How a pug breaks his tail (and other shenanigans)

There’s a saying here at the ranch I use when something kinda shitty goes down. I use it to let that shitty little experience roll off my back and out of my mind in order to move on with the rest of the day. I shrug my shoulders, tilt my head and roll my eyes up to the sky and say, “Ah well, sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the pug.”

Yeah, pug. Right? You may have heard it from me here before.

I think it’s fitting, I mean in the other scenario, you know, the one with the bug? Yeah. Well, the bug gets squashed. Splat. Guts everywhere. Dead.

I use a 45 pound pug because it turns out a little better. I mean, you might lose an eye and develop a limp, but the pug, the pug will not be squashed.

So I like it.

And I used it on Monday evening when the boys and I went out to move horses around. It’s the middle of June, but in North Dakota, if you aren’t fortunate enough to have an indoor arena where you can continue working on your horses during rain, snow, sleet or hail unfortunately the first month of nice weather is the month you need to ride the kinks out of the horses.

We have pretty good horses, but I tell you after about five and a half months out to pasture they certainly have some wobbles. And my sorrel is no exception. See, apparently when the going gets rough (and by rough I mean making him step away from the barnyard, away from the other horses or just simply out of his little bubble of comfort) the dweeb lays down.

Sometimes, when you put your foot in the saddle the horse spins around, works on a nice rendition of what most would describe as a hissy fit  and then tops it off by throwing himself to the ground. It’s a sight indeed and that kind of behavior can really hurt the horse as well as the rider. But after it’s done you would never even know the little scene occurred because the horse is plumb fine, head in line, lazy and calm as ever.

What the hell is it all about? We are not sure. It’s concerning. It means he’s confused or frustrated and we’re not communicating the right way, so we’re trying to figure it out.

And that’s what we were doing on Monday when I stepped on the dweeb only to step off again at my pop’s advice as the horse jumped and spun and exhibited all signs of a tantrum…

and I landed wrong on a dirt clump and exhibited all signs of a torn ankle.

And just like that, damn, I’m hobbled up for a bit.

Dweeb and dirt clump, hope you like being the windshield, because I am most definitely the pug.

Yes, I was the pug on Monday and continue to show signs of the pathetic but hearty creature as I limp around town and the barnyard like a 90-year-old lady, refusing to be left out of any kind of activity, ignoring it so it goes away.

I heard that works…

Anyway, last night I was out snapping photos, doing some chores and all around pretending my minor (but annoying) injury didn’t exist I discovered that the actual pug may have had an encounter with a windshield as well. As Captain Black Bean (yes that’s what husband calls him now that he’s missing an eye…it has something to do with a pirate…anyway) as Captain Black Bean went about his usual antics of tormenting Big Brown Dog for his stick, chasing the cats up trees and all around being a pain in the ass, husband noticed there was something a little off with our problem pet–and it wasn’t the lack of a right eye or the scrape of missing skin below it…nope. Nope.

It wasn’t the wood tick stuck in his ear or the fact that he looked like he ran into a wall (his face is supposed to look like that.)

Nope. It wasn’t his face at all.

It was his tail. 

It should be wagging shouldn’t it? I mean, these are his favorite activities. Come to think of it, isn’t his tail curly? Doesn’t it roll up on his back, exposing his little pug-butt for all the world to see?

What the hell? What happened to his tail?

Pug, not so happy about swimming

Before (but after an accidental swim)


I kneeled down to take a closer look, tried touching the appendage to see if he was in pain.

Nope, not in pain. Annoyed? Yes. But not in pain.

I pulled on it a little, tried pushing it back in place like a curly-cue.

It flopped back down.

I tried making happy noises and scratching his ears.

No response from the tail.

I tried throwing a stick for big dog and watching the pug chase him, hock him and steal it away. It is his favorite activity, it makes his whole body bounce and wiggle and snort and move.

But this time the tail wasn’t following suit.

And it was quite clear then, upon his return with the stick, that the tail had indeed checked out, laying limp and lifeless along his butt and down his legs.

Ahh man! With each passing day at the ranch my cute and cuddly little pug looks more and more like a gremlin.

What kind of weird encounter with a near-death experience got him and his tail in such a predicament?

I was pondering that question as I popped a Tylenol PM in my mouth and hit the pillow, hoping for a sunrise that would bring a little less swelling in my ankle and a bit more curl to the pug’s tail when I was jarred awake by Big Brown Dog’s nose in my face and his arm-sized tail (which seems to be working fine thanks) slapping against the side of the bed.

He snorted.

I rolled over.

He whined.

I told him to get back.

The pug barked.

