Ode to Pug by Jill Rosen

Welcome to my stop on The Children's Book Review in Partnership with Purple Butterfly Jill Rosen for Ode to Pug. Thank you Jill for sharing your thoughts about pugs!

About the Book:

A precocious pug delights in shenanigans which drive her frazzled owner to declare she will give her pup away!

Laugh along with the snorting, snoring, and gaseous clown of the canine world as its owner struggles to reign in the messes and mayhem of a new addition. But there is nothing that a few licks and cuddles can’t fix, right?

A true delight that any family can relate to, Ode to a Pug is full of heart… and a lot of slobber.


Jill's guest post

Top 7 Pug Eccentricities

Pugs are truly in a class of their own. Prior to welcoming into our family our little pug, Phoebe, we rescued a German Shepherd/Boxer mix from Texas and later a Border Collie mix from Greece. Both came with a common assortment of rescue dog challenges - separation anxiety, socialization issues, separation anxiety, food anxiety, and did I say separation anxiety? Although they also came with the best things about rescue dogs - huge hearts and tons of wags! After successfully wrangling our first two very intelligent and high-energy pups, we decided to add a pure-bred pug to the mix. We thought it would be a breeze compared to two large rescues, and it would give our boys a chance to experience a puppy! Well… at least half of that was true. Here's what we learned about pugs… the hard (but still adorable) way:


  1. They eat EVERYTHING! We couldn't walk our new little pup even one foot without her trying to eat the rocks off the ground. Leaves, rocks, mud, crud, sticks, bugs, crumbs, cigarette butts.  She literally went for anything ingestible, but not always digestible, of course. She did not discriminate - if it was on the ground, she ate it.  If she walked by another dog, she would bark at it and then angrily eat a rock if you pulled her away.  That’ll teach the asphalt!  Walks took forever, as you can imagine how many rocks you pass on a sidewalk or road.  Nothing was safe in our house either, and more than a few shoelaces and hats have been destroyed.
  2. They really are STUBBORN. We read about pug stubbornness online before getting Phoebe, but we had a German Shepherd and a Border Collie. We knew stubborn, right? Wrong. Remember those delectable and ever so crunchy rocks she wanted to eat? If we dared try to move her away from her road morsels, or anything else on which she had her sights set, she threw tantrums that put the ones my two boys had to shame. It’s just a puppy thing other pug owners told us, and keep telling us as they laugh under their breath.
  3. They have HUMAN facial expressions. Those enormous eyes can communicate every emotion, particularly when there’s a treat involved or potentially involved or potentially maybe kinda sorta involved. When they stare at you, and they will stare at you, you know what they are thinking. “Do not ignore me!” Whether they want lap time or cuddles or food, the message is the same – you must engage.  It’s part instinct but part cunning, as Phoebe definitely pulls “the stare” out after tantrums to make our hearts melt and forgive her outbursts. They may be the clowns of the canine world, but they are savvy!
  4.    They have NO idea they are small dogs (except when they seek lap time). Phoebe has been with us for almost 3 years and she still runs at top speed into any pack of playing dogs, chases after any vehicle (the bigger, the better), and kicks our bigger dogs out of their beds by staring them down and never relenting. Watching our German Shepherd, who is most definitely the leader of our little dog pack and has won the neighborhood award 5 years running for most terror instilled in Amazon delivery people, reluctantly leave her warm bed to avoid dealing with a little Gremlin pug is always fascinating.
  5. They are a walking SOUND MACHINE. Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, so snoring, wheezing, and tooting were all part of the deal. But it was Phoebe's unusual yowl/non-bark that spewed out when she was startled or surprised by anything that made us laugh out loud and forget whatever we were supposed to be teaching her at the time. Of course, pugs are startled or surprised all the time, at all hours, and for no good reason.  And remember those pug tantrums?  Sometimes she’d end one with a soulful stare but other times she’d punctuate an outburst with these odd and amusing talking/chomping murmurs as the last word of her disagreement with whatever made her ornery (which often is a dog on TV). It is very, very hard to stay mad at a pug.
  6.   They SCREAM, literally, if you even look at their nails. This is doubly challenging because although pugs are small dogs, their nails are prominent and they grow fast! Trying to distract Phoebe or hold her steady to cut her nails was an all hands on deck affair that usually left the humans scratched by said nails, fully defeated and succumbing to the need for professional intervention.
  7. They are HIGH maintenance. When we were talking to Phoebe's breeder they said that pugs will be so easy compared to our other two dogs. Pugs are laid back, loyal, loveable, good-tempered, funny, great with kids and other animals, don't need long walks, and are equally happy playing or cuddling on the couch. All true. However, they are delicate, and I don’t mean from a health perspective as all breeds have their things.  Although I never thought something so petite could have so many folds.  What we really didn't expect was their aversion to any of the weather extremes. Unless you're in San Diego, expect refusals to walk outside until ideal pug conditions are reached. Where we live in Toronto, that is about 2 months a year! The cold hurts her paws, the heat makes her tired, the rain is uncomfortable, and the wind blows away all the tasty pebbles and leaves she wants to eat, etc.

If you can survive these seven things, nothing beats the sight of a little pug swinging out their legs as they waddle their way to their next meal or free lap! Our sweet boulder-chewing, high maintenance, snoring machine has turned our house upside down from day one. She is omnipresent and lets you know it, but, we couldn't imagine it any other way!

If you want to see Phoebe in action, follow her on Instagram @odetoapug. Or, check out her one-of-a-kind limited edition Plush available exclusively on our website at https://www.odetoapug.com


Ode to Pug Book Giveaway 

About the Author:

Jill Rosen is a career marketer and advertiser who lives with two kids, three dogs, two cats, one bird, and a former stand-up comic and Princeton sketch-comedy writing husband. She doesn’t need to go far for comedic inspiration or advice!

Through her brand management work, Jill’s early recognition of, and appreciation for, powerful writing and artistic design only flourished. She is a seasoned workshop facilitator and strategic healthcare consultant specializing in the areas of mental health and infertility.

Jill was inspired to begin writing her own stories by her two boys, both avid readers. Now Jill can’t wait to share them with all the young readers out there.

For more information, visit: https://odetoapug.com/



About the Illustrator:

Steph Rohr is a French Award-winning children’s book illustrator who earned a distinction from ECV Art School in Paris. She is fond of anything silly, funny, wacky, daft, and colorful. A freelance Illustrator & Art Director, Steph has been working in London in publishing and advertising.



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