Persia - 8/4/05 - 6/30/21
For nearly 16 years (16!!!) Persia was a constant presence in my life. I was 24 years old when I brought her home on October 3, 2005. I remember sniffling as I pulled away from the house where she was born, knowing I was separating her from her littermates and hoping I’d be able to give her a good life. Little did I know, she’d quickly grow into a sassy little pup who very rarely did as she was told!
Born in PA and raised in MD, she flew across the country with me in 2010 when I moved to Portland, OR. She slept throughout the entire flight after being a complete terror in the airport! She did not like being in her crate and restricted from her favorite activity: meeting new humans.
She had surgery for a luxating patella in her early years. She also had a spinal tap and recovered from nerve damage and cervical disc disease at 6 years old.
She loved her boiled chicky, soft treaties, and above all else, pizza. She knew the word “pizza” as well as she knew her own name and the word “walk.” We’d order a pizza over the phone and she knew what was about to happen--we’d need one person to hold her back from the door while the other collected the pizza from the delivery person. She would then run laps around the table, borking, until we gave in and shared with her.
She enjoyed many vacations in Manzanita, at the Oregon coast. Manzanita beach was her first time at a beach and seeing the ocean! She loved to run in the sand and snuggle by bonfires in the dunes, watching the sunset. She was also a regular at the annual Portland Pug Crawl hosted by the Oregon Humane Society. Each year had a themed costume contest, parade, and saw upwards of 700+ pugs attend. In 2017, Will and I entered her in the contest and we all walked together in costume.
In her later years, as her vision started to fade, she loved sitting atop the living room chair in the evenings so she could see out the window, where she’d bork non stop at vehicle lights as they passed the house. She was a good girl, protecting her family.
When I went through my separation and divorce in 2016, Persia knew something was very wrong with her mama and spent lots of time smooshed up against me while I cried. For a while, she shuttled back and forth between households, and when I moved from our old house (with a large yard that she loved) into the city, she adjusted like a champ. She became a city dog at 11 years old.
Later that year, she met her new dad and he swiftly became her favorite person. During our years in Portland, she went mostly blind and completely deaf. Still, she was having a good time and we loved spoiling her. She was still walking pretty well and loved walking around the block to The Lucky Lab pub, which had a dog-friendly patio and delicious pizza.
We picked up a doggy sling for her, so we could carry her around if she got tired of walking. In her younger years, she never would’ve tolerated sitting in a sling, but we were able to test it in the shop and she plopped right in looking content as ever. She went on many adventures with us in her sling.
She moved with us to Seattle in 2018 where she was introduced to the rooftop dog run. It was a large patch of fake grass shared by all the dogs in the building. She adjusted so quickly, like the good girl she was. In April 2019 she became a big sister to our adopted senior rescue Pug, Sid. We adopted Sid thinking he’d outlive Persia, and therefore be a good support system for us as her final years loomed ahead. Sadly, Sid passed in December 2019 from undiagnosed heart disease. Persia only tolerated Sid, though we did catch them a few times laying and sleeping together. Persia never really enjoyed the company of other dogs; she was obsessed with people and adored everybody she met.
In December 2020 we entered her in the Seattle Barkery’s Naughtiest Dog in Seattle contest, which she obviously won, LOL. The contest required us to submit a story of the naughtiest thing she’d ever done - we included two stories as we couldn’t choose which one was worse. One involved her ride with me on a very quiet train, during which she had uncontrollable gas. The other was the time she woke me up at 3am one morning by having an accident on my face and hair O.o Of course, Persia was a true princess and hadn’t been scolded in years--she was the best girl.
In January 2021 we moved from Seattle to Nashville, TN--her final move. We flew first-class for the sole purpose of ensuring she had as much space as possible in the cabin. She slept almost the entire flight, cool as a cucumber. In Nashville, Persia once again enjoyed her own private yard. Due to the pandemic we didn’t get out much to explore, but we enjoyed our time lounging together in our new place.
Over the last 18 months of her life, Persia battled cancer. She had 3 mast cell tumors but was otherwise incredibly healthy and still walking on her own up to her last day. Due to her age, we decided not to put her through surgery or other treatment that would affect her quality of life. In her final weeks, she developed an aggressive tumor on her lip that was becoming problematic. She handled a month of steroids like it was no big deal. Her internal tumors shrunk but the one on her lip continued to grow.
We were about to start her on an oral chemotherapy med, but on the evening of June 29 she had three seizures--the first any of us had ever experienced--and we took her to the ER. She spent her final night seizure-free in the ER, but unfortunately experienced a grand mal seizure in the morning (thank goodness we left her in the ER that night). We went to see her, knowing it would be the last time. We took a piece of fresh cheese pizza, not knowing whether she’d register it or not. As it turns out, she did register the pizza and bit by bit, ate the entire slice!! That’s our girl <3 She was very weak throughout our visit with her, and after finishing the pizza and snuggling for a bit, she became visibly sleepy. We knew it was her time to go night-night for the final time.
Persia was a character like no other, with a bold and saucy personality. She ran the show, called the shots, and had all of her humans wrapped around her tiny paw and at her service. She’s left a huge hole in our hearts and will never be replaced. Rest in peace, Pookykins.