What the hell? The pug is up? He usually doesn’t wake until at least noon…

Figuring they must have had some bad chicken and it was a 1 am emergency I swung my legs over the bed, rubbed my eyes and limped towards the door, the dogs panting and wiggling at my heals.

I flung the door open into the moonlight and prepared to wait for them to do their business so I could let them back inside in order to avoid any shenanigans with the night creatures lurking in our coolies.

Well, it was all a blur from there. Because it turned out the night-mischief wasn’t only in our coolies, but also on our front deck. And the dogs, even locked in the comfort of this home, knew it. As soon as the wild air hit their noses a little black streak and a big brown blur flew out the door, around the corner of the deck and tore in after something.

There was growling, there was scratching, fur was flying, the deck was shaking, the house was trembling, something was barking and someone was screaming…

I peeked my head around the corner, afraid to look. Afraid to see the Boogy Man or that alien I’ve been waiting for getting ready to suck up our house and our brains and finally take us to outer space. I squeezed my eyes tight and opened them as they adjusted on two tiny human-like hands and a furry masked face looking into the eyes of the brown and black streak,  holding onto the edge of the deck for dear life as his pudgy bottom half dangled helplessly over the six-foot  drop to the ground–a drop the mischievous raccoon was not willing to leap into without a fight.

I gasped and from behind me leaped a wild-haired man with a gun in his hand. He was hollering as he pushed me aside and flew toward the action, stopping with his legs bent and spread apart, his eyes darting, his chest quickly rising and falling, his head moving from side to side, his gun in position, his arm-hair standing on end…

his bare ass glowing in the moonlight.

And just like that, at 1 am, the night was the windshield and we were all the pug.

I popped another Tylenol and limped back to bed, understanding now how, with circumstances like these, a pug might break his tail, a woman might twist a limb, a raccoon might stare death in the face while dangling helplessly by his claws…and how a good man might find himself up out of his bed at 1 am, standing atop a deck scouring the black landscape with nothing but a rifle in hand and his manhood, well, you know, dangling in the breeze.

(No photo available)

23 thoughts on “How a pug breaks his tail (and other shenanigans)

  1. OMG. The imagery… I can’t stop laughing! My diagnosis of the pug’s tail? He just wants to look like the other dogs.

  2. You make my day with your stories!!! LOL There’s never a dull moment on the ranch is there?!? Hope Pug gets his curl back…..

  3. LOLOL! So you saw two full moons last night! Well, at least he’s ready to protect. My man has an aversion to clothes also. It’s something I don’t get. I mean, we have kids! And yes, he at least waits until he goes to bed now, but if he has to run out like that at night, my kids would see his manhood dangling in the breeze! Albeit hilarious, I’m sure that’s a mental image of daddy they could do without!

  4. How the pug got his curl back aka Stella got her groove back! Be a good idea for the dogs to be current on their shots as racoons can carry rabies…great story…Rich

  5. God, this reminded me of something similar here in Colorado involving a naked husband, a crazy guinea pig, a stupid cat and a raccoon. How wild that such stories manage to exist at all!

  6. You certainly have an exciting life. What else can happen to that poor little pug? The lab seems to avoid trouble, but, the pug wades into it. And, the horse lying down. I can relate as well as spinning around while you have one foot in the stirrup and your brothers are laughing their heads off. No picture of Chad in his birthday suit? Well, you can do things like that in the country. Looking forward to reading your next adventure.

  7. I think I see the material for a children’s book here. Hmmmmm…… All about Captain Black Bean’s adventures, with of course, a life lesson attached to each one. The book character could have a little peg leg and a hat with a dashing feather. And, unlike his Dad, he would wear pants ALL the time. Could we add dreadlocks to the mix? Surely there’s a story line for each injury ranging from mulitple porcupine meetings, lost eye, broken tail, gimpy leg (oh, I forgot, that was you)…. This one made me laugh out loud so I was busted in front of my employees cuz I was reading your story and not reading e-mails! 🙂

  8. My grandpa did that once at the horse races in Miles City — He was at a motel and had gotten up to use the biffy in the middle of the night, except he found himself standing in the hallway naked – with the door locked!! Imagine that! Yep, the stories to tell your grandchildren!!!

  9. Jessie…your thoughts make me laugh,,,but…just a have no coolies at the ranch ,,coulees ,,I think. The pugs tail will get better, Thank God no other appendage was injured!

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  15. Oh Jessy, this was just great again. Sitting in my jammies, drinkin coffe an reading about you guys and the pug!!!! (Drying of tears) DAYUM! YOU ROCK GIRL! And I have to admit, I am his fan…as long as he is with You and You are telling his story, I am a pug-fan 😀 Greetings from Sweden!

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