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  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

Bamei (and her Person, Jin Lei)

Pug People, we are overwhelmed by stardom: it’s the famous Tongue Pug, Bamei! We’ve been obsessed with her from the moment we set foot (finger?) into Instagram, so being able to interview the Queen and her sweet Person, Jin Lei, is a dream come true. Prepare yourselves for tales of tongues, vacuuming, black snowballs, and a sweet little half-pug making the journey from Shanghai to Denmark.

PP: Jin Lei, we’re so excited to have you here! We’ve loved Bamei for so long, way before we started interviewing Pug People.

Jin Lei: This is quite a joy for us as well, because to be honest, next month Bamei is thirteen years old and she’s tired all the time now. This will be a lifetime memory. I ask her to hold on so she can be here, but in reality… okay, this is just nice.

PP: Make us cry right out of the gate! Okay, first question: what breed is Bamei besides pug?

Jin Lei: Pug, Pekingese, and Tibetan terrier. And we’re sure of that, because we had a DNA test.

We hear loud barking in the background that does not sound like Bamei’s “yip yip aroooo”.

PP: Is that Niu Niu? (Jin Lei’s English bulldog)

Jin Lei: Yes, she hears our conversation.

PP: And we were so sorry to hear about San San (Jin Lei’s three-legged poodle who recently went to the rainbow bridge). We loved seeing him.

Jin Lei: Yes, poor San San. I probably let that go too long, I think he was in pain towards the end. If I had known better, I don’t think it was necessary for him to bear such a painful life.

We all have a moment of sadness, but we're unable to be sad for too long because Bamei is just too adorable to ignore for more than ten seconds.

PP: Bamei was one of the first pugs we followed. We were obsessed with her tongue and with the little captions where she would talk. We love the younger pictures of her. She looks so different now; somehow, she’s managed to get cuter over the years.

Jin Lei: Yes, the difference between her youth time and now is… well, at first the vet never suggested Bamei should be on a diet. After three years old, we got the advice every time. But we never manage for her to lose anything. (laughs) At least she’s been this same weight for a very long time.

PP: She’s just so cute and round, we can’t even take it. And when she waddles with that tongue hanging out…

Jin Lei: You know, Bamei’s from Shanghai. She’s quite a traveler, came all the way from China to Denmark to live.

PP: What made you decide to relocate?

Jin Lei: My daughter’s school. School in China, too stressful.

PP: Stressful because--? Oops, hang on, we can’t get off track talking about human children. Does Bamei have any distinct characteristics as compared to your other dogs?

Jin Lei: Well, she’s the queen.

PP: Definitely the queen. It’s in her Instagram handle.

Jin Lei: She enjoys bossing around NiuNiu. Bamei has a line and when NiuNiu cross that line… not happy.

PP: NiuNiu understands the hierarchy in the home.

Jin Lei: That’s for sure. I worried that maybe Bamei was bullying her, but NiuNiu obviously cares about her. When they go for a walk, NiuNiu gets a few steps ahead because Bamei moves slow, but NiuNiu will then stop and wait for her. She won’t move until Bamei catch up.

PP: Does Bamei shed like a pug?

Jin Lei: (groans) That’s for sure. A lot, a lot.

PP: We were wondering if the terrier part of her canceled out any of that.

Jin Lei: Noooo, she’s known for the shedding. That’s why we Dyson her.

PP: Oh, of course! How could we forget your Bamei-vacuuming?! Has she always been the alpha, even from puppyhood?

Jin Lei: Queen. Always. She was the first and so we always fed her first, give her the snacks first. We made sure she’s alpha.

PP: We see how she sasses NiuNiu when they’re eating. And it goes on for a while because it takes Bamei a long time to finish 'cause she doesn’t have many teeth, right? Actually, does she have any?

Jin Lei: Several. Well… we see that she has two on top and two on bottom. That might be it.

PP: Do you have a favorite story or memory of Bamei?

Jin Lei: Lately, the favorite moments are when she leaves a special gift in front of my door for me to step in.

PP: Senior dogs, right?

Jin Lei: The first time we met her, as a puppy, her brother was the first one we saw. So cute, so many wrinkles. We were considering to take the brother, then all of a sudden, Bamei runs out of the door like a black snowball, right at us and… decision made.

PP: The black snowball with the pink tongue.

Jin Lei: We regret a little bit taking out her womb so she couldn’t be a mother. We did it because San San was too desperate. But we’re sad that we don’t have her babies.

PP: That would have been an interesting combination, Bamei and San San’s babies.

Jin Lei: Because he was missing a leg, it would be impossible for him to, um, complete the action. So it was just too miserable for San San.

PP: You didn’t want to frustrate him. Sexual frustration in a poodle, not a pretty sight.

Jin Lei: Poor, poor San San.

PP: Jin Lei, do you have a True Pug Confession?

Jin Lei: I rub her belly and sing some ridiculous Chinese song, modified to Bamei’s version. Oh, and I am obsessed with playing with her tongue.

PP: We won’t ask this too loud, just in case Niu Niu hears: is Bamei your favorite?

Jin Lei: Oh, yes, definitely. Definitely. (looks around for NiuNiu) I don’t think she hears me.

Bamei has a big heart. It’s a joy to put her pictures up. If I don’t, my day is not complete. As she gets older, I’m more and more attached to her. I was always, but it grows. I pray that she can live so long. I wish she would be here always.

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