Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meet Burlee

If days have personalities, today’s is blah. It’s grey and cloudy. It’s not cold, but not warm either. It rained overnight so more snow is gone, but there are still ugly patches of at the curbs. The ice cover in the harbor is solid; the open water has ice near the shore. The ice is not moving; it’s just sitting there being blah.

So this is a good day to tell you about my buddy, Burlee. I have talked about Burlee, the pug, and even shown a picture of him. Now it is time to introduce this important member of our family and the reason for my afternoon walks.

Burlee is a great little dog, and the smallest dog Michael and I have ever owned. We had two other dogs since we have been married, one a purebred over-grown Golden Retriever and the other a Golden-Irish Setter mix. Three years ago when we were considering getting another dog, we had already downsized our home and decided to downsize our dog as well. Michael did a good bit of research and after much discussion, we decided to look at a pug. We contacted the Great Lakes Pug Rescue group and the rest is history.

The day we went to look at Burlee (we could meet him but the rules were that was just an introduction – it was easier to adopt our children than this dog), I was still not sure I even wanted another dog. Dogs mean work. Dogs need attention. This dog would need frequent walking, as we do not have a yard. Did I want to do this?

But as soon as I saw Burlee (he came with the name and its spelling) I was hooked. I fell in love with him the same way (well, almost the same way) I fell in love with my children the first time I laid eyes on them. When we finally brought Burlee home two weeks after our initial meeting, he walked into our house, jumped up on the couch, and settled himself in. He was home.

Burlee had not been mistreated. We rescued him from a life of boredom. The family who had him before was never home and he was alone much of the time. Pugs are very social, affectionate dogs. They need people. And people need them. They make wonderful pets.

Burlee seems to enjoy our afternoon walks a lot, but these pictures show him doing something else he enjoys very much – curling up on the couch, surrounded by pillows. I thought this thing about burying himself in pillows was unique to Burlee, but I recently read a book where the author described a dog, also a pug, as one who loved to nestle under things. Further research showed that it is a pug thing.

I don’t think Burlee had ever been near water before we got him.
The first time we took him to the beach, he ran away from the waves. He wouldn’t get his feet wet at all. However, eventually he got thirsty and inched up to the edge of the water to take a drink. Gradually he became less timid. He still doesn’t swim but he will follow us into the water – to a point, that point being his tummy. We have tried to coax him in deeper but so far, he has not done it. Eventually, he might go in all the way. After all, you do expect a dog named Burlee not to be blah, but to be brave and… well, burley.

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