This picture of Gus playing in the snow from a few winters ago popped into my head today since we’re having our first snow of the year. He is our pug/cairn terrier mix. Unlike the pugs, who get a bit fussy and princessey in the snow, Gus loves it! He will often stick his face straight down in the snow and then run along like a snow plow. A snowy beard such as this is the result.
Gussie Goo here was the third dog we added to our pack. We had Abe and Zooey already, and it felt like we needed another personality to balance things out a bit. I would troll petfinder.com looking for a good match. My husband would inevitably veto the dogs I found for one reason or another —or they’d get adopted by someone else when we’d contact the shelter or the rescue group.
Then I found Gus. He really spoke to me. He had been found as a stray on a country road in south-western Ohio, undernourished, with no collar or chip, and was brought to a shelter. A kill shelter, I’m afraid. Luckily a rescue group took him in before his time ran out. The rescue group posted the ad on petfinder along with a picture. One look and I was in love. My husband took some convincing —it would be a bit of a drive to go get him, and Gus was so cute that my husband didn’t want me getting my hopes up too much. He felt certain that Gus would be adopted out immediately. He compromised: if Gus was still posted in a week, we would contact the rescue group.
Four days later, I got a phone call from my mother down in Cincinnati. A rescue group was at the Petsmart where she shopped. They had the cutest dog and she immediately thought of us and had to call. He was, as near as anyone could guess, a pug/cairn terrier mix. To Mom he looked like a pug with a beard. He was very sweet and wanted belly rubs like nobody’s business. I asked if his name happened to be “Gizmo” (the name he was posted on petfinder under) and my Mom asked how I could possibly know that? I explained we’d been looking at him online and thinking about adopting him. I told my husband that Gizmo was at the Petsmart my mom shops at, and shouldn’t we take this as a sign and rescue him already? Luckily he realized forces more powerful than he were at work, and he gave the okay.
So Gizmo became part of our pack. He struck us as more of a Gus than a Gizmo. He didn’t know Gizmo as his name, so renaming him was an easy call. He is a total charmer, very sweet and funny. He’s easily the most mellow, submissive dog we have. He’s happy to follow the pack, and loves to wrestle but doesn’t care about winning. He just wants to play and get attention. He’s loves attention and will leap straight up into the air, lay at your feet with his whole body wagging, or lick your ankles to get it.
We often wonder how it was that he ended up alone on that country road —did he escape and get lost, or was he dumped there? It is hard to imagine that anyone would just get rid of such a wonderful dog, and equally hard to believe that someone wouldn’t look for him if he was theirs. Oh, and my husband (along with pretty much anyone who meets him) has fallen hopelessly in love with Gus.
Pardon me while I get all PSA for a moment, but if you’re thinking about getting a dog, take a look at your local shelter or on petfinder. There are so many wonderful dogs just like Gus that really need homes.