Sunday, September 4, 2016

Please take a moment to read my fundraiser. I recently used all of my care credit funding for my son's puppy who had parvo.  Meeko and Jazzy are in dire need of dentals. Every little bit helps. You can also help by sharing this info. Thank you. 

Click here to be taken to Meeko and Jazzy's Dental Fund

Friday, April 5, 2013

Scammer Alert & Help Needed!


I emailed a few breeders Tuesday evening to inquire as to whether or not they test for PDE susceptibility. Even though I am not considering adding another Pug to my life right now, I want to know for the future. I received one response Wednesday morning, but it did not answer my question. I replied back with the question again and answered the breeders questions. Today I received a reply and it was a scam trying to get me to send money in advance to ship a "puppy" from Virginia to Washington State! This really pisses me off. He even sent 3 photos of "Jenny" the puppy.  There were so many inconsistencies in his email.  Can you imagine how many people are being scammed using this technique?  So irritating!
What an awful thing to do and to play on someone's heartstrings! Stupid jerk. What's really strange about it is that they ask the appropriate questions that breeders ask. I honestly believed that it was legit and he was being for real he said he lived in Virginia and needed payment to ship a puppy to me!  I hadn't even told him that I wanted a puppy.   FYI - The person and his email is Dean Igsler <>
2)    On to what I need help with and I just know I can count on my Pug Friends! I'm trying to win an iPad2 and doggie treats!!!! I need your votes! You can vote by clicking on link below and then "like" it. Please "like" Whole Life Pet Products page as well! THANK YOU!!!! I only have 34 votes and the one in first place has over 200. It doesn't end until 4/12 so we have plenty of time :)



Monday, March 25, 2013

"Anniversary" Week

I can’t believe 3/31/13 will be a year since Emma passed away.  I honestly thought I’d be OK by now.  I attended a Pug Rescue Event last month and I had to go outside to get some air.   Seeing so many beautiful fawn Pug girls running around the place truly got to me and I started having a panic attack.

A few months ago I started to question whether or not I will ever bond with another Pug, besides my bond with Meeko.

 In reference to opening my heart to another Pug, a friend said the following:
They do not end the pain, but they provide some needed distractions from it so that time can heal and make it easier to cope and live with the loss. Know that you might not ever experience the same kind of bond as you did with Emma.  Once you realize that is ok, it opens your heart to love in a different way.

After the Pug rescue event, a friend told me this:
You might try forcing yourself to attend more events where there are lots of pugs.  Be receptive and embrace every one of them that reminds you of Emma, because each one will give you a little more love to fill that hole. 

They’re right and I'm going to try my best to follow their advice.  This post was originally only going to be about Remembering Emma, but I went off track.  I guess that’s ok since you’re supposed to talk about how you’re feeling at that moment in blogs.   So, to get back on track, here are some photos of Emma during the 5 wonderful years we were blessed to have her in our lives as part of our family.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.  She will forever be in my heart.   I will be posting in memory of Emma on my facebook page every day this week


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Emma's 6th Birthday

Today would’ve been Emma’s 6th Birthday.  It’s been 7 ½ months since she passed away and I miss her like crazy.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.   The string cheese is still in the freezer and I still get a lump in my throat when I wash a small load of laundry.  I no longer walk to her food dish though, and I no longer call her name out of habit when I’m calling Meeko and Jazzy. That's an accomplishment right?    

It's really been difficult trying to remain focused on the positive when her life was taken so suddenly by this terrible disease.  The most important thing though, is that Emma's story is being seen and that is wonderful.  Several people have sent me an email while stumbling upon this blog after searching for “PDE”.  Each person lets me know how valuable the information is.  Most had recently lost their Pug to PDE and needed someone to talk to in their time of sorrow.  Her story is being read and that is exactly what I wanted because I believe that education is the key. 

I’ve also received emails from breeders wanting to know if I was interested in a Pug puppy.  When I receive an email like that, I automatically respond back to ask them if they test for the susceptibility to PDE.  Most of them don’t even have a clue what it is or that it’s even available!  Some don't even respond which leads me to believe that they don't, why else wouldn't they answer my question?  I let them know the test and give them the link to my blog.  At least I do my part to try to educate and give them the information.  What they do with it is completely up to them. 

