Wednesday, 11 November 2015

BRACHY WEEK: Olive the Pug

This is Olive. 

Olive was born in 2003 - bred by UK show breeder and judge Dawn Andow. Mrs Andow and her daughter Amanda Ellis breed Pugs (and Frenchies and Brittanys) under the Eastonite affix.  It was an Eastonite pug who sired  George the Pug, who featured in Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

When Olive was three years old, she was diagnosed with entropion, distichiasis (eyelashes that rub the eyes, often causing corneal ulcers) and pigmentary keratitis. To help her, Olive had a medial canthoplasty on both eyes. This corrected the entropion and reduced the size of the palpebral opening (essentially reducing the amount of eye showing - which helps protect the eye from further trauma).

The same year, Olive started to have paroxysmal seizures - no one knows what causes them, but they are a fairly common Pug problem. She has between 1-3 episodes a year.

Two years later, aged 5, Olive began to have problems with her spine due to disc issues.  She suffers from rear-end weakness that has worsened as she has aged.

In 2009, Olive was diagnosed with Grade 3 laryngeal collapse and had surgery to widen her nostrils, resect her soft palate and remove her everted laryngeal saccules.

As the heart-breaking video shows, although surgery helps a lot, BOAS is progressive.

Olive copes with her disabilities with considerable chutzpah... she remains a happy little girl and despite it all, still enjoys a reasonable quality of life. She shares her life with one-eyed Pug Ken - and is greatly loved by her owner, veterinary nurse Kate Price.


  1. It's one thing to care for the dogs you have, warts & all. It's another to deliberately create dogs with these issues.

  2. And as a very influential Kennel have Eastonite anything to say about this extreme cruelty bred into this dear little pug?

  3. The law needs to be changed so that owners can claim back all or a percentage of their vet bills for problems caused by breeding or conformation. If breeders started to get hit financially they would soon want to breed healthier dogs.

    Chris R.

    1. Maybe for things that are not visible to the naked eye, but when you purchase a brachy breed you can't exactly wash yourself of responsibility for creating your own financial problems. People need to do research when they purchase a dog. Failure to do so isn't the breeder's fault, it's yours. Which is not to say that the breeder can wash themselves of fault completely for producing these dogs in the first place, but if someone is foolish enough to buy one then they aren't completely innocent.

    2. NO to legislation against breeding defects.
      NO to buyers bearing responsibility for whats produced.

      I agree there is a responsibility to research. Most do. The closed registry system has created a monster that can only become ever more specialized and complicated. Whats relevant knowledge today is already out dated in many cases by the time of a dogs life span.

      Many breeders are unable to keep up with the changes and challenges over a single dogs generation. The average buyer has no hope and any who show that much dedication as is required to keep up are as qualified as a breeder!

      Legislation is an attempt by the environment to reject what is too costly to hold. Its needed only because there is no responsibility from the organization to the environment.
      Legislation is rejection by the environment. It does not address the cause, only a single symptom. There will be more to reject, and more legislation that shrinks the species in our communities until the CAUSE is addressed!

      If the K.Cs won't accept responsibility to the environment by demonstrating value, the COST to the environment wont be borne.

      So we get legislation that limits the cost to the environment, by limiting direction of the species. The more you limit direction, the more you limit available response, adaptability and available environment.

      Legislating against breeding of defects is a dangerous precedent. It sends a message that there is no excuse for defects affecting life quality or environment. (That is open to interpretation) and producing such defects should be punishable.That is contrary to reasonable expectations of life, that it SHOULD be predictable and pedigrees are the only viable answer to address that.

      Dam it, how the do I explain? The only solution is a change of the K.Cs constitution and rules that accepts the environment for dogs as a species lies out side of the K.Cs. Only then will they be able to accept their responsibilities to teach a value for what they do.

      Without that, purpose is lost. Without purpose there is no value to support and the costs of supporting the species becomes untenable.This will be evidenced through fewer buying dogs and legislation that reduces available space supporting them.

      There needs to be environmental input into the breeding of dogs if they are to remain relevant to man. The K.Cs rules and constitution deny this interdependence and sets up a biological imperative that will serve to remove dogs from the community.

    3. Im not understanding @)02:21 ....

    4. Ill try another way.
      A successful ideology works when it brings benefit to the environment it serves.
      The idea of using a pedigree to record a dogs breeding for reference and understanding of the bloodlines that created it is one such ideology and could bring great benefits. Which is why it has the support it does.

      BUT a species ultimate success is not determined by that ideology.
      Its determined by continued support from the environment. That for domestic dogs, means the human community.To keep that support, it must respond to demands and stressors imposed.

