Pugly: A Pug’s Life

Follow the triumphs and struggles of three rescue pugs, and explore the current craze for flat-faced dogs.
Available on CBC Gem

Pugly: A Pug’s Life


Pugly: A Pug’s Life tells the story of Gunner, a two-year-old pug in the care of Pugalug Pug Rescue, a Toronto network led by self-professed “crazy dog lady” Blanche Axton. As Axton prepares Gunner for adoption, we also meet a growing community of squishy-faced dog devotees with big personalities, following their stories of triumph, humour and heartbreak. 

We’re introduced to magazine cover girl Miss Pickles the Pug; Helmut, star of Toronto’s monthly big-city Pug Grumble park meetup; Titus, a physically disabled and half-blind dog who will not give up chasing and barking at speeding trains; and Tawnie, the sassy bitch with the big vet bills. 

Pugly investigates why, despite the head to tail health issues common in flat-nosed breeds, pugs are more popular than ever. And they’re full of surprises. Although they were bred to be loyal, loving lap dogs, not all are lazy couch potatoes. We encounter pugs acting in movies, riding motorcycles, running up the number of followers on their Instagram accounts and raising funds to help rescue more pugs. 

Will Gunner and Tawnie find homes? Will Titus catch his train? Who will be the first to cross the finish line at the legendary Running of the Pugs? And how many will run in an entirely different direction? Blanche calls pugs “the manifestation of joy on four legs.” We just call them Pugly

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