out to just anyone. She received a ton of inquiries and applications and didn't like any of them except mine.
Then we started talking more and she found out who I was... it turns out unbeknownst to me, she had been following Plum's story all along on the pug rescue website and when she found out I was the one who took care of Plummy and ultimately adopted her, she burst into tears! She was so thrilled I contacted her because, as she put it - she knew right then and there that there would be no better home for Norman than me :)
Moreover, she wanted me to have Norman as a gift for taking such good care of Plum in her final days and for showing her true love.
The happy ending is that ultimately, Norman is a gift from Plum. That's how I knew he was meant to be mine.
My heart feels so full knowing all of this, and I haven't even met the little guy yet.