      When the K.Cs were created though, they ruled against any of their members breeding a dog ineligible for registration. Anything out side their own ideology.

      Instead of having an ideology that serves the environment by bringing value, its changed to a doctrine the environment and species is expected to support REGARDLESS of value delivered.
      The doctrine comes before the species its meant to support.
      The species doesn't depend on the doctrine for success, it depends on the environment.
      The doctrine doesn't support the environment, the species or take responsibility for either. It can't respond.

      The doctrine supports only itself. The doctrine can't come before the species its meant to benefit.
      It can't replace the environment that supports the species, but that is what it attempts to do.

      The species is not free to adapt and evolve through response to environmental demands while this doctrine claims "Right of way".

      The value we get from domestic dogs and support is in the species.
      Pedigree dogs are large part of that species, Driving a doctrine instead of a response.Demanding favor in direction. Not because of any value delivered by a pedigree or an ideology of best practice, but for a pedigree/doctrine that Represents an ideology instead of promoting one.

      It limits response and adaptation to what the doctrine itself contains.The environment is hostile

    5. And again... A species success depends on the environments support.

      The environment will mostly support what adds value.
      Messages pass from the environment to the species, and the species to the environment, through stresses and pressures.

      ie. If a species over populates to the extent it places stress on the environment that supports it, food becomes scarce and stresses the species in turn. If the species does not respond to that stress in a way that benefits its environment, the environment will not be able to continue that support/ food supply and the species dies out or diminishes to sustainable levels.
      On the other hand, if that species keeps the environment healthy, its betterable to support the species. The healthiest environment is mostly one supportive of maximum diversity, since it allows maximum range of response. An environment is a space, made up of what it supports.
      There is an "expectation" from the environment that what it supports brings value and "costs" least for the environments health and continued support. That it serves a purpose.

      The human environment that supports domestic dogs is no different.Messages are passed from the species Dog, to the environment that supports them, Man.

      Man the environment shapes Dog the species. Only now we have the K.Cs. Their ideology of using records to maximize benefit to Man the environment was sound, and could have brought favor to dogs bred under that ideology. Through greater support for greater value.

      But in ruling against dogs NOT bred utilizing their records, they corrupted the message sent from the species to man/environment to species.
      Its no longer any resulting value given through continued records that will be favored by the environment.
      The message says its the CONTINUED RECORD that gives value.

      Not the more efficient response and purpose a favored PRACTICE of those records may allow. The unrecorded has no purpose or value worthy of support.

      That alters expectations of the Man the environment

      Instead of species reliability, Man should expect species predictability, as recorded.
      Reliability is shaped by environmental pressures and stressors directing favorable response. Environmental expectation of value/purpose driving evolutionary change and adaptation.

      The K.Cs, the message says, should not be driven by those expectations to achieve favor. That is bestowed by the predictable success of a pedigree.

      So, Man the environment can place as much pressure as they want on the K.C members to change their culture to one worthy of support. They're unable to recognize their response-ability to the environment that hold them until they are forced to recognize its not the practice, or "fixed response", of a "Pedigree" that makes the dog. Its the practice and responses that lead to specimens worthy of pedigrees.

      More to come.

    6. The K.Cs depend on a fixed response to achieve success.
      Lines are closed because only what is recorded ,documented and known is to be trusted.
      The K.Cs are defined by the pedigrees every dog they produce must have before it can be utilized. Not by the breeding of dogs.

      So a pedigree gets promoted instead of the practices used to produce a viable specimen of dog.
      A person is no judged on their practices 1st, or the results they produce.
      They must produce that pedigree before anything else can even be recognized.
      The fixed response is to use whats familiar and known only. Not to look further afield for solutions or improvement, but use only whats to hand, no matter how depleted that becomes.
      So to "improve" whats there, using only whats there, must be done through elimination.
      There are no new, improved responses available to the K.Cs. Only whats known recorded and familiar.Whats available can only shrink.

      If you see the K.Cs as the environment of Pedigree dogs, whats happening to the dogs is clear to us. It doesn't involve us, except in our rejection of it. K.Cs are the environment for Pedigree dogs.

      But what is happening to the environment of the K.Cs? That DOES involve us because its made up of us. And its a mirror image, only not a physical cleansing, but a cultural one.
      Elimination of dogs not bred by the K.Cs, with a bestowed pedigree to validate our practices.
      A rejection of our ability to respond effectively, with out a pedigree to validate any care we might take in breeding dogs. Invalid with out a pedigree.

