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  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

Stanley & Pie (and their People, Sharon & Neil)

Oh, Pug People, we are beyond delighted that our first “British Pugs” interview is with Stanley and Pie and their hilarious People, Sharon and Neil! Or perhaps we should say we are dead chuffed, these mates are brilliant, and Pug Blokes across the pond are just as barmy and bloody well off their trolley as we are in the States. Oi! We’re done and will now return to our colorless American descriptors. Enjoy!

PP: Sharon and Neil, thank you so much for joining us. First off, tell us where you live.

Neil: We’re in Exeter. That’s in Devon, southwest of England. Quite near where the Pilgrim fathers would have sailed from.

PP: Oh, so we have you guys to thank.

Neil: ‘Spose so.

PP: You’re such profound Pug People, we wonder about your history. Did you grow up with pugs?

Sharon: No, Stanley is our first pug! In my childhood, my dad was in the Army and we moved around all the time. I always wanted a cat, but was never allowed one. But when I got together with Neil, he said we could have a cat!

PP: Very good of you to fulfill her lifelong dream. But how does this lead to pugs?

Sharon: I got Blue, my British Shorthair cat. And British Shorthairs have these big, round, flat faces, so…

PP: Oh, okay, we see where this is going.

Sharon: Well, cats, actually. Because then we got Hector, then Lily, then Apple. And Apple is a smooshy-faced cat as well.

PP: Strong smooshy-faced preparation.

Sharon: Then on Facebook someone posted a picture of an apricot pug and I sent it to Neil, because we had been discussing moving beyond cats. And he said, no chance whatsoever, because he wanted a spaniel, you know, one you could go walking with—

Neil: And a little bit of ball, you know, throw stuff—

PP: Got it. You wanted a dog, not a pug.

Sharon: But I did a ton of research and we found this wonderful breeder that has a farm—

Neil: An actual farm, not a puppy farm—

Sharon: And she wouldn’t even consider giving us a puppy unless we went to meet her. We drove three hours and we’re on a massive farm with twenty-five pugs. It was heaven.

*Interviewers sigh rapturously, imagining walking into the middle of 25 pugs.

Sharon: But then we had to wait, because she doesn’t breed them very often. And after about eight months, we found out we were expecting Stanley.

Neil: Baby Stanley.

PP: An eight-month pugnancy. Did you get Pie from the same breeder?

Sharon: Yes, a few years later. Pie was a show dog reject, she originally intended to show him. He came bounding out to meet us and he was huge already at four months. I fell in love straight away. He’s completely crazy, Pie is.

PP: Wait, wait, back up. Why did she reject Pie as a show dog?

Sharon: Well, if you look at him, he has rather bandy front legs.

Neil: Like Lynda Carter in “Wonder Woman”.

Neil: Pie’s a lovely boy, handsome in a way, but quite curious looking.

PP: Okay, so tell us, was it a gradual thing or did you have a moment where you crossed over into Pug Peopledom? Because you know we’re all a bit ‘round the bend.

Sharon: Well, obviously before I was a crazy pug lady, I was a crazy cat lady. I was already obsessed with my cats, but when I got Stanley, it really got out of control. I started buying a zillion outfits, I went on a massive shopping spree. They've got a whole room upstairs for all their outfits.

PP: And you have pug wallpaper, right?

Sharon: Yes, and my dad built a little den under the stairs for Stanley and Pie.

Neil: They never use it.

Sharon: True. And they have a massive amount of toys.

Sharon: They have a whole Bummlie collection from Blind But Not. Oh, and they have their sweater vests and I love those because they’re shorter and Stanley can’t bear having anything near his winky.

Note: The sweater vests shown are actually from Pug Notes but both Pug Notes and Blind But Not have the most wonderful pug paraphernalia you can imagine!

PP: Nothing near his winky. Check.

Neil: I do all the boring, day to day stuff, like the walking and such, but Sharon takes it to a whole different level. Which you guys are on as well, by the looks of it.

PP: You’re wearing a pug shirt, Neil, so we’re pretty sure you’ve crossed over as well.

Neil: Truth is, I wouldn’t change them for the world. I enjoy taking them out to shows and the like, because people just latch onto pugs straight away. Everyone makes a beeline for a pug. They help out with your social life as well. We know Daddio likes a beer and the pugs like sitting in a pub.

PP: Indeed, Daddio. What is your strangest piece of pug paraphernalia?

Sharon: We’ve got a pug cuckoo clock, where a pug comes out and barks instead of a cuckoo.

*Interview pauses for a moment while Sharon demonstrates the clock. The tiny barking pug coming out of the little clock doors make our entire day.

Sharon: I got it from one of those catalogs they send to old people, you know the kind where you can buy things like Elvis Presley memorabilia. Cost a fortune, but so lovely and tacky.

PP: We love pug tacky. You can’t beat it.

PP: Okay, guys, this is always the marker of true Pug People: do Stanley and Pie sleep with you?

Sharon: Oh, yes. We actually sleep in separate rooms.

Neil: We have to.

PP: Because of the snoring?

Sharon: We all used to sleep in the same bed, but if I got up in the middle of the night, by the time I got back, they were all sprawled out and there was no space for me. So, I’d go and sleep in the spare room and Pie would come sleep with me. Stanley sleeps with Neil.

Neil: Our beds are slightly smaller than yours in America, anyway.

PP: Sleeping in different rooms is some serious pug devotion. It may already qualify for our next question, but we’ll go ahead and ask: do you have a true Pug Confession?

Sharon: Hmmmm. Well, I sing “Little Donkey” to them.

PP: We don’t know that song. Must be a British thing.

Sharon: Yes, it’s a children’s Christmas song. I really can’t sing, but here goes: (sings) “Little donkey, little donkey, on the dusty road, gotta keep plodding onward with your precious load…” But, of course, I change the lyrics. (clears throat, sings again) “Little Stanley, Little Stanley, on the puggy road, Gotta keep on pugging onwards, with your puggy load…”

PP: Wow.

Sharon: Mm-hmm.

Neil: Told you. She's next level.

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