By Katy Cable-TWR / A 4 min. read
CoVid19 pretty much took a dump on 2020, but just a couple weeks shy of the lockdown, “Pug-aholics” from around the globe gathered in Las Vegas for our annual pilgrimage. Little did we know, our world was about to come unglued.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but in my case, PUGS are! Feeling horribly depressed as my recent birthday hit me like a slap in the face, my amazing husband gave me the gift of a lifetime. He kindly agreed to accompany me to the annual Las Vegas Pug Party. A weekend adventure equivalent to Coachella for Pug lovers!
Pugs from the around the globe including social media “PUG-lebrities”: Minnie & Max 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 our own.
Typically having a child or pet with you in “Sin-City” will make you as welcome as a rash, but we a found a perfect base camp at an all-suite hotel right off the Vegas strip and took over the town.
The weekend kicks off with nearly 100 pugs and their peeps boarding a fleet of party buses and heading to the infamous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign for a group picture. It’s “Pugs-Gone-Wild” and this year was no exception. The darling pugs, dressed to the nines, doing their version of “lap & pole” dances, had us crying in hysterics!. Several became viral TikToks which will live in infamy.
Following our heroic efforts to gather over 100 people and their pugs for a group photo, it was off to enjoy dinner. It takes a lot to stand out in Vegas, but the controlled chaos caravan of pugs did just that. Hundreds of pugs parading down the strip in strollers and canine contour was definitely the talk of the town on that night! The pugs gave the superheros and showgirls a run for their money and were by-far the most sought-after photo-opp!
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 from our meals fell to the ground like a spring rain. And did I mention how dog-gone cute they looked in their fabulous attire!
The following morning 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 their festive pug-jamas was the cutest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on! Pugs had the option of indulging in bites of whatever their human would share, or could stick to their “summer-body diets” and enjoy grain-free, low-carb, lamb, beef & turkey “aPAW-tizers” sponsored by Nulo pet foods.
Guests were treated to sWAG bags filled with amazing pet products including organic pet shampoo, designer poopy bags, CBD treats and promo items from some of the famous Pugs. The evening concluded with a champagne toast to Chubbs and other pets who have left us for Rainbow Bridge.
Early Saturday morning, my Pug, Olive and I headed to the “Pugs in the Park” meetup while hubby took in 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!”
My pug Olive and I had the pleasure of hitching a ride to the meetup on Surf Gidget the Pug’s pimped-out tour bus. Her Sprinter included plush carpet, a mini-fridge, toilet, designer beds and even her own pug-sized 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!” Everything from signed artwork, to books, pillows, posters and pottery, created competitive bidding wars. Proceeds from the weekend event and raffle raised nearly $20,000 for several pug rescues.
The weekend’s headlining event was Saturday night’s Pug Wedding officiated by Elvis himself. It was everything you’d expect from a Vegas wedding and a lot more. Fancy wedding cakes for canines and humans adorned the beautifully decorated hall. Guests and pugs were lavishly outfitted for matrimony. Pugs were marrying other pugs. People were marrying pugs, and everyone was getting in the act celebrating love and friendship. Elvis serenaded us through the entire experience with favorite hits like “Hound Dog” and “Love Me Tender!”
Come Sunday morning everyone was “dog-tired” as we dragged ourselves to the weekend’s farewell brunch. The venue was packed with pugs dressed in their finest “Sunday Brunch Attire.” While a few pranced around the room posing for Instagram pictures, most were tucked into their luxury strollers sleeping soundly. That is until the candied bacon and eggs hit the table.
With tears in our eyes (partly from pet allergies and no sleep) we said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch via social media.
My depression over having another birthday and turning another year older, had melted faster than a snow-cone in July. I learned getting old sure beats dying young. Age is just a number! As for wrinkles, well they’re an adorable pug trademark. From now on, my birthdays would be celebrated by attending the Vegas Pug Weekend and they would be highly anticipated events.
Two weeks later the world went into lockdown. Things got very scary and unpredictable. Life as we knew it got turned upside down. This year’s 2020 Las Vegas Pug Party was another casualty of CoVid 19. As sad as that was, I’m so very grateful to have all my treasured memories and many new friends to help get me through a difficult time. Plus, the next Vegas Pug Party will certainly be one for the record books.
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