I had been living as an actor in New York City for 20 years and was pretty much the designated 'dog sitter' due to the fact that I really didn't have the long term time to dedicate to a pet. Fortunately, there were plenty of friends in my life who trusted me to take care of their dogs while out of town, which really helped with the desire to own a dog of my own. I was particularly fascinated with pugs for some reason. I must admit that I was first attracted to the way they looked, before I even became aware of the personality of the breed and had sort of decided that if I were ever to have the opportunity to own a dog, it would be a pug.

Then last summer, a friend of a friend was in need of a dog sitter and lo and behold, her dog was a pug! Of course, I jumped at the chance to dog-sit and by the time the owner came back, she had to pry the dog out of my hands! I can't recall a dog ever making me laugh as hard and as much as this pug. Boy, was I hooked. I began asking around for people who knew of pug breeders and reading everything I could about the breed and although ashamed to admit it, I even had  names picked out: Cornelius & Stella. I couldn't have just 'one' pug!

Well, thanks to the internet, I stumbled on a Pug Rescue site and that planted the seed of maybe adopting instead of buying. At this point in time, my partner Michael & I had been throwing around the idea of leaving New York City and heading back to his home territory of Paducah, KY, getting an old house and renovating it. I, of course, started searching the internet for pug rescues in the area and found the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. Fast forward six or seven months, we arrived in Paducah, found a house and the first night that we got the internet going I went to the Kentuckiana website and filled out the online application. That was last November. We were then interviewed at the house and put on the approval list. Not too much happened until late December when I got an e-mail from Trudy at the rescue asking me if I would be interested in adopting a 'senior' pug. To tell you the truth, I had never really thought about it. (Which is probably why they are so hard to adopt- no one else does either.) I gave it some thought and discussed it with Michael and we both decided it would actually be perfect! Not only would I be getting a dog that was somewhat trained, but an older dog would be getting a permanent home to spend the last years of her life.

I didn't even know what she looked like as there was no picture on the website. The only information that I had was that she was a 12 year old Black pug named Dixie who was being mistreated due to the fact that her owner had Alzheimer's. She was also kept outside all of her life and she had arthritis and had to be on medication for the rest of her life. I was to drive out to Elizabethtown, KY to pick her up and boy, was I nervous! I just wanted us to like each other. I felt like one of those people that 'Dateline' or '20/20' follows to a foreign country when they adopt a little Asian or Soviet child!! O.K., that may seem a bit outrageous, but remember I'm an actor from New York City, I have a vivid imagination! When I first saw her in the back of the car she came in, I knew everything would be fine. I sat with Hope & Ginny (from the rescue) in Shoney's for about 2 hours discussing everything we could about Dixie and then it was time for them to hand her over to me. It was a pretty emotional moment and it happened really fast. When I saw the look of sadness on Ginny's face as she handed me Dixie, I knew that she was a special dog and all would be fine.

Well, life has not been the same since little Dixie stepped into our house and into our lives. She now runs the house and our lives and we wouldn't have it any other way! It took her a few weeks to really open up to us, but now that she has, let me tell you, we are completely struck at what a sweet, gentle creature she is. Not to mention, hilarious and the most spoiled dog in Paducah, KY!! I think that she also snores louder than my father ever did! After taking her to her new vet, we are also pleased to say that she is in excellent health, thanks to Kentuckiana Pug rescue, and thanks to one of Dixie's foster moms, Debbie, we also found out that she is only 10 years old and will be turning 11 on the 31st of January!!

If anyone reading this knows of anyone who is thinking about getting a dog, please mention the idea of adopting - and not just adopting a puppy but maybe an older dog as well. They have so much love to give and they need a permanent home to spend the last years of their
lives. If they have any doubt about adopting a 'senior' dog, they should see our 'old lady' with arthritis jump up on her hind legs to
greet us every time we come home from work!

Steve Sherling

UPDATE 1/31/06 ~ Dixie has reached a milestone today. She is 13 years old! I had found her birth records in the papers that I had received from the adoption. She is fantastic. She is doing so well. Her vet said that he had never seen a pug half her age that looked so good. She had a bout with some severe arthritis for about a week right after Christmas, but has bounced back and is still not on the rimidyl. The doctor still says she is doing great with the natural msm powder. Here are some pics of her. Her brother gunther is doing just as well. he is so funny and all he wants to do still is sit on the couch and watch television! Him & I have both gained a few lbs. so we are both on a diet. He is a true find and friend. Wen we come in from outside they both wait until I say, "take your marks, get set, go!" before they will move anywhere. We then race to the kitchen to where the treats are. They are remarkable dogs. I still can't believe that I've been fortunate to be their care taker for these past few years. We are one happy family. You guys do great work. Wishing you all the best.

Warm regards,
Steve Sherling

And one photo (below) of Gunther, Dixie's pug brother.


Kentuckiana Pug Rescue PO Box 2773 Indianapolis, IN 46206 webmaster@kentuckianapugs.com 877-784-7988