Sunday, November 7, 2010

I have a pug: They Shouldn't Exist or A Pop-Cultural Study

Her name is Woo.

Not to be mistaken for , the Chinese language that had been in use by 77 million speakers openly up until 1949 at which time the Peoples Republic of China declared Mandarin, and only Mandarin, to be the language of China. 

Not to be mistaken for Woo, the pre-Shakespearean verb to court, or to solicit affection.

Just Woo.

Pugs aren't a modern anomaly; they go back a way in time.   True, they're part of that Shouldn't-Be-Alive-But-Oh-That's-Right-Humans-Wanted-It-To-Happen-And-Humans-Should-Always-Get-What-They-Want-Right? breeding technique.  But seriously, their ancestry dates far back--apparently, first documentation of the short-nosed, squat-dogs comes from around 700BC in China (called the "Foo" dog).  

Foo Dog Pair; Female (coupling baby under paw) on Left, Male on Right

So how has the dog, whose mouth is so small their teeth (still the same amount a Wolf has) become impacted, survived for so long?  Well, they do what any sensible creature would do, if given the choice:  they've become the pet icon of the courts of the rich and famous.  And they haven't done that bad, considering their way of survival has been dependent on somewhat tenuous royalty.

For example, Chinese Emperor Ling To gave his female pugs the same status as his wives.  Not sure how well that went down with the women of the household, but there you have it.  He unfortunately wasn't the best Emperor around, and according to Wikipedia (all-knowing source of info), liked a decadent lifestyle, was a womanizer and an all-around corrupt guy with lots of enemies.  

William the Silent, a dutch Prince from the 16th century, avoided capture by the Spanish, because his pug, Pompey woke him up before any of his guards knew they were under attack.  He escaped to safety and since then Pug has become the symbol of the dutch royalty line, The House of Orange.

The pug was also a secret symbol for the "Mopsorden" sect of the Freemasons in the 1730s.  Mopsorden, by the way, is German for "The Order of the Pug."

And Napoleon's soon-to-be-wife, Josephine, had a pug named Fortune.  When Napoleon tried to kick him out of the bed Fortune bit him.  I feel as though there's a foreshadowing joke of some sort here.  Either way, the pug was let back into the bed.

Given how weird they look and their amazing presence throughout the higher-levels of society across the world, I think that's why pugs have become the new "It" dog for America:

They exude simplicity of life and silliness.  I mean, well.  Look at them.  There is NO point for them to exist.  There is no way that, given the Real World's natural environment, they WOULD exist.  

And yet, they do. 

*crinkly bags*

That's more like it.

I start to worry, though, when I see exactly how deformed a Wolf has become in the name of Cute.  

However, the pug manages to survive, even in the most daunting situations.

I think even the Wolf is going, "Wtf Nature?  What was that?"



  1. Being tossed like a rabbit by a wolf would certainly qualify as a "most daunting situation"....HAHAHAHA!! That poor pug was probably having a heart attack.

  2. It's ok. The pug, aka Bob The Wonder Pug (yes, that really is his name) didn't sustain any injuries and was fine--just shaken up. But MAN that's a pretty bad day as far as pug-days go. I mean, that's just a bad day for anyone.

  3. Beryl, this is super awesome.

  4. ps. It weirds me out that (because I added it for my TBA blog post), my headshot is now linked to whatever random comments I make, which makes me feel like I look like I take myself too seriously because only people who take themselves too seriously use headshots for silly little things like internet comments. If I had computer painting capabilities, I would add glasses or a feather boa or goggles or a monacle or something, but alas. I will remain your pretentious online friend.

  5. pps. I like how according to Anchorage Daily News, "befriending" entails biting and shaking violently. What's next? Calling bear maulings "tender embraces?"

    "Please come closer, I would like to hug you with love (and claws)":

  6. Elana - Animals, and the way that they interact is sometimes hilariously...offputting.

    Also, I was going to say your picture on your blog was so swankety and amazing--almost as if I could HEAR you saying "Why hello there. Care for a martini?"

    p.s. if you want, I can make your headshot complete with a monacle and a feather boa. Send me the picture and it shall be done.

  7. Just like your charts help me understand life these charts help me understand kids today and their rap music

    always grateful, keep up the good work.

  8. Anonymous/Awesome--These charts are amazing. I am now spreading this link to everyone I know. Thank you. More is soon to come. ;)