It is that time again where you get to know a pug from the social media scene in our popular Social Pug Profile series. This week it is the incredible and inspiring Doug. Get to know Doug The Pug Therapy Dog in his interview.
Name: Doug the Pug Therapy Dog
Age: I’m now 7 and a bit! Approaching silver fox George Clooney status!
Birth date: 2nd Dec 2009
Where do you live? London, UK
What is your favourite time of the day?
Any time! I lead a peachy life. I love life and all it has to offer.
What is your favourite food?
This has to be cheese! It’s criminal that it’s so strictly rationed in our house. Us puggies just so love cheese! Maybe it’s because it smells of crusty old sweaty socks! Or have I got that the wrong way round?! Either way, it smells and tastes sooo good!
Do you have a toy that you can’t live without?
I so love playing with my little peeps – they are so much more fun than toys. But if my special little playmates aren’t around, a good wrestle with big dog Molly is great fun. Failing that, anything with a squeaker makes me go a little crazy!
What do you hate the most?
It has to be when little people are being unkind or arguing or just plain sad. It makes me so unhappy to hear any disharmony that my curly little piggy tail completely unravels and falls quite straight.
What do you love the most?
I love being with people who are good and kind. Sometimes I have to look really quite hard but there is nearly always something good and interesting inside every body.
Do you have any bad habits?
What a question?! I might get struck off if such libellous information was to get out! It has been clocked that I sniff the bottoms of other dogs and the lamp posts they like to frequent – but I regard that as the equivalent of my human beans reading the daily news. It’s important to keep appraised of all happenings in the community.
What do you think is your best quality?
I think I share that fine quality with all sweet puggies everywhere. We are good and kind, show no judgement and hold no stigma. Oh how I wish some of those peeps could think like a dog.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up in the morning, entirely at the convenience of my peeps – which I find a little rude, but there you go.
I share my bed with big sis Molly dog and my two very elderly cats. Whoever said that cats and dogs shouldn’t be friends knows nothing about relationships. We should all be happy to choose the friends that make us happy without any discrimination.
Anyway, breakfast follows and then a good run about in our garden. Chasing Molly, and playing hide and seek is such a great start to the day. I like to hide from her, behind a tree, and then jump out. Hah! It always takes her by surprise! I then have a little snooze with Molls whilst the human bean gets washed and dressed. I must say she takes waaay too long, considering what she ends up looking like, but who am I to judge.
We then set off for our working day. Now that varies – so I’m never quite sure where I am going to end up! It’s always a surprise journey! But, I know wherever it is, we will have the best time ever!
Sometimes we share our time with children in a local Pupil Referral Unit, for those little peeps who hold incredible behavioural and emotional challenges which make it hard for them to attend main stream school. I’m such a great incentivisor for those finding it tricky to get started with their studies!
One day a week we attend a local primary school and work on a reading programme called READ2DOGS – I so love that! There, the children read to me instead of their teachers! I never interrupt and I never correct – so they regain a love of learning in a very safe and non threatening environment. It’s so great. The more they read, the more they love hearing their voice out loud, the more they contribute in the classroom across the whole curriculum, the more they socialise outside with their little friends and feel so much happier in their school day! I love this job.
Other days we support adults in the sanctuary of a mental health unit or comfort those in the end of life care ward or hospice – and other days we visit elderly people in their care home. And when these dear beloved friends leave us, we go to their funerals to say good bye. One of my special friends was buried with a photo of me, right next to her in her coffin, so that she would always feel safe and loved. That made my human bean cry even harder than losing this lady as our dear friend.
We also visit families, in a hostel, who find themselves between permanent homes who feel their lives have been turned completely upside down.
We have such wonderful friends of all ages – right from 3 years old up to nearly 100!
We always go to the park on our way home, and sometimes my human bean, Cate, needs a cup of tea and a very large piece of cake somewhere nice if she’s had a tough day. It takes its toll sometimes when we lose a lovely friend – or a little person shares something with us that makes us worried for their welfare. We can’t take that stuff home with us.
When back home, tea time with Molly dog and the kitty cats is a real treat before an evening on the sofa with the peeps. I’m always ready for bed time and have the best bedroom ever. My little friends give me the most fabulous and heart warming cards, letters and pictures ever to be seen and these wonderful pieces of art decorate the walls for me to see as I nod off!
What do you love most about being a Therapy Dog?
Sharing the love is just so great! And getting lots of ear rubs and back scratches in return makes it extra special. We help so many adults from feeling lonely and isolated, and we help so many children feel special and significant. Last year, I won “Most Heroic Hound” award at the National Pet Show in London. I feel really proud to be part of an increasing recognition that supporting positive mental health and emotional well being is being regarded as heroic. It’s so important to know and understand that you have to enjoy good positive mental health in order to be physically well. Look after your soul, my friends. Stay well and be happy.
What do you love most about having a book that can help so many kids?
I love it that “Doug the Pug – A Working Dog’s Tale” is a true story, based on genuine experiences, which can help little peeps to feel good about being true to themselves. Being good and kind is the key to a happy life and differences must be celebrated and not just tolerated. Our wonderful differences bring colour and vibrancy to an otherwise dull grey world. Championing the Human Animal Bond is so important to us. Having all the royalties from our book “Doug the Pug – A Working Dog’s Tale” go back to the charity Pets As Therapy will help more Therapy Dogs like me get out there and help people big and small. In the UK, there are over 200 schools on the waiting list for a Reading Dog. We’d so love that to be a big fat zero!
What is your favourite thing about having an instagram account?
My wonderful insta friends and insta family are so wonderfully supportive and encouraging of all we do. We’re loving instagram more than we ever imagined and cherish the support and guidance we have of fellow Therapy Dogs and friends from around the world. Learning about rehoming and the ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop!’ mantra has been so illuminating for us too. Social media is so good at sharing positive knowledge. As a puppy, I was purchased from a breeder – but we have learned so much from our educators on instagram. Learning how rehoming centres are totally dedicated to finding good kind forever homes is so heartwarming. Acknowledging that we must all recognise how our circumstances may totally change overnight, preventing many of us from caring as we’d like to, gives a greater empathy and understanding. This creates a better platform for people to surrender their pets without any need for abandoning through shame or embarrassment.
Where can we follow your daily adventures?
Lots of places!
Instagram – @dougthepugtherapydog
Facebook – @dougthepugtherapydog
Twitter – @DougPugTherapyDog
Tumbler blog – www.dougthepugtherapydog.com
Website – www.dougthepugtherapydog.com
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Doug the Pug Therapy Dog in this Social Pug Profile interview and be sure to leave a pug love note for him in the comments below.