Over the years, I have taken in and adopted many a rescue.  As an only child, I also grew up with pugs as siblings.  Pugs are my fur children.  My home is an active happy place.

The only drawback to owning pets is that we do tend to outlive them.  Here is my memory page for all of those pets that have passed.  Remember:  I adopt elder pugs and rats have a lifespan of 2 - 4 years.  It's a full list.

I am very saddened to add my beloved Iliad (15 y.o.) and Odyssey (15 y.o.) to this list.  They were my first puppies that I raised.  Odyssey, in particular, was the most intelligent and "human" pug I have ever met.  He was my friend.  He was the original paranormal pug who inspired the "Paranormal Pugs Page".  He went on specific and SAFE ghost investigations, and is listed on the SPIRITS site as a our official pug consultant.  He went to parties.  He was social, bright, and outgoing.

Just shy of his 9th birthday, Odyssey was diagnosed with terminal cancer  (HSA:  the second deadliest to canine kind) and given 3 months to live.  Not only did he outlive those 3 months, he survived just 2 months shy of a full five years post diagnosis.  How?  Because I did not believe my vet. Odyssey was not ready to give up. His eyes were bright.  So, I chose the path less taken to help him.

I went to a Buddhist healing ceremony on his behalf and believe that I received the Buddha's blessing.  We went holistic (I have never forgiven that vet for suggesting chemotheraphy because it "doesn't hurt the animals".  My research showed differently, and I never went to that vet again).   He got vitamin C and multivitamins.    He did get a large tumor that grew under his rib cage....it was not cancer but had to be removed when he was 12 years old.  The tumor was the size of a softball and was likely produced by irritation from the initial surgery leading to his cancer diagnosis.  

At 15, however, a new tumor grew and his body was already too tired to cope. The quality of life diminished. Coupled with increasing health problems, I had to let him go on Oct. 16, 2010.  This was 15 years and 1 week after the death of my original pug, Odie, for whom Odyssey derived his "O-D" emphasis name.  He, in turn, inspired the naming of the next generation of pugs: Odysseus and Achilles.

My experience with Odyssey is profound and beyond words.  I can simply state that he showed me that the higher powers out there are compassionate and they do care, even if it's about a little pug and the mom who loves him.

The boys, bought when Odyssey was to "die" in order to help Iliad transition to a new pack, are now the new alpha males.  Let's hope they live up to the legacy left to them.  

Iliad was truly a shock.  She was the puppy who, like Odyssey, picked me.  I was searching for a black pug female puppy and there were none in the tri-county area.  A friend and fellow pug owner suggested we check into a litter she heard about.  Two girls were left.  One little puppy would wiggle and squirm when I held her, but became a limp rag for the others.  They'd pass her to me, and she would wiggle and kiss.  She was a little china doll.  I ended up with her, of course.

I had an omen with her death, which preceeded Odyssey's by 3 weeks.  I was getting ready for bed when I saw part of my room get physically dark, as if the light was sucked from the area.  My first and only thought was "this is death".  I told it "not tonight"; the light returned to normal. My rational mind kicked in and chided me -- it was time for bed.  Yet, it appears that this was a justified experience. Over the next 36 hours, Iliad went from the stage of a stable, but slower and older pug, to death.  The speed at which this took place was astounding.  It's called the compression of morbidity, which may have been a blessing for her, but it was a true blow for me. 

Yet, despite their lives concluding, I am not sad.  I miss them, yes.  I grieve, yes.  But I am a better person for having known them.  I can only thank the universe for granting me the tremendous honor of having them in my lives.

Other inspirational animals here include Jasper, the "high risk" pug I adopted with seizures and an undiagnosed nuerological condition.  He slowly started to lose the ability to walk, but when western medicine could do no more, I took him to a holistic vet.  I was amazed to see him recover his walk, though on a limited basis, for about 6 months before his final decline.  Jasper lived to be over 12, which is respectable for a pug barely given a chance at the age of 7.

Big Daddy (Bear) was a rescue adopted from PROOF.  The president of the organization drove cross state to pick him up and delivered him to my mother.  Of course, I co-cared for him.  He was 15 when we got him -- yes, you read that correctly.  He was an older gent, but a gent he was.  I called him "Big Daddy" because of his jovial southern personality.  Were he human, I could almost hear him speak in a slow southern drawl.  He made it nearly three years here, with a sudden decline.  He passed away sleeping on my mother's new $2,000 bed mattress.  The end was merciful.

Shadow the rat is a phenomenal boy and I would equate him with the rat version of Odyssey.  He was uniquely intelligent but he seemed to be more pug than rat.  He never hung out with his fellow rodents, but prefered to sleep with the pugs and me on the bed.  He'd slip out of his cage and follow me like a puppy.  He even drank water from the dog bowl.

