Ode to Pogo
When I remember Pogo, I go back to the day all four of his family members took him for a walk around the ponding basin. He had a spring in his step that made his cute little ears flop up and down. His gait looked like a prance, as if he was so proud to be with his peeps.
He left this world on June 30, 2022 peacefully going to sleep in his bed on the floor next to us. He never woke up. Here is his story:
He joined our family when another family decided to take him to the SPCA. Before he was driven there, my dad asked if he could take him instead, which they agreed to. My dad posted a picture of him on Facebook and I called to inquire about the dog. I asked if he could come for a sleepover and my dad agreed. Once he got to our home, that was it. He was an immediate member of our family. He went with us everywhere.
Michael was his Best Friend, RJ was his Bro Bro.
We created a Facebook page for him called ‘Pogo Polyack,’ it’s still up if you would like to visit.
When any of us left and came back, he would first see who was coming in, then he would go to his pile of toys, we all would ask, ‘What you gettin’?’ as he carefully chose one and prance it toward the returning family member while wagging his entire hind quarters and walking around with said toy. Once we saw what he had chosen we would say ‘Oh, (fill in the toy name).’ We always used the same name for the same toy. His selection included big reindeer, little reindeer, puppy, stocking, bear, dog, tiger, and beaver. Regarding tiger, Pogo found him on the road during a walk. He picked him up and carried him all the way back to the house.
He hated to be alone. If we were all gone, he would howl loudly. If we were walking, we could hear his howling from half a block away.
The vet said that he had a rare tail because of the double twirl. When he was relaxed, the tail would unwind. It would re-wind quickly at anything that made him more aware.
We had several nicknames for him including Rare-tailed-Pug, Pugalicious, and Pogohontis.
He loved going for walks. If the word was ever used, he would jump up and begin barking. As he got older, the walks got shorter until he couldn’t walk except for around the house and yard.
He also especially liked the word ‘meat.’ Every night at 5 pm he expected a few pieces of ham. He knew when it was time, but occasionally tried to trick us into thinking it was time when it wasn’t.
Because of his big neck and little face, he had to really work at eating. Consequently, he would get food all over his neck. I had to take a wet paper towel to clean it off after every meal. He got used to this procedure. When I would say, ‘Ladies like a clean bib,’ He would lift his head up and back so that I could wipe him down.
One day when my husband was taking Pogo for a walk a French Bulldog named Cupcake attacked him and bit his eye. By the next morning, the eye had turned blue. We had to go to the emergency pet hospital 30 miles away and wait for several hours to be seen. The vet said that he would have lost the eye if we had waited another day. After several weeks of medication, where I would say, ‘Look up at the sky. See the birds?’ he would lift his head up so that I could put the drops in his eye. He never was able to see out of it again, but he got to at least keep it in the socket. It took some time before he learned his way around without bumping into walls and furniture. We can mark this as the beginning of his slide into old age.
Toward the end, he would stand in front of a wall and stare at it for long periods of time. He would get overheated, so we had to keep the air conditioning on. He had a doggie door and would go outside in the heat and forget how to get back in the house.
When he left, it was interesting to realize how integrated he was in our lives. I could now open the front door in the mornings for fresh air without worrying that he would escape, I could unload groceries without him dashing over to the neighbor’s yard to leave a present, I didn’t have to feed him twice a day, there was more room in the office and master bedroom without his beds. So many memory triggers for each of us.
When he first came to live with us we had a Catahoula Leopard Dog named Catahoula, or Cat. Pogo loved her dearly, as did we all. When Cat passed, all of us were sad and Pogo became even more focused on us. We imagine that he is with her now in heaven, chasing butterflies and waiting for the rest of his family to reunite with him.
There never has, and never will be, a pug that is loved more than Pogo Polyack.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.