My Adventure with Lola

While we were in Cedar City for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, our close pals were home watching our three rescue pugs Eric, Otis, and Lola. We adopted the two rambunctious boys in 2007 and our lovely Lola came to us in the summer of 2009.  Lola had kidney problems with one removed prior to our adoption. Our wonderful veterinarian kept a close eye on her, but her “good” kidney was slowly going downhill.

I wasn’t convinced we needed a third pug – that’s practically a dog farm. Aaron fell in love with her story when he first chatted with the rescue group. They couldn’t find her a home because of her previous kidney issues. They just needed someone to take her in and care for her. I ultimately couldn’t say no. Within a day, Aaron was driving down to San Diego to get her.

My hesitations melted when I met her. She was so easy-going, so sweet, and her little tail would wag every time you entered the room. She was quite taken with Aaron since they spent the day together when she first came to us. I was so bonded with my two boys, I was content letting her follow Aaron around the house.

Lola’s test results consistently came back poor. We went from special food, to special medication, to special injections. Happy Lola would wag her tail even when we took her to the vet every two weeks for her antibiotic injection. The vet was always surprised by her resilience. Lola behaved like any other pug – playing, eating, loving on you. She would roll over for belly rubs each time you walked by. She showed no external signs of a struggle. The vet warned us that the failing organ would catch up with her. And it would be quick.

As Aaron’s schedule became more busy at work, Lola and I spent more time together. We were friends, but I knew her attachments were more with him. Slowly, she started following me more. Sitting with me while I read. Watching me get ready. Sleeping on the floor next to me. She sat with me while I wrote my first travel blog. I love all of my pugs, but Lola had a kindness about her.  She was special. So special, in fact, that people started asking us to bring her over for visits. She was a crowd favorite. She went to barbecues, wine tastings, and hung out with me at work one afternoon after a vet appointment. Just as she became more attached to me, I realized my attachment to her was growing just the same.  I even grew to adore her horrifically bad breath. I gave my boys love as well, but Lola didn’t need much. Just you. Nearby.

She slipped away quickly while we were in Utah. Our good friend called that Saturday morning. She found a spot on the couch she liked and stayed there all night. No more eating, no more playing, no more belly rubs. They watched her most of the night and her breathing became labored in the morning. That’s when they decided to call. We packed up and hit the road. Then, he called us again. He gave a good shot at doggy CPR, but our little sweet Lola died in his arms.

We were both heartbroken. Pulling over to the side of the dusty Utah road, we ached for the loss of our little girl. She most likely suffered over the last two years, but we just couldn’t see it. For me, I had spent more time with her than my own husband. She and I had become good pals.

I can tell myself that we were always on borrowed time. That it wasn’t meant to last anyway. But all that logic goes out the window when you fall in (pug) love. I am grateful that we gave her a home, did our best to obtain good care, and loved her fully.

It struck me that I spent so much time looking for that next adventure, that next really cool spot, that I had temporarily forgotten how special it is to just be home. Sometimes, the true adventure is looking into the eyes of something beautiful and letting it change you.

The cynic inside me likes to say that people oftentimes disappoint, but dogs will love you unconditionally. I strongly believe I was touched by something really special. I was touched by Lola.

Links:  Where Lola Came from.  Where our other two Pugs came from.

And when you are not traveling and just want a furry friend to snuggle up with, consider a rescue pug (okay, it doesn’t have to be a pug, but doggy adoption is a great way to go!). Check out the local adoption sites in your area.


  1. Love your story, so beautiful. Our dogs really do become our children,even when we have children. I own a Boston Terrier, but i fell in love with a friend’s pug this past Christmas, his name is Monkey, & he is all black with white on his little face as he’s 9. My next dog will deff. be a Puggie !!! Good luck to you & your other Pugs !!!

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