Dexter & Walter (and their Person, Kari)
The Tales of Pug People knew we’d scored a true Pug Person when we met Kari—she was wearing a pug shirt and pug slippers, but hadn’t planned this for the interview, it’s just how she dresses on a normal basis. And her furchildren, the adorably sad-eyed Walter (named after Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad’) and the deliciously chonky Dexter (NOT named after the TV show serial killer) were stuck to her like glue, waiting to tell their side of the story. You can find these darlings modeling bowties and flannel jammies and brotherly love on Instagram at @pugalugachug
PP: So, Kari, tell us the genesis of your Pug Peopleness. Did you grow up with pugs?
Kari: Actually, I had a miniature dachshund when I was a kid and I loved it so much, I couldn’t imagine having any other kind of dog. But as an adult, I just decided one day that my husband and I needed a pug puppy. I have no idea why, I’d never even met a pug until I saw Dexter for the very first time.
PP: The Mighty Spirit of the Pug entered into you without your knowledge.
Kari: It must have! So, my husband found this breeder and when we got there… you know how it looks in Spain when they open the gate and the bulls run out? That’s what it was like. They opened the door and Dexter and his siblings came pouring out in a stream.
PP: The Running of The Pugs! Did you have an immediate draw towards Dexter?
Kari: We liked him because he was the biggest. He looks quite chonky, but it’s mostly fur.
PP: So, when you took His Chonkiness home, did you immediately become a Pug Person?
Kari: I think so, but it didn’t register that I was a full-blown PP until I was at work and people would say, “Do you have kids?” and I’m, like, “Yeah, kind of, I have two pugs.” I never say dogs, I always say pugs. And now my co-workers always ask, “How’s Dexter? How’s Walter?” and they don’t even ask me how I am… yeah, that’s it. I’m a Pug Person.
PP: Yep, we get you. We love to talk with other Pug People about our shared craziness--
*Brief pause while interviewers debate over appropriateness of the phrase “shared craziness”. After much discussion, they land on “shared exquisite taste”.
PP: Do your co-workers ask because you have family photos of your furchildren on your desk?
Kari: It’s mostly that I’m constantly pimping their Instagram page. Actually, Dexter and Walter have more followers than my company’s Instagram account and the social media manager keeps saying that they’ll catch up to me someday and I’m, like, uh huh, sure.
PP: Can we just break in here with an observation? Why does Walter look like he’s about to burst into tears?
Kari: I know! That’s just his face. When we take pictures, my husband has to stand behind me with a treat so Walter doesn’t look so sad. He always looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he has the easiest life ever. Seriously, he has three beds.
PP: He must be having Deep Pug Thoughts. Speaking of what goes on inside their little round heads, do Dexter and Walter have ‘voices’?
Kari: Oh yeah, I talk to them all the time and I try to give them their own ‘voices’ on the Instagram page. Dexter is like Garfield, the grumpy guy who wants to be happy, but if you catch him being happy, he’ll stop and pretend he wasn’t. And Walter is kind of dopey. Not dumb, just more… go with the flow.
PP: What’s the weirdest piece of pug paraphernalia you own?
Kari: Well, my mom goes to Home Goods like five times a week and she’s constantly bringing us weird pug stuff, like Halloween wine glasses with pugs on them. Um, why do these exist? And I have so many pug calendars from her, I say, “Mom, a person really only needs one calendar.” I tell her you have to scale back a little with the pug stuff, but then I’m buying it too, so I can’t really talk. Oh, and random people will give me pug socks and dish towels and send me photos of bumper stickers with pugs on them and I’m like, “yeah, that’s awesome, but please don’t take pictures while you’re driving.”
PP: Safety first, even when it comes to pug sightings. Okay, Kari, it’s your big moment: what’s your True Pug Confession, the weirdest thing you do with your pugs?
Kari: Hmmm. Well… is it weird that my husband and I call Dexter Big Shnu and Walter Little Shnu and at Christmas, we sing Christmas carols and put Shnu or Shnushy into all the lyrics, like in “Jingle Bells”?
Kari: Oh, and I also call them my pumpkin pies—
PP: Wait, wait, wait, we have to go back to the “Jingle Bells” thing. Do you mean you sing something like, “Shnushy bells, shnushy bells, shnushy all the way…”
Kari: Yeah, probably. Okay, I’m embarrassed now.
PP: You can’t be embarrassed. Pug People cannot be embarrassed.
Kari: That’s true. Pug People will come running up to me on the street and launch into elaborate stories about their pugs and I’m, like, “That’s so great, but mine just pooped so I have to pick it up now.” You can always spot a Pug Person. They just ooze pugness.
PP: What do you love most about the breed?
Kari: They’re little clowns. Seriously, I’ve never met a wet mop pug.