No, I’m not ready for another Pug.   I have many different reasons and I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready.   People tell me that it will happen when the timing and moment is right, I’m just not too sure about that.  I can’t deny that when I see a Pug in rescue or look at Pug puppy photos that I don’t think about it.   That’s just the Pug Lover in me!

I hope you enjoy the photos of Emma when she was a baby. 

                                                                  Little Baby Emma
                               I love this one, it's like she's saying "No more pictures!"

                                                   Emma loved to Woo Woo!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My next post was going to be about Emma as a baby...

Until I found out that another Pug crossed the Rainbow Bridge early this morning.  Shirley’s Gina slipped away early this morning.  She was a Pacific Pug Rescue.  Lois was her foster mom, twice.  My heart is breaking for Shirley and her husband, as well as Lois.

I don’t know how Pug Fosters do it.  It can be the most rewarding and enjoyable experience, but the most difficult at times.  It takes a special kind of person to have Pugs come into your life, almost always nursing it back to health, gaining its trust and confidence, spending so much dedicated time to it when it needs it the most, knowing that you will have to let it go once its forever home is found.  Fostering a Pug isn't for everyone. 

I know that it isn't for me, at least not at this point in my life.  Especially in my fragile state.  I’d want to keep every single one that came to me.  I know that I cannot do that, so I will do what little I can by continuing my volunteer status by performing home visits and the occasional transport in my area. 

Today, I salute all Pug Fosters and those who open their hearts and homes to adopting rescues!  You are amazing people and you are appreciated.  Your unconditional love for the Pug and willingness to do all you can for them is admirable.   

Please consider becoming a volunteer for a Pug rescue in your area.  You'd be surprised at what all is needed with beng a rescue organization.  Any and all help is appreciated, even if it's only to volunteer your time to help set up and take down for fundraisers or other events.  It all matters, volunteers are what makes it work!       

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Small Memorial

I decided to start Emma's memorial shelf.  I don't have the shelf I want yet, but I have a temporary one.  What pushed me to start the memorial was a custom portrait I received from Shirley Stallings (  Shirley is a member of my Forever Pugged yahoo group and I had the joy of meeting her in person at our Pug Meetup last Summer in Vancouver, WA.  She attended and donated a custom portrait to our fundraiser for Pacific Pug Rescue in Portland, Oregon ( 

The portrait couldn't have arrived at a better time.  I had been missing Emma so much with the 2 month anniversary of her passing fast approaching.  When I checked the mail on 5/26 and saw Shirley's name on the package, I got a lump in my throat.  I considered waiting to view it but couldn't open it fast enough!!!  Tears of happiness flowed as I admired Shirley's work.   She drew Emma's ears just right and it's as if I was looking right into my baby girl's eyes.  It's absolutely PERFECT and so precious!!!  Here's a photo of it:

Several members of Forever Pugged donated towards the vet expenses I incurred during the week Emma was treated and passed away.  The donations paid the bill in full, which included her necropsy, cremation and a special urn.  For that, I am very appreciative and thankful.  Since the vet who performed the necropsy & cremation placed her ashes inside a pretty blue urn, I decided to use the urn from Forever Pugged members as a keepsake/memory box.  The box is very special.  It has a fawn Pug figurine on the top and her name engraved on the faceplate.  I LOVE it!

I've included photos below of the memorial shelf I started.  The top shelf has the portrait from Shirley, the blanket she was wrapped in the day she passed, her collar and tag along with a candle I received from my friend Shelley H. that was created by Elaine's Creations.  Shelley lost her Pug, Ty, near Christmas.  The second shelf currently has the keepsake/memory box and urn.

The shelf will also have a hinged box with a Pug on it that I received from my friend Sue and a beautiful picture frame with Emma's photo in it from my friend Guylaine.  The pink heart pillow on the hinged box is great because Ems just loved her doggie bed.