      So society forgets how to respond to the species. Our responses to it must be taught, through demonstration, before we can recognize any value.

      Just like I can insist there is a answer to this mess, but no one can respond to that until I can find a way to demonstrate it and show the value.

      In the meantime, we are reduced. Our ability to respond to the species, Domestic Dog is reduced and eliminated. That ability is with held by the K.Cs, whos demonstrations of value take place in the show ring and K.C sanctioned trials.
      Not to the greater environment.

      Our difficulties in responding effectively to to the species result in welfare issues, bite stats, management and health issues, poor choices all 'round. We are not TAUGHT HOW TO RESPOND, or to recognize the value of effective response. Our attempts are invalidated. So we are reduced.

      Dog bites increasing? There is no response available but elimination of dogs that bite. Not in our ability to respond. But the K.Cs will make dogs for us that have the bite response eliminated. Their response is enough for us all. A pedigree.

  4. Makes me so sad (for the dog) and angry (at society). Why, why, WHY do people keep breeding and buying these pathetic animals? The answer to the first question is because of the second. If we can get animal lovers and pet owners to realize how brachycephalics suffer for fashion, maybe we can quell the demand. Thank You, Jemima, for your efforts to educate.

    1. I cannot understand why a vet nurse would entertain such a breed in the first place?

  5. Mmm...since animal welfare seems such a low priority maybe it needs something outrageous- like a prosecution from Trading Standards? Why should a car, a dishwasher, a bar of soap be something that's required to be of reasonable quality but not a living, suffering puppy?

  6. Im wondering if pugs have ever been quite right.

    I came across this excerpt in "Best in Show Daily" in an article written by Lee Conners "PUGS ARE HERE TO STAY", its primarily about the black pug but this bit isn't :

    In the ‘stock-keeper’ of April 1885, under the heading of ‘Pug frightened to death’ appears:
    ‘One of the entries at the Central Hall was that of the Pug, ‘Lady Rosebud’ but the bitch was absent, having died from fright caused by being chased by another of her owner’s Pugs which was tied to a basket. The dog dragged the basket along and so frightened Lady Rosebud and another ‘Prince Edward’ that both died. Their owner, Captain C R Harris, last year lost a Pug under very similar circumstances. It was frightened to death by a tramp looking into the room through a window.’

    If this to be believed they were dying of stress, exertion related breathing problems or just bad breeding for quite some time. However Lee doesn't see it this way and concludes:

    "Whatever their colour the charming, charismatic Pug is here to stay and it does appear that today's examples certainly have a far hardier constitution then their ancestors."

    He should meet up with Olive and Ken or any of the hundreds, probably thousands of ailing little mopsies.

    Or maybe its just a light historical interlude, three dead pugs terrified to death? Maybe this makes pugs sound even more adorably fragile and desirable, like the sound effects of desparate squishy flat faced gasps for oxygen do?

    I still have a soft spot for black pugs but an F1 cross is far more advisable, a cross with almost anything little small and possibly also black will do. Pedigree pugs are so extreme a cross with any even slightly short nosed little dog produces delightful but less extreme results. The short hair seems to dominate.

  7. Sam, an Irish Setter living in Holland, suffered horribly from an inherited disease and when his owner told the breeder, the breeder denied that such a condition existed in his bloodline. So Sam's owner pursued it and won, if you can call losing a much loved dog at an early age because the breeder knew his bloodline was producing health problems, winning. So, breeders cannot stand back and say, "well it's a pug, they're damaged, deal with it" or "it's the first case", or "it's the sire" or whatever excuse they try and shake off their responsibility. There is a young lawyer out there who will take on these cases on a no win no fee basis and when others see him winning, the floodgates will open. Sam's horrible suffering means that he has set a precedence and breeders had better beware.

  8. I certainly did write to my spaniel's breeder when I lost him but never received a reply. I don't underplay my own responsibility though I went to a reputable breeder recommended by word of mouth as one who bred I was told healthy dogs for work not show. What I didn't ask was whether the gene pool for good working dogs was bigger than for show? Turned out it was a lot smaller. Did he know? Yes I would think so. But did he 10 years ago understand the implications of the science? Probably not. Back then neither did I. It's a hard lesson that I try to tell everyone about and admit my own part in learning.

  9. Abysmal! The mainstream dog-owning public just doesn't think of these things when they buy into pug cuteness, etc. It's a lost perspective. And the reality just doesn't get nearly enough air time.

  10. Very sad, but also surprised that a vet nurse has selected such a breed.