Leo (and his Person, Mia)
The Tales of Pug People became enamored with Leo, the youngest member of a large grumble (and a couple of French bulldogs, but whatever), most of whom have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His Person, Mia, adores the ground he trots on, earning him the title of “Golden Child”, the ire of said frenchies, and a throne at the Renaissance Festival. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Leo and Mia as much as we did!
PP: Mia, tell us a bit about your pug history, your ‘pugstory’, so to speak.
Mia: I used to have eight pugs and Leo was the youngest--
PP: Eight?! We kneel before you, Pug Goddess.
Mia: I was a member of the San Diego Pug Rescue and the head of the Rescue called me the worst foster failure ever, because I was never able to give them up. There was one pug who had eight babies and I was so tempted, but I ended up keeping her and getting all the puppies adopted.
PP: Yeah, sixteen pugs might be pushing it. So, what was the process? How did you get to eight pugs?
Mia: In 2007, I asked my daughters what kind of dog they wanted to get and they said, “what about the dog from Milo & Otis?” And when I saw a pug in real life, I immediately fell in love. I got one pug that year, Bubba, and literally added one each year after that.
Mia: There’s three of the eight left. Leo, and then my two daughters each have one. They’re both 14 years old and have strollers.
PP: The pugs, not your daughters, right?
Mia: What? Oh, yeah, right. And then I have the frenchies.
PP: Yeah, how did that happen?
Mia: When I met the man who later became my spouse, he was like, “Does your pug fetch?” And I said, “Pugs don’t fetch, Mark.” So, I had mercy on him and got him some French bulldogs. But of course, I informed the frenchies that Leo is my favorite.
PP: That’s good. You didn’t want the frenchies to have expectations and have them crushed.
Mia: Exactly. My daughters call Leo the Golden Child.
PP: (observing Leo lying draped across Mia’s chest) But he’s also kind of a blob, isn’t he?
Mia: Total blob. He’s always with me on my Zoom business calls and people will be writing in the chat, “Look at his neck rolls!”
PP: He’s your constant companion. With rolls.
Mia: Yeah, he goes everywhere with me. He’s not a service animal, but I’ve made it that way. Whenever I do an event for my business, he’s there with me. Last year, he was like a Disney Princess at the Renaissance Festival, people were literally kneeling and bowing down in front of him. He was such a success that they’re going to build a throne for him this year.
PP: And his facial expression looks like he’s saying, “Duh. Of course.” Does Leo have any quirks?
Mia: I don’t know if you’d consider this a quirk, but he’s allergic to protein. And lactose intolerant.
PP: A delicate flower.
Mia: Yeah, except for his ego. Leo only really cares about two things in life: me and food. And he would kick me to the curb for food. He’s kind of a jerk, really. When I had all the pugs, he would pee on their bowls so they couldn’t eat.
PP: He’s an elitist pug.
Mia: He was Baby Yoda for Comic Con and everyone fawned all over him. Of course, he doesn’t understand that he was wearing a costume so he expects everyone to always treat him that way.
PP: Mia, are you someone who has pug stuff? Are you a pug paraphernalia person?
Mia: Um, yes. Here’s my pug lunch bag, my pug hoodie, portraits, t-shirts. I collect pug socks. Oh, and I have pug underwear. Boxers. It’s just a pug’s face on your tush.
PP: Does Leo have a ‘voice’? Like, do you talk to him and he talks back?
Mia: Well… one thing I’m certain of is when I come back after being out for a while, he gets mad and cusses me out. He’s a swearing pug. Total profanity in those barks.