By Katy Cable-TWR / A 4 min. read
With CoVid19 wrecking havoc on all our lives, I thought I’d reminisce on happier times. Just before the pandemic put everything in lockdown, “Pug-aholics” from around the globe gathered in Las Vegas. What began just three year’s ago has now become our annual pilgrimage.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but in THIS girl’s case, PUGS are! Feeling horribly depressed as my 53rd birthday hit me like a slap in the face, my amazing husband gave me the gift of a lifetime and agreed to accompany me on: Pugs Take Las Vegas. -A weekend adventure equivalent to Coachella for Pug lovers!
Pugs from the around the globe including social media “PUG-lebrities”: Minnie & Max the Pugs, (@minniemaxpugs)Surf Gidget the Pug, (@surf_gidget_the_pug), Milo & Otis the Pugs,(@otisthepugwalsh) and the new baby sister to the late Chubbs the Wampug, (@chubbsthewampug) Ms Worldwide, converged on Las Vegas for a “Pug-a-Palooza” of their own.
Typically having a child or pet with you in “Sin-City” will make you as welcome as a rash, but we found a comfortable base camp at the all-suite Platinum Hotel right off the strip and invaded Sin City.
The weekend kicked off with alfresco dining at Maggianos Italian restaurant where we enjoyed a family style dinner and perfect spring temps. Pugs were dressed-to-impress from head-to-tail, many sporting matching coordinated outfits with their human family members.
And what could have been “dog-gone” madness, with crazed dogs running amuck and lifting legs with abandon, was instead a group of purrrrectly behaved Pugs. Unlike toddlers throwing temper-tantrums, there were no screaming-crying melt-downs with our fur babies. The Pugs were quite happy flopping around as food tidbits fell to the ground like a spring rain.
The following AM we rose at the crack of dawn to brave the sweltering heat for a hike at picturesque Red Rock Canyon. Pugs aren’t known for their hiking agility. These stocky, bowling-ball shaped dogs are more likely to tumble down a hill than climb up one. With temps soaring in the high 90’s, most pugs preferred sleeping like rocks in their comfy, luxurious, all-terrain wheeled strollers.
Friday night’s “Pugs, Pizza, & Pajamas” party was a sell-out with over 165 pugs invading every square inch of the hotel lobby. Tripping over pups romping in the festive pug-jamas was the cutest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on! Pugs had the option of indulging in pizza or could stick to their “summer-body diets” and enjoy grain-free, low-carb, lamb, beef & turkey “aPAW-tizers” sponsored by Nulo with organic, GMO-free, pizza toppers from Shake&Wag!
Guests were treated to sWAG bags filled with amazing pet products including organic pet shampoo, designer poopy bags and CBD treats. The evening concluded with a champagne toast to Chubbs and other pets who have left us for the bridge.
Early Saturday Olive and I headed to the “Pugs in the Park” playdate while hubby took off for a much needed-round of golf. Hundreds of pug-obsessed locals joined the “Pugs Take Vegas” weekenders at a beautiful, dog park for “mutt-mingling” and photo-opps with their favorite “pug-lebrities!”
We had the pleasure of hitching a ride on Surf Gidget’s pimped-out tour bus. Complete with plush carpet, a mini-fridge, toilet, designer beds and even her own convertible parked inside, her ride was nicer than many apartments.
Later that afternoon, back at the hotel, a raffle was held with “must-have” “pug-para-FURnalia!” Proceeds from both the weekend event and raffle raised nearly $20,000 for several pug rescues.
The weekend’s main event was Saturday night when nearly 100 pugs boarded a fleet of party buses and caravaned downtown for a private rooftop soirée. It was nothing short of “Pugs-Gone-Wild” as they had us crying in hysterics with their version of “lap & pole” dances.
Following dinner, we headed to the Bellagio and the infamous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign for group pictures. It takes a lot to stand out in Vegas but the controlled chaos caravan of pugs parading down the strip in strollers and canine contour was definitely the talk of the town on that night! The pugs put the superheros and showgirls out of business and were by-far the most sought-after photo-opp!
The next AM everyone was “dog-tired” for our farewell brunch at the appropriately named, Lazy Dog restaurant. The patio was a buzz with the surround sound of snoring pugs sleeping soundly in their “Sunday Brunch Attire” -That is until the candied bacon and eggs hit the table.
With tears in our eyes (partly from Visine and no sleep) we said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch on social media. S
I can honestly say I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun or seen a better organized adventure in my life. My depression melted away faster than a snow cone in July as I realized wrinkles are an adorable Pug trademark and age is just a number! -Heck in dog years I’d be long gone! Now, my birthdays are highly anticipated and celebrated by attending the Vegas Pug Weekend.
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