Trooper is the inspiration for our rescue efforts
Day 1 from the shelter
Emaciated & dehydrated.
Day 3 from the shelter
Up and walking.
Trooper is a rescue I adopted a few years ago. This poor little guy was neglected & abandoned, found in a
box and turned over to a local shelter. He was extremely emaciated and dehydrated. This special pug
looked like a skeleton with a vacant stare, sunken eyes, ribs & hips sticking our profusely, and areas of fur
missing around his neck, looked similar to a rope burn. He was so weak his legs would shake under him
and he was unable to lift his head. He would stagger when he tried to walk and had to be held upright when
relieving himself or he would fall over. He is blind & deaf, has a permanent head tilt and walks with a severe
Day 5 from the shelter
A Happier pug! On his way to
How could I not fall in love with such a special little guy. After a few weeks of vet care and feeding many small
meals throughout the day, he became a new dog. He started to walk without falling and slowly learned social
skills and how to interact with humans.
Trooper's story has a happy ending. He lives with us along with a few other pugs, all former rescues, each
one very special. He amazes me everyday. He is extremely affectionate and there aren't enough hugs &
kisses in the world for him. I promise him everyday he will always be well cared for and loved. I'm very lucky to
have had him come into my life.
In the years since I adopted Trooper he has faced many more health issues, but has always gotten through
everything like a true trooper, after all that's how he got his name. Within the past two years he was diagnosed
with glaucoma, and after much research & vet discussions, we opted to have his eyes removed since he was
completely blind previously. This seemed to be the best option in this particular case. I'm happy to say
Trooper has adapted again & done amazingly well. To me he'll always be my very handsome special angel.
One year later
Doing much better, gaining
weight & looking healthy.
With a sad heart , I have to tell you that trooper has passed away today. I've spent a long time in rescue and
have come across a lot of dogs in my time. Never have I come across a pug that had so much determination,
strength and will to live than trooper. I also have never met a person like his pug mom, Lisa. Many times I
questioned if it was worth allowing him to continue on when he was at his worst Sometimes I would look at
him and wonder if he understands what's going on in his world. I learned over the years it should have never
been a question. He had an amazing life, he shared himself with many people and became a little star in his
own right. Being a pug dad of my own (8 and counting), I now understand Lisa's point of view and why she
did what she did. I have a pug currently with failing kidneys. Many people say, just let her go, she's not going
to have a life, it's not worth the expense. I can tell you this, they're wrong. She does have a good life and as
long as I'm around will continue to. I would never let her live in pain but just because she has to be fed by
hand or helped to pee doesn't make their life any less valuable.
Animal rescuers are a different breed. This is our life, our love and our passion. Our hearts go out to Lisa
and we know that Trooper is in a better place and we commend Lisa for everything she's done. She's given
up many things, a lot of time and has dedicated her life to doing what many people can't or won't do. We love
you Lisa and thank you doing everything you do.
Read below for Lisa's words on trooper.
It's with a very heavy heart & tears that I write to let you all know that my beloved Trooper passed away early
yesterday morning. Many of you may know him as the pug with no eyes, that was either sleeping in his stroller
or walking in his wheelcart. He was an amazing little guy. He came into my life 7 years ago, found in a box,
very sickly, too sick to stand, near death due to starvation. He was turned over to the Rescue League, who
contacted Patti at GAPR, who called to see if I could go down to check it out since I lived not too far from there.
Originally I had only planned to foster him, but needless to say I ended up adopting him a few months later,
afterall how could I let him go w/all that I had been thru w/him those first few months. I'm so lucky that I was
the one to get that call on that particular day, this little fellow ended up completely changing the direction of my
He got his name because while the vet techs were working on him to save him, they kept saying "you're a
trooper, you can make it" & the name just stuck. Those first few days we didn't know from day to day if he'd
survive, but he made it thru. Over the years his name fit him perfectly as he had many physical set-backs, but
kept on coming back time & time again. I've never met a dog with such a strong will to survive. They were
estimating his age when he was found to be about 5 or 6, & I couldn't believe how sad it was that he was not
only in this condition but also has no social skills, seemed like he had very minimal human contact previously.
In the beginning once he was strong enough to get around on his own, all he did was hump & howl. It was
amazing to watch his progress how he learned to interact socially with human & other dogs. Slowly those
negative behaviors disappeared. It breaks my heart to think of where he came from & I promised everyday for
7 years that I would always love & take good care of him.
Being Trooper's care-giver was a wonderful experience. In the beginning he was so frail. He needed help
standing, & I remember how exciting it was the first time he was able to walk on his own without any help from
me. What stuck out to me more than anything was in the beginning he had such a vacant stare, within days
there was so much life in his eyes. Although he was a blind pug, he had the most soulful eyes I had ever seen.
About 2 years ago he developed Glaucoma & we opted to have his eyes removed (he had been blind
previously for years, & there were other options, but in his particular case this seemed to be the best solution
for him). I thought I would have a hard time not seeing those beautiful eyes of his, but Stacie always said
"Trooper sees with his heart not his eyes" & that helped me to get through it. Needless to say the day of the
surgery I couldn't wait to get him back into my arms that when I first saw him without his eyes it didn't matter at
all to me, I just wanted to hold onto him forever. He adapted unbelieveably quickly of course.
I feel very blessed to have had Trooper come into my life. He changed the course of it. It's because of him that
I wanted to work with more special needs pugs. It's amazing how many lives he touched over the years. He
participated in numerous rescue events over the years. In the past year he had been having more physical
problems, but kept adapting over & over again. I began taking him just about everywhere w/me in his stroller,
he seemed to love that. We'd go to the bank, library, post office, etc., he made a lot of new friends strolling
around town. The funniest thing to me was when I'd have to go downtown & I'd be pushing this pug sitting in a
stroller down Forbes Ave., & would you believe no one would even give us a 2nd glance. I used to think that
was funny, everyone in town seems to be in such a hurry, no one notices the crazy lady w/the pug in a stroller,
but locally, people used to fuss over him quite a bit.
His passing was so peaceful, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I woke up around 4 am & as always for
the last 7 years, I had slept holding Trooper in my arm with his head resting on my shoulder, this was his
favorite spot. I started sleeping w/him like that when he first arrived so I could monitor his breathing, he
seemed so comforted there that I never stopped & we continued to sleep this way every night. A little after I
awoke I felt a tiny bit of droll on my shoulder, there was no gasping or deep breaths, he just stopped breathing,
he went to sleep & simply never woke up. He left this world on his terms, when the time was right for him.
I am comforted by the thought that he can now run & see & I know he's not alone. In Jan. Petey, my 17 yr. old
pug passed away, plus another of my pug's April, who was Trooper's closest pug buddy (April had 1-eye, but
used to lead Trooper around, it was the cutest thing, they were always curled up together, I think it broke
Trooper's heart when April died 2 yr.s ago), & Stacie's Symie, who was Trooper's best friend, the 2 of them used
to hang out together on the couch while the rest of the pugs played in the living room. I know there's a special
place in heaven for these little ones.
I know Trooper will continue to touch lives over the years to come. Afterall he is the inspiration to save more
special needs pugs which led to the idea for our new rescue so we can help more of these special little ones.
Isn't it ironic that he survived long enough to see the establishment of this new rescue, I think he just knew this
was what I was meant to do with my life & he was sent here to help me get to this point. It's so amazing how one
little pug can touch so many lives. I'm sorry for going on so long. I miss him terribly, I keep expecting to hear
his little voice, but I also feel relief for him as he no longer has to struggle in life. He'll always remain in my
heart, afterall he was my very special little boy.