Photography ©Avery Pearson

Paco

The Pug That Lights up La Luz

by Janet Elder

Greg Purdy, owner of La Luz Artful Lighting, has always had pugs. The one that has ruled the roost for the last thirteen years — and now the La Luz showroom — is Paco.

The handsome, extroverted pug greets and charms everyone who walks through the door. Paco, who has a penchant for carrots (organic), has trained the regular UPS and FedEx delivery drivers to follow him to the refrigerator at the back of the store so they can fetch him one. They know the drill and that if they fail to comply, they’ll be met with his doleful, unrelenting stare. Purdy confirms that Paco is a great communicator who uses his unwavering gaze to signal his wishes.

Bred as lapdogs for Chinese emperors, the even-tempered, affectionate pug has been around since 400 B.C. It was believed that the Chinese symbol for a word such as “love” or “fortune” could sometimes be discerned in the wrinkles of a pug’s face. Purdy doesn’t see a Chinese character in Paco’s face, but he does see “what looks like a thumbprint” in the center of his forehead. He added that Paco’s lighter coloration, with a distinctive black streak from neck to tail, is called “sable” and results from having one black and one fawn-colored parent.

Does Paco snore? Purdy laughed. “Yes!” He quickly added, though, that if he could, he would put his pug’s snoring on a sound machine because Paco sounds so contented.

When asked what prospective pug owners should know, Purdy replied that it’s a misconception that short-haired dogs don’t shed. “Never put on black,” he cautioned. “You’ll look like you’re wearing mohair.” (Pugs’ double-thick coats make them heavy shedders.)

A group of pugs is called a grumble, although their low-key, affectionate and even-tempered nature seems to refute the term. The American Kennel acknowledged the popular breed in 1885, giving it the motto Multo in parvo, which basically means “a lot of dog in a small package.” Neither Purdy nor Paco would disagree.

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