Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coney Island Freak Show Exhibit or Science Experiment?

One of the rescues I remember the most was that of a black pug.  A goodhearted bus driver observed the frightened little dog dodging traffic on a busy avenue in Brooklyn.  The kind gentleman stopped his bus and plucked the dog to safety.  Although he knew he could get in trouble he took him on the bus anyway.  The driver thought that one of the passengers along the route might recognize the dog and alert the owner.  No such luck.  Although he kept the dog with him on the route for the remainder of the day nobody knew who the dog belong to.  The man could not keep the dog himself and at the end of his shift was unsure what to do with him.  Suddenly he remembered a store on his route that took their dogs to work with them every day and thought that the owners would be interested in another dog.  That store belong to my family.

As soon as the bus driver walked through the door we made a fuss over the funny looking dog in his arms.  The dog was so ugly that he was cute.  He looked like Ernest Borgnine.  (No offense to Mr. Borgnine).  The dog was pudgy, his tongue hung out of the side of his mouth and he snorted with every breath he took.  Of course, we fell in love with him.  We assured the bus driver that we would keep the dog until we located the owner or until we  found him a loving new home.

Although I wanted to name him Ernie (my apologies again Mr. Borgnine) my family out voted me and the little black pug became "Pugsly".  While we did our best to locate his owner, our efforts were not successful.  As such, we began a search to find him a new loving home.  Shortly after his arrival Pugsly was doing his business in the yard when I observed him scooting his bottom along the concrete.  When he began to walk normal again it appeared as if he rubbed himself raw and that he was bleeding.  I immediately took him to the vet.  The vet examined him and assured me that although Pugsly was fine, he was no ordinary dog.  It seems that what I had assumed were his testicles rubbed raw (because that is the spot where testicles on a normal dog would be) were not testicles at all.  It was a vagina!  What???  The vet explained that Ernie...ooops I mean Pugsly was a hermaphrodite!  Talk about shock!  He explained that Pugsly was bleeding and rubbing himself (herself?) because due to the unusual formation of his private parts the area became dry and needed to be lubricated.  So, I was sent on my way with doggie lubricant.

OK, so are you wondering about the title to my post yet?  Well, it seems that hermaphrodite dogs are very rare.  Or at least that is what I was hearing.  That being the case made it next to impossible to find a loving home for Pugsly.  Oh I tried.  But was shocked and sickened by the people who were interested in adopting him.  One man wanted to put him on display in the local freak show.  He was actually salivating as he talked about the money he would make from putting Pugsly on display.  NEXT.....

The next person asked if Pugsly could get pregnant.  They thought it would be cool to have a whole litter of hermaphrodite dogs, not to mention the money they would make from selling the puppies.  NEXT....

I thought I had finally found a good home for Pugsly when a young veterinarian came in to adopt him.  I though she would be a perfect match because her veterinary expertise enabled her to give Pugsly the care that his "unique" condition required. (I mean really, who wants to lubricate their dog every day?)  Well, I thank god I did not let her adopt him.  Imagine my utter shock when she informed me she wanted to do experiments on him!!  Now, I do not know if that meant he would survive the experiments or be euthanized afterwards but I was NOT about to find out.  I would not let her get her hands on him.  THE SEARCH STOPS HERE.

So, painfully aware that poor Pugsly's only options were to become a side show attraction or a science experiment I stopped searching for the perfect home.  It seems that he already had found one.  We would be his guardians.  Pugsly remained with us for many, many years.  He went to work with us every day, enjoyed the company of our other dogs and looked forward to greeting all the customers with loud snorts and plenty of licks.  Pugsly lived a long, happy, pudgy, snorting life!  Sadly, he passed away about 6 years ago of old age.  Nothing more.

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