top of page
  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

Rosie & Matilda (and their Person, Susanne)

It feels like all Pug People worth their salt know the Dutch Pug Sisters, and if they don't, they should probably lose their Pug Person membership card. Well, we're here to remedy any such tragic situation and tell you even more about this incredibly lovable family-- from the glory days of Fien, to Rowdy Rosie, and now sassy Matilda. We so enjoyed our time with Susanne and we hope her 'favorite story' will make you laugh as much as it did us. Enjoy!

PP: As we've already gushed, Susanne, we love your account deeply. How did you end up becoming a Pug Person?

Susanne: I never had any pets when I was a child because my mother didn’t like them. I can only remember that I always wanted a monkey. I had scrapbooks that had pictures of monkeys. Of course, my mom said no, you can’t have a monkey.

PP: Yeah, if she wasn’t into pets, a monkey would really be pushing it.

Susanne: And I’d seen dogs, of course, but never really this feeling of wanting a dog. Until one day, I was walking with my sister and a friend of hers came up and he had this little pug. And they were talking, but I was only looking at the pug. I had never seen a pug before and I was almost forty years old!

PP: You were deprived for so long!

Susanne: Yes, and the pug was listening to their conversation, looking back and forth between my sister and this man, and they finished and he said, “Come, Clare, let’s go.” Her name was Clare! And I thought, that’s it, one day I will have a pug.

PP: (Candy) This is so funny, when I had my first pug I was coming down in the elevator of my building and my neighbor’s little three-year old pointed at my pug and said, “Monkey dog!” And her mother said, “Yes, they do look like monkeys!”

Susanne: It all makes sense now. It must be because of that flat face. I mean, a normal dog can be very beautiful too, but they have this nose in the way.

PP: So, was Fien your first?

Susanne: Yes, I waited until I had time to take care of a pug, but my husband is someone who says, oh, I need my freedom, if I suddenly want to go to Paris on a Friday afternoon, with a dog you can’t do this. And I said, this really doesn’t happen a lot, that you want to go to Paris on a Friday afternoon.

PP: Good comeback.

Susanne: Then I saw there was a breeder not far from our town and I thought, let’s just take a look.

PP: You never just ‘take a look’ when it comes to pug puppies.

Susanne: Oh, yes. That was Fien. She was a little rowdy when she was young, but when Rosie came into our lives, we called her Rowdy Rosie. She tried to bother Fien, but Fien always stayed like a saint, like a Buddha.

PP: Fien’s full name was Josephine, right?

Susanne: Yes, because of Josephine Bonaparte.

PP: We assumed so.

Susanne: What do you say in America to make Josephine short?

PP: Jo, probably. Or maybe Josie.

Susanne: Here in the Netherlands or Belgium, we say the second half, so Fien. But when you write it, people don’t know how to pronounce it.

PP: They think it’s “fine”. Foolish Americans. Susanne, we’ve found that every single Pug Person we’ve talked to, no matter what country, when they see a pug on the street, they yell “Pug!” and run after it. Do you do that?

Susanne: Oh, yes. I chased one in Paris once. And my whole family was in Provincetown, this was years ago, and there were so many pugs! And shops with pug stuff. And we kept saying, “Another pug! Oh, another pug!” I couldn’t believe it.

PP: We obviously need to go there.

Susanne: About six years ago we were in Central Park by the lake with the little boats and we saw a couple with two pugs. Of course, we went to talk to them and they asked our pugs’ names. When we said Rosie and Fien, they said, “Ohhhh, you are from the Dutch Pug Sisters!”

PP: OMP, you’re famous!

Susanne: And another time we were in Manhattan in Saks Fifth Avenue, and a girl came up to me—she must have heard me talk to my husband in Dutch—and she asked if I was from the Dutch Pug Sisters. How did she know?! She said she is a big fan and had seen me a few times in the pictures on our account.

PP: Wow! Very few, we’re assuming, you don’t show up often.

Susanne: No! I couldn’t believe it.

PP: Hopefully, she’s not your stalker. Unlike us, who kind of are.

Susanne: That is all right.

PP: Oh, good. We meant to ask, did your husband ever come around to liking pugs?

Susanne: Oh, yes. He doesn’t like dogs, but he loves pugs. When we’re visiting another place and he sees the little tail, he’ll say, “Susanne! I think it’s a pug!”

PP: Well, that makes sense, ‘cause pugs are not dogs, after all—they’re pugs. Susanne, are you someone who does “voices” for your babies?

Susanne: Not really. I talk to them and they look at me and I see the cartoon balloons with words coming from their heads. That’s how they speak to me.

PP: Susanne, do you have a favorite memory or story of the pugs?

Susanne: When Fien was an only pug, I had a coffee with a friend downstairs and I served some Toblerone, you know that chocolate? I broke it into the pieces, you know, the triangles, and put it in a bowl, but we didn’t actually eat any of it. Then we went upstairs and in a moment, I thought, “Oh no! I left the bowl out!” I hurried back and I wish I could have taken a picture, Fien’s face next to the empty bowl. Oh my God, I took her in my arms and ran to the vet. He gave her a shot, so it would all come out, and it came out in the exact same form, you know, the triangles.

PP: No!

Susanne: It was so perfect, I could have put it back in the bowl and served it.

PP: You are killing us. We can’t stop laughing. That story is a Hall of Famer.

Susanne: The pugs, so funny with food. Rosie learned that if she is really fast, she can take a treat quicker than her little friend, Matilda. I put two carrots on the floor and I see her face, she is estimating distance. Then, one, two! She has both of them. And poor Matilda looks so surprised.

PP: So, the bubble above Rosie’s head is all math calculations.

Susanne: It seems so.

PP: If your pugs were celebrities, who would they be?

Susanne: When Fien lived, she had a lot of fans. And they always told me she reminded them of Audrey Hepburn. She was so gracious and beautiful. But I was trying to think about these girls and my husband said maybe Matilda is Amy Winehouse.

PP: We’re picturing Matilda with the big hair and the attitude.

PP: So, Susanne, this has been just delightful and we only have one more question: do you have a True Pug Confession?

Susanne: Well, for Pug People, this is not strange, but maybe for others. When I wake up in the morning, I come down and ask the pugs, “How are you, how was your sleeping”, questions like that. My husband loves pugs, but he does not communicate with them in this way. So I will say to him, “I didn’t hear you say ‘good morning’ to the girls. Did you ask them if they slept well?” I was making quite a row about it. So now, I will hear him say, “Good morning, girls”. A little exasperated, of course.

PP: You should get one of those NannyCams, ‘cause when you’re not home, he’s probably having entire conversations with them.

Susanne: Who knows?

427 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page