Meet Catriona West, Orvis UK’s Head of Retail. At this time she’s working from home with her two boys Dalton and Hudson. Here she will reminisce on picking them up for the first time and will tell us a little more about how they are doing in the current circumstances.
My boys (as they’re affectionately known) fill my life with so much love, fun and general entertainment. They’re mischievous and full of character, which seems to be typical of pugs.
Dalton was the first addition to the family. We’d always wanted a pug – their funny little mannerisms, cuddly natures and character. With 2 working dog-parents, we needed a breed that didn’t require lots of exercise.
The plan was set – between three adults and a dog walker (also an adult) we could cover every day.
I will always remember going to see Dalton for the first time. We walked up the steps to the front door, tapped on the knocker and all you could hear was what sounded like a hundred paws running to the door at once! The door opened and there were 3 adult pugs and a litter of 3 puppies – it was such a cute moment.
Dalton was the only boy. His dad was called Bruce and he was super chilled and friendly which seemed like a great starting point. Dalton waddled over and started to chew my laces. That was it. I lifted him up and he was mine.
When you go to pick up any new puppy, everybody warns you that they’ll be nervous, scared etc and you probably need to deal with travel/car sickness on the way home.
He laid on my chest just where my heart is and slept all the way home.
From that moment we’ve been inseparable.
We’d talked about getting an additional pug but it is a lot of responsibility and neither my husband or I had ever owned two dogs so had no experience to fall back on.
However, when Dalton’s sister Nancy was announced as pregnant… how could we say no?
Nancy’s owner reached out to me before Nancy was having puppies and all I can say is that it was brilliant to have someone to talk pug-language to constantly and share photos.
When Nancy’s pups were born, we headed over for our first visit. Dalton was totally overwhelmed by all the excitement of seeing his sister Nancy again, he couldn’t have cared less about all the cute little pug-puppies in their box.
On the other hand – I was besotted. I could have spent days just holding these little squeaking wiggling miniature pug bundles of happiness. They were gorgeous!
The two little boys – one had a green tag and the other a blue were popped on me and they both just slept with occasional paw wiggles. How was I going to decide…
It’s true, I did send several photos to my husband of both pug puppies.. but the answer was a no. We could only have one.
Hudson was the biggest of the puppies – he was a milk guzzler and seemed to have great character. The choice was made.
Dalton and I went back again when Hudson was a little older and nearly ready for collection. He was so excited to play with Dalton but poor little Dalton wasn’t quite sure what to do with this little bundle of energy.
12 weeks after Hudson was born, we picked him up and drove him home. He spent the car journey asleep on my heart, just like his brother two years before.
What’s In A Name?
When we were looking at names for our dogs, we looked to our favourite entertainment – books, films, music, for inspiration.
Then, with a few great names in tow, we would begin calling them out loud to see what they would sound like in a real-life situation, being shouted across a field, down a street or in a crowded room.
Some of the results were hilarious and definite no’s. Although, Hercule (Poirot) was definitely close in the running for Dalton.
Dalton was slim and had gorgeous eyes so it definitely seemed fitting that he be named after Patrick Swayze’s character from the 80’s classic Road House.
Hudson was much more vocal from the start and those of you who’ve ever watched Aliens will know that Bill Paxton’s character Hudson was definitely not short of the constant squeal. Bill Paxton sadly died the year we got Hudson too so it seemed very fitting.
A close second for Hudson, however, was Dutch but maybe we will save that name for another time…
10 points if you know where that name comes from?
When you first read about pugs, or ask anyone what they know about pugs, generally one word comes to mind. Lazy. Well – not these two I can tell you!
They definitely love to sleep – that’s true, but don’t we all?
They both have bundles of boundless energy and walks can go on for hours! They love love love being out and about walking off the lead. Meeting other dogs, sniffing all the smells they can find and chasing each other around are the main parts of our pug walks each day.
They love all other dogs (and humans for that matter). I’ve never known them to meet another dog which they haven’t liked or tried to play with.
In the summer, you just have to be very careful with them as they don’t really know their breathing limits or heat limits so lots of shade, cold water and limited exercise are a must.
Having said that, both boys like to sunbathe! This could be something they’ve learnt from their mother…
So what is home life like with the boys?
They definitely rule the roost. We live in a little flat in Andover on the ground floor which is perfect for periodic tinkle breaks during the daytime.
The Hampshire countryside is also so beautiful and there’s plenty of locations for nice long adventures when we’re outside.
As there are two dogs in the house, we, of course, have seven or eight beds – all Orvis. They seem to really love the couch beds or the fleece wrap arounds. These are only for daytime naps however as they spend nighttime in my bed!
We are super-lucky as they get to come to the Orvis office with me every day to work and this means cuddles, playtime and lots of attention all day every day. When we work from home they tend to spend most of the day at my feet under the table with the occasional participation in conference calls.
When I say participation… that means either barking, snoring or being forced to wave at the other participants.
They have an army of toys and a wardrobe of clothes to keep them entertained and looking tip-top.
Are We OK?
With the current restrictions in place, it’s obviously pretty tough for dogs and their humans. We are lucky that we can walk and play safely and at distance from anyone else right outside our home.
During the day we do have lots of toys and puzzles to play with too – this keeps the boys and their brains active.
I hope this helped bring a smile to your day and encourages you to make the most of the situation we are in by appreciating the time you get to spend with your furry family members.