My friend Shelly G. gave me a photo keychain that I plan on hanging from my rear view mirror in my car that was made by Shel's Tarts and Crafts.  My friend who just so happens to be the owner of Shel's Tarts and Crafts (Shelley H) also made me magnets of all 3 of my babies =) 

The cards received are appreciated as well.  My friend Mindy R. made a donation in Memory of Emma to Pacific Pug Rescue, which was awesome of her to do!!! I'm so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family in my life.  Words cannot express the love and warmth in my heart that I have felt these last couple months.   Thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reminders, Memories and a THANK YOU!


First things first, I have to thank those of you who voted and shared our entry in the "Cutest Pet in the South Sound" photo contest from Epic Realty.  "In Memory of Emma" took 1st place with over 500 votes!!!  The prize was a $100 gift certificate to Mud Bay, Olympia Store. 

Reminders & Memories -

I went to put water in the ice cube tray last night and was reminded again about the horrible day Emma passed away.  She wouldn't eat her kibble or take her meds that morning.  I tried to entice her with string cheese, normally one of her favorite treats.  She ate one nibble and I believe it was only because I wanted her to.  I feel terrible about it now, knowing she really didn't feel well and that seizures would start 15 minutes after trying to get her to eat.  The first time I reached for something in the fridge after learning she had passed,,I saw the string cheese and the tears started flowing.  I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, so I put it in a baggie and stuck it in the freezer.  I still can't throw it away...

Every time I change the washer setting from large to small load, I tear up.  I used to wash Emma's bedding several times a week because she had an issue with soiling it.  The vet was certain it was behavioral and for attention because there wasn't anything wrong with her.  Hmmmm, a spoiled rotten Pug who wants their own way???   No way!!!!!  LOL  She was my special girl that was a pain at times.  I say that affectionately of course!  I didn't ever mind changing her bedding.  It came as part of life for me and part of my duties as a pug mom.  Whenever I switched the washer to a small load, I would put up my hand written sign that said "change to large, it's on small" and put it on the washer.  That was my husband and our boys would know to switch it if need be.  Emma didn't potty on her bedding the last 3 nights she was alive.  This really bothered me because it wasn't "normal" for her.  Before the necropsy diagnosis, I was told by someone who had lost a Pug from PDE, that bladder retention was a symptom his pug experienced.   

I'm starting to remember to not walk to where her food dish was when I feed Meeko and Jazzy, but still catch myself sometimes.  I miss her nose being pressed up against my pant legs every morning and evening when it's feeding time.  I miss the way she "geared up" for eating.  She would make noises and take deep breathes and back up from the dish and shake a bit with excitement!  I haven't removed her collar and tag from my car yet.  I removed it from her when I took her to the vet the morning she started seizing and left it in the car.  I'll move it when I create her memorial.  I'm looking for a nice shelf that is just the right one to use as a memorial area for her. 

I had Jay move Emma's crate to the garage Sunday.  I still haven't removed the blankets and pillow from the crate that I had in it the last few days she was with us.  Since she wasn't steady and was tipping over and falling so much the last few days, I put a pillow in there, that wasn't so mushy & soft, to help her remain steady when she got comfortable.  All of her blankets are still where I kept them prior to her death.  I can't bring myself to move them.

Kobee, our black cat, misses Emma very much.  They played together and he would greet her every time she came in from being outside. When Emma first got sick, Kobee started sitting at the sliding glass window leading to the back yard. He'd watch us as I stayed with her to make sure she didn't stumble and fall as much.  He recently turned 4 years old and had never done that before.  The poor kitty cried and went to the sliding glass door several times a day for at least 2 weeks after Emma was gone.  He still does it and it makes me so sad.   

A couple weeks ago Meeko and Jazzy started laying on the dog bed again. Even though it was a community bed, it was Emma's favorite that she claimed and it was where she had her first seizure.  Meek and Jaz hadn't been in it since she was sick.   My nightmares of her death have pretty much stopped.  I'll have an occasional one, but nothing like before.  I miss her caterpillar kisses, smiles and unique ears.  I cherish all of the wonderful memories she's given me these last 5 years.  Here's one of my favorite photos of Ems.  It was taken a month or so after she became a member of our family =)  It's one of the cutest most tilted head cocks I've ever seen!!!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's been 4 weeks...

