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  • Writer's pictureShari Simpson

Winston (and his Person, Bettina)

Pug People, we have a fan favorite for you today: Winston Dutchpug and his lovely Person, Bettina. When we first asked Bettina for an interview, she said that she preferred to stay “in the background” of Winston’s Instagram life, but OMP, she was so charming and vivacious when we finally trapped her on Zoom! The Pug Sisters just love forcing you wonderful Pug People out into the light :-)

Enjoy the darling Winston and Bettina!

PP: Bettina! You’re here! On Zoom!

Bettina: I love to read all your interviews and always said in my mind, “Never.” Then you asked. I saw your message and didn’t even have to open it to know what it said.

PP: ‘Oh no, they’re coming for me!’

Bettina: Yes! (laughs) Then I thought, oh, what’s the worst that can happen? I should do it for Winnie, right?

PP: Exactly. Think about the hundreds of thousands of pugs on Instagram we could have chosen, so obviously Winston is very special.

Bettina: That is so nice.

PP: And we heard that Izzy and Saskia’s mom, Debbie, encouraged you, right? (@izzythepug1)

Bettina: Yes, because we know each other from Instagram, we spend our holidays together. We go to England every year, with them. This is what Instagram gave us.

PP: Wow!

Bettina: Yes, we love England more than Holland, so we go all the time. And they’re wonderful people.

PP: Oh, right, she told us that they travel with other people with pugs!

Bettina: We talk every day. And we know the Dutch Pug Sisters. Susanne is so lovely.

PP: We love them! This is social media at its best. (Winston snuffles) Oh, look at you! You are spectacular. You’re like the perfect pug.

Bettina: He is. And he is so annoying. That’s probably when we love him most.

Bettina: Winston has his own ways. What no one else does, he does. We were on the beach with Izzy and Saskia and many other pugs and only one pug was walking in a different direction. Alone.

PP: We’re guessing that was Winston. He’s his own pug.

Bettina: He’s more human. And more into humans. We got him on the marketplace, um, like an Ebay, and we were looking a long time for a pug, at that time they were very popular in Holland. Now, as you know, at the moment there are problems with pugs here.

PP: Sadly.

Bettina: But Winston didn’t leave his people in a nice way. They were emigrating and they ignored him for a week because they thought it would be better. And those problems, we still have them every day because we can’t leave, go anywhere, without him. I have spent so much time making up for what they did.

PP: Oh, the poor baby!

Bettina: I know. He has terrible separation anxiety.

PP: You said you’d wanted a pug for a long time, how did you become a Pug Person?

Bettina: I have two sons and the youngest was always following Doug the Pug.

PP: Ah yes, many have been converted to Pug Personhood because of Doug.

Bettina: And he always wanted a pug, but when we finally got one, he was seventeen and left the house and we were left with the pug. But we haven’t regretted it one day.

PP: So, you just became attracted to pugs because of your son.

Bettina: Funny, I was never a dog person. But pugs are something special. You can talk to them and the head tilt, the face, as if they’re knowing everything.

PP: You know, Bettina, we chuckle every time we say your name because Candy has a dog named Betty that we’ve nicknamed “Bettina”.

Bettina: So now maybe every time you say her name, you will think of me.

PP: No “maybe” about it. Are you someone who has a lot of pug paraphernalia?

Bettina: Winston has a lot of stuff, not me.

PP: We noticed he has a lot of outfits.

Bettina: I make them myself. I have a room upstairs, it’s my pug room—but I’m not obsessed or anything, ha.

Bettina: I buy pug fabric and make shirts and auction them for the High Rollers Club and MuffinPug Rescue. I made a lot to raise money for Ukraine, too. My son got married last March and I almost forgot about the wedding because I was so busy making pug shirts.

PP: You have to have your priorities. So, what do you like most about pugs?

Bettina: Character. Character. Stubborn. Winston’s not cuddly, but he allows me to share the couch with him. And all day he will protect the house, he will run and bark at the cyclists, the neighbors, the mailman, and throw himself at the windows. We used to have to go to the vet all the time, one time he had his, um, his paw out of his shoulder, and the vet said, “the biggest enemy of Winston is Winston.”

PP: He’s like one of those grouchy old men in the neighborhood who can’t keep his nose out of other people’s business. Does he sleep with you?

Bettina: No, because he will bark all night. And tap on my shoulder with his paw. When we stay in a hotel, he will tap tap tap my shoulder the whole night. He doesn't really snore, though. He's not a snorer, he’s a tapper.

PP: Bettina, we know what you like about pugs, what do you like about Pug People?

Bettina: I have never met one I didn’t like.

PP: We heartily concur. If Winston were a celebrity, who would he be?

Bettina: No doubt. No doubt. George Clooney.

PP: You’re the second person who’s said that! There’s something puglike about George Clooney.

Bettina: I think it is that he’s aging with grace. And I always drink espresso when I’m with Winston, so definitely George Clooney.

PP: Bettina, you've been absolutely wonderful and we think you should do Zoom interviews all the time. One last question: do you have a True Pug Confession?

Bettina: This is hard, because just having a pug makes you cross so many borders you never thought you would. I said I would never dress my pug and now look. My husband said he would never be seen with me if Winston was wearing clothes and last week I caught him walking Winston with a cute sweater on. People will ask me to come over for the day and say, “oh, you can leave the pug at home” and I say, “No, I can’t leave the pug at home. If the pug isn’t welcome, I’m not coming.” I only leave him alone when I’m grocery shopping, but I have three cameras in the house so I can watch him the whole time.

PP: Did he sign a waiver that you could film him?

Bettina: To be honest, sometimes when I see him in the camera, he looks very happy that I’m gone. Get a little privacy from the crazy Pug Lady.

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