Americas fascination with all things hybrid has reached a fever pitch. Science has brought us the Prius, the seedless watermelon, countless types of orchids, an occasional sheep and most excitedly tail-waggingly worthy, the Puggle.
A hybrid dog is a fuzzy (and occasionally hypoallergenic) result from the hyper trend of finding two of the cutest purebred dogs, putting on some mood music, and waiting for the magic to happen.
Results may vary (says so right on the box), but if all prevails, the outcome is a wet-nosed cutie pie that melts even the coldest of hearts and sends four-legger lovers into ecstasy.
Unlike the broccolini (yum!) and rabbage (go ahead, make a face and gag, I’ll wait), this mission of creating the ultimate cuddle hound is one of the more acceptable forms of playing God (beware of the kid in your child’s play group that wants to play God, instead of Doctor, Grocery Clerk or Starbuck’s Barista of Ennui and Dark Roast – it doesn’t bode well for a future in humanitarianism). But I digress.
Puggles, equal parts mixed of Beagle and Pug, are considered to be the top dog of the hybrids. Beagles are known for their intelligence and loyalty and Pugs for their high cuddle quotient. “We’re finding that pet owners are very excited about the hybrid dogs because they have the best of both breeds and the dog’s themselves are very stylish,” says PuggleLove.com president, Cyndie Ryers.
I had a chance to sit down with Ryers, waxing pugetically to a near catatonia of bliss about how “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “wonderful” her Puggle, Samson, has made her life. She did, however, go on to warn that one should research the characteristics of both breeds separately when choosing a hybrid dog, so that one will be aware of the dog’s likely temperament. Both Pug and Beagle purebreds have health or behavioral concerns that may or may not transfer to a mix of the two breeds. Pugs tend to have respiratory ailments and eyeball problems and Beagles may have ear-flap issues and have been known to bark incessantly. Oh, Heavenly bliss.
There are several sites devoted to Puggle breeds, including ipuggle.com, which is a basic “go to” encyclopedia for the precocious breed, as well as numerous “Puggle for Sale” sites. A Puggle can run upwards of $800, so be prepared to lay down some serious bones for these little doggies.
Over a fur-free and bark-less Skype session, I spoke with a devoted “mom” of four Puggles, Ms. Patty Moore. She gushed, “Paws down, Puggles are truly the best dogs on the planet.” Moore recently adopted Pugsie Malone, a six-month old Puggle, adding to her brood that included, Muggle the Puggle, Pugnacious Maximus and Bill.
She took me on a virtual tour of her home, which was filled with all things Puggle. She, herself, wore an irony free “I Love Puggles!” t-shirt and matching Puggle-faced slippers.
Admittedly, by the time our Skype session was finished, it was hard not to be won over by those cute little faces and non-stop wigglers running amok beneath her feet.
We humans are charging ever forward with our attempts to perfect the world, as we know it. Perhaps Puggles will be in the Pantheon of Dog Science, one day. Only time will tell (in increments of seven years, of course).
Here’s hoping that perhaps more adventurous genetic mash-ups are to come: The RottWeiner, the gerbil-python, Miley Cyrustoleum or seedless sunflower seeds. As grand and wild as the mind can imagine, science will find a way.