It doesn't seem like it's been a month since Emma passed away.  It hurt so much watching her go through what she did. It's been very difficult to grieve properly. Just when I started to think I was doing better, something triggers the memory of my poor baby going through such a bad time.  This blog is part of my way of coping with what happened. To type it all out and make people aware of what happened and how it can be potentially prevented in future breedings is the best way to try to help the breed. In one week, this blog has had 769 views!!!  Because of you passing along and sharing my blog, you are helping educate people about PDE. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"In Loving Memory of Emma" Facebook Contest.  Please vote & share daily through 5/2/12.

Emma's Pug Dog Encephalitis Story ~ 

March 23rd was a Friday evening.  My niece & her 18 month old daughter came over to visit.  Normally Emma would want to play with her, but she was standoffish that night.  She wouldn't play with Meeko (my 9 year old Pug), her tail was uncurled, acted stiff and her back was huntched.  I knew somthing wasn't right because it was not like her at all.  It was worse the next day, she was having difficulty raising her neck to look up so I  phoned the vet who made an appointment for Tuesday since she was still eating, drinking and using the bathroom.  

First thing Monday morning (3/26) I called the vet because she was worse.  She ate very slow and acted like she couldn't move the right side of her neck & was very sluggish.  The vet saw her and treated her for a neck strain.  Her urine tests came back as everything being fine and since she was eating and going potty ok, she didn't think there was a blockage.  She mentioned PDE, but I didn't think anything of it because I just knew it was just a pulled muscle or something simple.  She was prescribed Prednisone and Tramadol, which seemed to help a bit.

On Tuesday her tail was curled again, she was trotting around and making her normal puggie noises she makes.  Thursday morning she wouldn't eat and started showing symptoms again.  Friday morning she lost control of her right side and would tip over when she tried to get a drink of water.  She lost her balance quite a few times and her right side was leaning sideways.  She couldn't stand up to use the bathroom and rolled out of her bed several times.  Her chin/face was twitching and she was a little disoriented. Back to the vet we went!  She was puzzled by her symptoms and I lost it when she mentioned the symptoms resembling PDE.  They kept her for the day to take xrays and bloodwork.  Her dosage of prednisone was upped and gave her pepcid to try to get her to eat in case the meds were upsetting her tummy.  

The xrays came back normal and the bloodwork was sent out so we'd get the results back on Monday.  Saturday morning (3/31) Ems wasn't feeling well at all and only ate a few bites of kibble along with her prednisone.  My poor baby had 7 seizures in 25 minutes.  I rushed her to the vet   They had to give her 2 doses of Phenobarb (anti-seizure medication), Valium and Mannitol (reduces swelling of the brain). Her vet didn't give up hope on her and tried so hard to save her.  He was able to look at the bloodwork online and it showed an increase of white blood cells.  He was hoping it was a form of meningitis, which could've been treated.  If not, it was more than likely those three nasty letters - PDE.  Emma showed all the signs of it. 

I kept thinking back to Monday when the vet mentioned PDE as a slight possibility, but it wasn't significant at that time.  I was in complete denial because after all, in my eyes it was just a neck injury.  All that week I kept telling myself and saying to my husband, "She's ok, she isn't having seizures, it can't be PDE".  That day it became more of a reality that this is what may have taken my precious baby girl's life.  I completely lost it.  That evening the vet started her on Metronidazole & Baytril, antibiotics that treat bacterial infections, in case it was a form of meningitis or toher infection that could be helped.  He took her home with him that evening to treat her and she went into acute respiratory failure and passed away about an hour later.

