Monday, August 10, 2009

What's up with all the pug stuff?

This past weekend, Nich and I went to the 500 Festival of Pugs, a fundraiser for one of my favorite no-kill animal rescues, Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. The question I get asked over and over is "Why pugs?" People ask if I own a pug, or did I used to have a pug? Maybe I always wanted a pug, and am planning to get one in the future?

The truth is, I'm really more of a cat person. Don't get me wrong, I think pugs are freakin' adorable (I have ever since seeing Milo and Otis as a kid). I may even have to rescue one some day - I've never been much of a small dog person (I'd rather a Great Dane over a Pomeranian anyday!), but Pugs are a huge exception. I mean, just look at those squishy little faces, and all those chubby wrinkles! Not to mention the fact that they're actually pretty smart, not really yappy, and love to snuggle up on the couch with you. I think they have the best personality a little dog could possibly have, and they just love everyone.

I used to work at Petco, and was put in charge of coordinating adoption events and working with the animal rescues that came into our store. My absolute favorite of all the rescues I worked with was Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. These people are wonderful, dedicated, and absolutely tireless. They do everything in their power to save a pug in need, and have raised pretty extraordinary amounts of money to help pugs with extensive medical issues. They really were an inspiration to me, and I decided I wanted to help if I could.

There was one volunteer in particular that I became good friends with, Annie, who was there at Petco week after week, telling people about the rescue and helping us get donations for all the adoption groups we had. She's awesome, and one of my favorite people. I offered at some point to make some ceramic items for KPR as a donation, for them to use in their raffles and fundraisers. I had just learned how to do laser decals, and thought it would be cute to get some thrift store mugs and put pug designs on them. Annie was not only enthusiastic about the idea, but she encouraged me to become a vendor at some of KPR's fundraiser festivals. She even gave me ideas for designs, giving me a list of her favorite pug sayings for me to draw inspiration from.

Annie and KPR are really the reason I started an Etsy and started selling my work. I hadn't done so much as a craft fair before I met them, but they've encouraged me to keep it up, and they've been kind enough to give me feedback and even make a purchase or two (or 5 or 7 or who knows? KPR volunteers are pretty awesome people). So, in exchange for getting my feet wet with the whole business thing, I make pug stuff, and I donate 10% of my sales to them. I think they deserve every penny, both for what they do for those dogs, and what they've done for me.

And who knows? One day, I may very well have a pug of my own, and by then I'll be really good at making dog bowls:)

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