Pugly: A Pug’s Life Is a documentary about the love, rescue and triumphs of several pugs as they make their way through the rescue networks to their “forever homes.” We meet Gunner, a four-legged gentleman with chronic pain, and Instagram canine celebrities Miss Pickles and Helmut. There’s brave Titus, with medical problems requiring a regiment of pills and daily catheterizations – procedures performed by doting human companion without complaint.
Michael McNamara and Aaron Hancox’s film also focuses on the efforts of the pug rescue network Pugalug, led by self-professed “Crazy Dog Lady” Blanche Axton. The movie shows the dichotomy in this segment of the dog world – irresponsible breeders developing “cute” extreme features like flat and squishy faces, and conscientious breeders like Jim and Mary Lou Diamond, who have spent thirty years trying to breed the healthy “perfect pug.” We also meet responsible professionals like behaviourist Jessica Kelly and psychotherapist Todd Kaufman, who pick up the emotional pieces of animals who have difficulty adjusting to life with their physical features.
“Pugs are hipster dogs. So often people will get a pug only to discover that they can be pretty busy little lunatics. And they will eat until the food is over or they explode.” says Blanche Axton, Foster Co-ordinator Pugalug Pug Rescue
Pugly has its broadcast premiere on CBC Docs POV at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11.