Mister Egg used to be a puppy. Now he is an old man; going on 13 to be exact. He is another of Joan's dogs -- one of her car dogs -- which means he holds the special distinction of traveling around with her everywhere. Of the many dogs she owns, he, and nowadays, mostly he, alone, is always guaranteed a ride in the car. He is perhaps more traditionally like a pet to Joan in that way than the number of others she loves and who share her home.
In his youth, Egg was an athlete, a natural, skilled in taking leap after leap over the gates used to separate dogs and rooms. He didn't have to think about it. Like an Olympic hurdler he sprang and sprang and sprang again over multiple obstacles. He does not spring anymore. Like his uncle, my pug Vader, poor Egg, is losing the use of his back legs. He can still prop himself up at times, but his days as an athlete are finished.
Egg was once so adept at making these leaps that something had to be done. Because Joan breeds to show, most male dogs in her home go unneutered as did Mister Egg. But suddenly, we were finding that Egg's prowess in jumping was helping demonstrate his prowess to the ladies in other areas. In order to prevent any unwanted puppies, Joan had to clip this habit in the bud, which meant clipping Mister Egg. Fortunately, for him, this meant he had the luxury of now becoming Joan's car dog -- his neutered state, which calmed marking and other unwanted male behaviors, made him a better traveling companion. And, to be honest, it never deterred Egg from a pretty lady. We often still found him enjoying himself with one of Pugdom's many girls.
And, now, former Ladies' Man and Olympic Hurdler is old and it's hard for all of us to wrap our heads around that one. He traveled with us to the Pug Parade this weekend and while Alfie and Waffles and Fanny May and the puppies dressed up and enjoyed the socializing, Egg snored soundly in between the drivers and passengers' seats in front of Joan's van. When the event was finished and we were getting ready to leave, Joan mentioned that poor Egg hadn't gotten to wear his sweater, a hand-me-down from one of the other pugs. So, I helped dress him in the pumpkin-colored garb and took him out on the grass to pose.
It was rainy and he wasn't exactly sure what was going on, he likes to keep his eyes on Joan at all times and at first she was out of sight, so it was difficult to get the perfect shot. Then Joan came over and sat with him and I took a couple. They will go in the annual scrapbook where hopefully he will appear again next year. But just in case, we snapped this picture to include now, because Mister Egg is no longer a puppy and we want to remember all his rides and this day in his sweater and to make memories that will leap from the pages of the scrapbook and grab our hearts just as Mister Egg has always done.