At 10am on New Year’s Eve, 2013 the email came in from the Arizona Humane Society. “We have an adorable senior Pug gentleman in need of rescue placement at AHS. I doubt at his age AHS would neuter before going to rescue and due to his possible heart condition. Please let us know if you can help him! We are closed at 12pm today and all day tomorrow, but resume normal business hours on Thursday.”
I opened the attached information and found out the pug was 13 years old, had been surrendered the day before, and had a severe Heart murmur, possible heart disease, and was blind. I certainly didn’t want him having to stay in the shelter over the holiday.
I emailed back, “APARN will take him. I think I can have someone there before you close.”
True to our word, APARN’s volunteer was at the shelter by 11:30am to pick up this sweet old boy. Due to his advanced age and heart murmur, he would not be able to be neutered. This meant he could not be adopted, as APARN does not adopt out unaltered pugs. So he would become a “Forever Foster,” and live out his life in the loving care of one of APARN’s foster homes.
Sadly, the fact he could not withstand anesthesia due to his heart issues also prevented him from getting his teeth cleaned. The vet said it was too big a risk for him.
A forever foster home was selected, and knowing she was a Harry Potter fan, we gave her the honor of selecting a name for this boy. “Alastor” was chosen, and so the 13-year old, 14 pound blind pug was named for the tough and awesome wizard, Mad-Eye Moody!
Alastor’s foster mom describes him as a “spunky lil’ fellow” whose favorite activities are sleeping and swimming. Not many pugs are good swimmers, but this little guy loves swimming so much that if you hold him up in the air and tell him to swim, he’ll doggy paddle right along! He also likes to cuddle and give doggy kisses.
Whereas Alastor is a good swimmer, he’s not very stable when it comes to walking. It doesn’t take much to knock him over, and the other pugs in his foster home have learned to be careful around him. It’ s amazing just how adaptable pugs are.