Pugs…it’s a state of mind!

The day was in aid of “The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association” which has been staffed entirely by volunteers since 1973. With the primary function of rescuing and rehoming pugs, its website also offers some solid advice if you are thinking of owning a pug – check it out here.

Blonde woman holding a black pug with its tongue out © Paul Worpole Photography

Many of the pugs were rescued from homes after being mistreated; quite often a one-eyed pug wandered into my makeshift studio and, as I was to find out, more than happy to strike a pose for pug world domination!

Stable for a studio…
The event was held on a farm near Sandbach and as I was to find out, my makeshift studio for the day was a stable complete with the wonderful odour of horse. But, it was clean and had power for the studio lights and a door to stop any potential escapees!

Crazy Pug Lady Portrait © Paul Worpole Photography

Pugs are like crisps-you just can’t have one!
The owners in some instances, had just as much character as their dogs. One thing that was evident was the passion they had for their pugs. I met an elderly lady who had seven and was looking to adopt another!

Woman holding a pug with a pug t shirt on © Paul Worpole PhotographyMan in dark grey hoodie with pug © Paul Worpole Photography

Pugs of all shapes and sizes slowly appeared, strutting in some fine tweeds and custom mackintoshes. One that springs to mind was Walter, who despite being both blind and deaf was rocking his very own pirate outfit complete with cardboard box galleon, hilarious and adorable!

Pug Fever…
From bags and t-shirts to hats, it was pretty evident that ‘Pug Fever’ had hit town – matching outfits and bow ties were the order of the day with the distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face… and that’s just the owners!

Woman holding pug in a Pirate outfit © Paul Worpole Photography

“I sometimes think that God, in creating the Pug, somewhat underestimated his ability” Oscar Wilde

Some of the pugs totally enjoyed having their portraits taken while others whizzed around the floor like  spinning tops. The stable door was put to good use and I often had an official ‘pug wrangler’ to tame the talent!

Woman in yellow mackintosh and bobble hat with a pug© Paul Worpole Photography

Woman holding a one eyed pug © Paul Worpole Photography

How do you get the attention of a pug…

It was soon apparent that the only way to really get a pug’s attention is through their stomachs…treat boxes were waved behind me like the Queen arriving at Buckingham Palace, while slices of finest York ham flapped around my lens – even had me barking!

Man with Pug in a Pug Shirt © Paul Worpole PhotographyWoman in spotty shirt laughing holding a pug© Paul Worpole

Others sneaked in…
Alternative breeds were also in attendance; a wonderful French Bulldog with its owner John popped into the studio to see what was going on. He told me, despite the dog being a very young, it already had won best in show at his last competition. The connection between the two of them was so apparent when he gave it a big hug. They both gave a satisfying sigh at the same time.

Man in cardigan holding a french bulldog © Paul Worpole Photography

Cheques, Pugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll…
Contributions for the images were asked for on the day, and I couldn’t believe the wonderful generosity of the owners, often giving three times the suggested donation without any hesitation.

Woman in yellow jumper holding a pug with tongue out © Paul Worpole PhotographyWoman holding two pugs with big hair © Paul Worpole PhotographyMan in grey hoodie with fawn pug © Paul Worpole Photography

I was told by an owner – “You’re nobody until you’ve been ignored by a pug.”
At the end of it, the day was great. We raised some funds for a great cause and everyone went home happy…and all Pugged up!

All images copyright © Paul Worpole Photography. Canon 70 -200mm f4