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  • Shari Simpson

Poppy and Penelope (and their Person, Theresa)


The Tales of Pug People were ecstatic to interview a double pug household with Penelope and Poppy and their Person, Theresa, who agrees that pugs are like potato chips; you can never have just one. Besides the fact that Theresa wants an extra room in her future home to accommodate all the girls’ cute outfits, she also has one of the best Pug Confessions we’ve heard on our journey around the Pugisphere. (Warning: strong language used when considering the fundamental humanity of pug haters.)




PP: Okay Theresa, the most important question comes first: when did you know you were Pug People?


Theresa: I’ve been a pug person ever since I can remember. We got Oscar when I was five and Ranger when I was in middle school, so I had two pug brothers all through high school. They were invited to all my sleepovers. Pugs were a staple in our home; all our friends knew, that’s the pug house.


PP: And your whole family felt the same?


Theresa: Oh yeah. Even if you aren’t a pug person at first, they grow on you.


PP: Like a fungus.


Theresa: Mmm… sure.

PP: Pug love doesn’t happen to everyone, but it works for most people. You know, anyone with a heart.


Theresa: I remember taking Oscar to a park once and he charged at some kids, wanting to play with them. The mom looked at us in horror and said, “How dare you bring that wretched looking dog into the park?!”


PP: What?! Who was this philistine?!


Theresa: I got so mad, because I thought Oscar was the cutest thing ever. Of course, this was way before pugs were popular like they are now--


PP: That doesn’t matter! This is a terrible, terrible person. We hate her, even twenty years later.


(The interviewers take a moment to compose themselves after one mumbles something about this non-pug lover burning in a lake of fire and the other tries to soothe her.)


PP: Okay, we’re calm now. Tell us about Penelope and Poppy.


Theresa: Penelope is six years old and is our family pug; I call her my sister. Poppy is a little over a year and she’s all mine. She loves being babied and carried around. My mom’s like, what are you going to do when you have human kids?


PP: Oh, don’t worry about that. We both have skinchildren and they understand where they rank in the pack. They know they’re below the pugs and they’re fine with it. We’re sure your future children will adjust as well.


Theresa: That’s a relief. I think.


PP: You dress the pugs in outfits, we’re assuming.


Theresa: Well, we try. Penelope loves outfits, but Poppy just freezes and looks at us like, “what the hell, people?” It goes with her personality, though. If we make Poppy do something she doesn’t want to do, afterwards she jumps up on the couch and knocks all the pillows off in protest. She’s a wild child, you can’t cage her, you can’t put clothes on her. She’s a hippie.

PP: And a nudist.

(Interview pauses as all coo over Poppy forcing herself into Theresa’s lap.)


PP: See, this is one of the problems with doing interviews over Zoom, we suffer from a lack of cuddling. When we do them in person, we get to smush the pug.


Theresa: I would never get anything else done if I were meeting new pugs all the time. That would be the best thing ever.


PP: You get us, Theresa.


Theresa: When you meet another pug person, there’s an instant bond. When I go out with Poppy and Penelope people will come up to me and say, oh, my cousin is a pug person, or my sister-in-law is pug people, and it’s like they automatically expect me to know them. We’re not all in some cult, like we’re drinking the kool-aid. “Oh yeah, I met them at the weekly meeting.”


PP: Mmmm… it is kinda like a cult, though.


Theresa: Yeah. Who am I kidding?


PP: Do Penelope and Poppy have ‘voices’?”


Theresa: Penelope sounds like Angelica from the RugRats cartoon, super judgy, “you dumb babies”. Poppy’s got like a little smoker’s voice, an old lady who’s smoked a few too many packs. It goes with her resting bitch face.


PP: Nice. And do they have any quirks?


Theresa: They both have this thing about water, but in different ways. Poppy can’t stand for me to take a shower or bath. She stands outside, crying and freaking out. It’s like she thinks I’m waterboarding myself or something. And Penelope thinks she’s a lifeguard. Any time anyone gets on the diving board in the pool, Penelope barks hysterically, then jumps in after them. She has a savior complex, I think.


PP: Please tell us you have video of that.


Theresa: Plenty.





PP: And now it’s time for our favorite question. Brace yourself, Theresa. Do you have a Pug Confession? Something embarrassing you do with your pug that our readers will be like, “no way” except they can also totally imagine themselves doing the same thing?


Theresa: Ohhhh… yes. I swaddle Poppy in a fuzzy blanket, rock her, and sing “Wheels on the Bus” to her.


PP: OMG. We officially love you so much.


Theresa: She especially likes the part where the mommies on the bus go, “shhh, shhh, shhh”. It totally calms her down so she can sleep.


PP: Brilliant. So overall, what is it about this breed that makes you a diehard Pug Person?


Theresa: Their loyalty. I mean, I know with dogs in general it’s always unconditional love, but with pugs, it’s just… unmatched. I know I’ll never be alone. And I don’t think we deserve their love. I think they’re too good for us, honestly.



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