There are countless stories here of wonderful pets.  They all deserve to be remembered and loved.  Their memories are cherished and I know that someday we will meet again.
Murr, cat (right).  1987- 2004, age 17 years.  Dovie, the pug curled up next to Murr,  passed away in Sept. 07, Dovie in '08. Dovie was a special needs pug.  She was born with birth defects in her eyes and was blind.  Her eyes were odd sizes and very small.  Murr was once given away for his possessiveness over my mother (he sprayed everything, including her).  Murr ran away; two years later, we got a call from a woman.  He still had his cat collar and tag on.  Murr returned home, quit his spraying, and lived with Mom for a long, long time.
The unbeatable Granny Chu Ling Stark.  April 8, 1989 - Jan. 21, 2005.  Granny, you were a riot, a mess, an impossible old woman, and a sweet curmudgeon.  You, and your antics will be sorely missed. Adopted from pug rescue at age 11, she made it to 16 yeard old as a cranky, demanding old woman.
Perseus, the Hairless Hamster.  He was the sweetest and most adorable hamster ever. The only hairless (also known as "alien") hamster I ever found. Died July 12, 2006
In memory of Khafre, (brown eyes, right).  Died August 2005.  Khufu (pink eyes) died a year later.  These are my first rats that started me into rat ownership.  Khafre has a tribute is on the Squirlz page (he's the only rat there! :)  http://www.sqwirlz.com
Hatshepsut and Nefertiti
Percival the Hamster.
Hershey's Kiss (Kitten), 18 years.  My frist cat and an odd one.  Lived a looong time!  She was a spitfire who went into a meek old woman.
Chip/Dale -- robo dwarf hamster.
Jasper, left (fawn), Odyssey, and Iliad.
Below:  Big Daddy and Shadow.
Iliad, fawn, and Odyssey, black, above.  Odyssey, belwo, on the first anniversary (13 months) of his "death" diagnosis.
In  Loving Memory
Iliad, Odyssey, and Jasper.  One of my favorite pictures of these three.
Odyssey and Crescent, his half brother.  When I went to find my puppy, Odyssey found me. He was only 4 weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand.  He kissed my cheek and chewed on my necklace; I knew that he was mine.  I had to visit him for several weekends before he could come home.  During that time, Mom caught puppy fever and bought his half brother, Crescent (1 day difference in age).  This is the boy's last Christmas together.  Crescent died in the spring of 2010.
Abednego.  He was a rat given to me by a former student.  She called me in a panic.  She had a snake who wouldn't eat a rat.  She told me if I didn't take him, she'd let him go.  I agreed to have him.  He grew into the largest, fattest rat ever, and he was a doll. I named him for the three Biblical figures who survived a test by fire.
Patch was a singing rat.  He would be so happy that he would actually "chirp" loudly.  When he first started this, it took me a week to figure out that it was him.  Then I thought he was sick.  When the singing continued post medication, I realized he was just happy!  He would sing on command.  I could ask him to "sing, Patch, sing", and he did.  He died during my PhD comps.  Unlike other rats who fought death, Patch was resting on my lap while I studied.  He was singing, and then he signed, and he was gone.  It was a wonderful passing.
Iliad with the next generation:  Pandora (fawn) and Amazing Grace (Mom's pup, sister to Pandora, black)
Grandmother Titania:  She came to me at 11 or 12 years of age as a pug rescue.  She was so adorable (a teacup pug) that I kept her.  She was a quiet pug, but she had two demands:  don't touch her pillow (bed), and when it was time to eat, it was time to eat.  :)  She died at home at 17 years of age, Dec. 17, 2010.
Johnny was my seizure-prone pug.  An adopted pug rescue, he was on several meds to control the seizures.  He had many issues from thyroid to skin, and the seiuzres didn't help.  He ended up with a sudden severe internal infection that only added to his pre-existing issues and we had to put him to sleep.  Very sad case. 
Naughty Brother, Shadrach, Jericho, Hawkeye
The Queen Bee:  Silver relaxing at house.  This rat is a rescue.  She was brought in to a volunteer function in a person's pocket.  She jumped out and ran through a warehouse for 3 weeks before she was captured.  They were going to take her to a pet store, but my mother got her.  I got this call from Mom that she had a male mouse for me as a rescue.  Imagine my surprise when I picked a box that was a wee bit TOO heavy and discovered a female rat!
He was the son of a PEW that the daughter of a fellow artist had gotten as a gift from her father.  Turns out that the gift came with a few extra surprises, and Clyde was one! (She had 9 babies!)  Love the ghost looking at him. :)