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  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

Happy & Lotus (and their Person, Lisa)

If you’ve seen fun Instagram games like “Frenchie, Griffon, or Pug?” or “What’s That Mood Wednesday?”, you’ve experienced the delights of @pugs.only and its founder, Lisa. Because the Pug Sisters like the story behind the story, we wanted to hear Lisa’s ‘Pug Tale’ and meet her adorable duo, Lotus and Happy. We hope you enjoy this complete and thorough Pug Peopleness!

PP: Lisa, we’re big fans of @pugs.only and, shockingly, frequently fail at the ‘Frenchie, Griffon, or Pug’ game. Can you tell us a bit about your pug history?

Lisa: Oh, gosh. As you can tell from the AOL email account, I’ve loved pugs for a long time. I was 23 when I got my first pug. My neighbor had a pug named Pugsley and I immediately decided that pugs were the cutest dogs I’d ever seen.

PP: So wise, even at such a young age.

Lisa: I desperately wanted one for Christmas and on Christmas morning my husband accidentally left the door open and Pugsley came running in and got in my lap. In my excitement, I thought it was the pug puppy I’d asked for.

PP: Oh, dear. It was not.

Lisa: Nope. So, I thought if my husband’s not going to make it happen for me, I’m going to make it happen for myself. I got Biscuit and I’ve had a pug ever since. But this is the first time I’ve ever had two at once.

PP: We love double pug action. Are you enjoying it?

Lisa: I do! Because they make little pug piles and they amuse each other.

PP: Do you consider Happy and Lotus a married couple?

Lisa: Of course! I got Happy first and then Lotus, because I wanted her to be his bride and they would have puppies, but Happy doesn’t know what he’s doing. He can’t figure it out. Lotus is willing but Happy is confused, he keeps humping her from the side. I try to turn him around and they both look at me like, mind your business.

PP: One of the benefits of a Zoom interview is being ‘in’ Pug People’s homes. We’re now snooping and looking for pug paraphernalia.

Lisa: I have tons of it, but this is the bedroom and I try to keep it somewhat paraphernalia free, so they don’t think it’s their shrine.

PP: Good plan. Pugs don’t need any more worship than they already get.

Lisa: But the living room is kind of a shrine, I’ll be honest. I have a lot of pug paintings. I went with my mom and my two kids to a Paint Your Pug night and we all painted pugs, but just a little bit different with different background colors and things. Those four paintings are the feature.

PP: So cool! Do you have any weird pug stuff?

Lisa: I don’t know if I have anything weird. Well, come to think of it, I do have a number of pug lip glosses, for some inexplicable reason. But I guess I don’t see anything as weird because I think all pug paraphernalia is normal. If my kids were here, they would be able to give a laundry list of weird pug things I own.

PP: I guess it’s about perspective. Are you saying your kids are not Pug People?

Lisa: No. I mean, they care about them, but they really don’t love me referring to the pugs as their brother and sister. Actually, I refer to Lotus as their sister-in-law because she’s Happy’s wife, and they like that even less. My son is particularly jealous of my relationship with Happy, my other son.

PP: Lisa, we have a feeling about you. Are you someone who makes up voices for your pugs?

Lisa: Yes. Definitely. Happy’s voice is kind of scratchy and Lotus has a soft, southern belle voice.

PP: Can you pretty please give us an example?

Lisa: Oh, dear. Okay, Lotus, inspire me. (she looks into Lotus’ eyes and in a dead-on Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara:) “May Ah please have a treat? Because everyone else is getting’ a treat, so Ah I think Ah deserve a treat.”

PP: Wow. You were very committed. We felt it.

Lisa: Thank you. And thank you for sharing, Lotus.

PP: Lisa, tell us about how you came up with Pugs Only.

Lisa: I originally just put some pictures up of Happy and Lotus and then added some other cute pugs. So, it was kind of accidental. At first I didn’t think anybody was really reading what I wrote, so I was being extra sassy in my descriptions. And then I started doing the quizzes and the games, and people started following, and I got a little worried that I was being too sassy.

PP: Ha, yessss, we get that.

Lisa: Lately, I haven’t been posting as many games and such. I’m a nurse and I was on the Covid unit. And it just knocked me out. But I appreciate coming home to my two little therapists.

PP: What do you love most about pugs and their People?

Lisa: I love pugs’ eyes, so soulful. Pugs want to be with you, they want to make you happy. They play a little bit and then it’s nap time and that’s very much my vibe. And Pug People are phenomenal. They get it. They have the same kind of heart and a great sense of humor. When I feel depleted because of my work, I come home and read my pug mail. It’s a very joyous thing.

PP: Do you get to wear pug scrubs at work? That could help.

Lisa: I wish! We’re only allowed to wear plain blue scrubs. But when I get home, the sheer amount of pug clothing I own, the shirts, pajamas, underwear, socks, slippers… unbelievable. Nurses categorically wear scrubs at work and pajamas at home because we spend a lot of our time away from work sleeping. I have an entire pug wardrobe.

PP: So, the odds we’re going to find you wearing pug clothing after a shift…?

Lisa: 100%.

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