I'm attaching 2 photos of her.  The first is the last photo that was taken of her on 3/31/12.  The other one is from 3/20/12, just 11 days earlier.  As you can see, she lost a lot of weight in that short period of time. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The cause of Emma's sudden death

This email/post is not an easy one to make. My stomach has been in knots since Emma’s illness first became serious. It’s hard to not wonder if there was anything more I could do for her and if it was my fault that she passed away. I received a phone call from the vet’s office Thursday morning while I was at work. Emma’s ashes were ready to be picked up and the results of the necropsy were in. My heart dropped to my stomach, I was shaking, wanted to throw up, was hot, nauseous and all that goes with my nerves being shot at that very moment. I finally was able to put it in God’s hands and I said the following prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, hold me in your arms during this extremely difficult time of waiting and learning the results of the necropsy on Emma. I have prayed for you to guide the veterinarians to do all they can to come to a conclusive finding. I pray for an absolute answer that is in the best interest of everyone involved. God, please give me the strength to accept the results as they are and guide me in the right direction that I need to take after the results are revealed. Whether it be something other than PDE or PDE itself, I will rely upon you to help me through this. Thank you for blessing me with my friendship with Lois. Her shoulder to cry on, listening ear and advice has provided me with comfort. Lord, please protect those who need protecting and help those who need to be helped. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

All day I had been so nervous and on pins and needles. I was finally going to find out what happened to Emma. When I walked into the office I was handed her ashes and sat down to wait for the doctor to finish with another patient. You’re not going to believe what happened next. While sitting there a lady walked in with a Pug!! Her name was Pika and she weighed in at a petite 15 lbs, just like Emma! A sense of calmness came over me and I know that was a sign from my baby girl that things are going to be ok and I need to move forward.

Dr. Jolly took me into a room and immediately revealed that Emma’s death was absolutely caused by Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). I took a deep breath and shook my head in an agreeing way. I knew in my heart that it was that awful disease that took her life so suddenly. Now that it’s officially been confirmed, I will be educating others and getting the word out about PDE. I’ve researched PDE a lot these last few weeks and learned that PDE can be prevented! In June 2010 there was a breakthrough in the research of PDE and a test became available to find out the risk of a pug being susceptible to PDE. Even though it is not a diagnostic tool, it is a test for breeders to find out if the Pugs they’re using in their breeding program have the high risk susceptible markers. This allows a breeder to select pugs for breeding that have the lower susceptible markers instead.

It is imperative that ALL PUG BREEDERS test their breeding pairs for these markers. Any reputable breeder who is dedicated to the betterment of the breed knows about this test and is using it in their breeding program. A Pug should NOT have to go through this and NO ONE should have their heart broken because of this.

Unfortunately the test was not available before Emma was born in 2006, so there was no way to know if she was at a high risk of being susceptible to PDE. Once it’s confirmed that a Pug has succumbed to PDE and brought to the attention of the breeder, it is the responsibility of the breeder to notify all of their purchasers of the case of PDE. There is no way to predict if a Pug will have PDE, you can only be aware of the signs and symptoms. At that point, all you can do is hold on for dear life because you’re in for one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure all breeders do not breed the high susceptibility risk Pugs together.
What YOU can do in Memory of Emma!

Learn as much as you can about PDE and share it with other Pug lovers.

Before purchasing a Pug, ask the breeder if he/she is testing their breeding Pugs for the susceptibility to Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). If NOT, politely decline to purchase from them and refer them to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine for information on the test.

Encourage everyone you know to NOT purchase from a breeder who does not test for the susceptibility to Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE).

If you have questions feel free to ask.  I’m up to a respectful educational discussion.

Use this email/post as an educational tool as much as you can.  Feel free to copy this and distribute as you see fit.  All I ask is that you copy as I have written it and note that I am the one who wrote it. 

If you are a Facebook user, please consider voting for Emma’s photo in her memory. You can VOTE& SHARE DAILY through 5/2/12. It would be great to win a $100 gift certificate to Mud Bay in her Memory.

Subscribe to and share this blog that I created in Memory of Emma.

Hug and snuggle your precious Pugs for me today. You never know what tomorrow brings.

Mindy Elie
Facebook ID puggedbymeeko

Saddened by the loss of my Pug Emma

My precious little Pug girl was taken from us exactly one week after her symptoms first started. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have such wonderful supportive friends and family.
Your posts, emails and phone calls mean the world to me.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

I received Emma's ashes and the results the necropsy Thursday evening (4/19/12) and will post soon.