• Melody Chalaban

Jack, formerly Bok, will be celebrating his 6th birthday at the end of February! Relinquished in Korea before he was a year old, he now lives with his humans, Jennifer and Matt, in Southern California.

His rescue story as told by his rescuer, Kim:

"A member of pug community in Korea wanted to give up him. She lived alone and no longer could live with him so he moved to her parents' house. His parents kept him outdoors so his owner felt so sorry for him. As I heard that story, I asked her to move him to my vet clinic. Then he flew to the States for adoption."

Fun fact first!

Jack’s an award-winning Pug! He won Most Photogenic Dog at the Bulldog Beauty Contest in 2016 and second-best tail in 2017! His tails looks like a double curled cinnamon bun, and it's perfect in every way. Just like him!

Homecoming with Matt

Gotcha Day date

March 10, 2015. We celebrate every year by taking him to Petsmart to get a new toy and treat. This year, I'm going to bake him a dog-friendly cake with peanut butter!

How did you happen upon Jack?

I wasn't looking for Jack at that time, but I think he was looking for me! My family had recently lost our almost 15-year-old Lab, Sadie. I've had Labs all my life, but I've been in love with Pugs almost as long and knew that one day, I'd find the perfect pug. We found Jack on Petfinder.com completely by accident. My sister and I were both missing Sadie, and our roommate had recently gone through the Guide Dog training puppy program so, for a moment, there was a puppy in our house. It reminded us how nice it was to come home to a dog! Having a dog adds color. So, I was initially looking for dogs for my sister when I stumbled across Jack's picture and bio. I fell in love, so I took a leap and filled out an application.

How did you know Jack was the “one?”

When we arrived at his foster's house, he came bursting out of the house like a maniac and tore around the yard, chasing and tumbling around with Peri, his foster-sibling. He was full of energy and such a happy boy! When I called him, he practically bowled me over and, in between all of the kisses and licking, I realized he was the one. I was trying really hard not to get my hopes up though!

The day I first met Jack

Describe the day and your feelings the moment you met Jack.

I remember rushing to finish the application and asking my roommates and fiancé if they were ok with adopting a pug. We set a date to meet Jack. During the hour long drive, I was bouncing with excitement! My fiancé couldn't make it, but he had said he was ok with whatever happened (he was noncommittal and told me it was up to me since he didn't care...look how that has changed!).

What’s his personality like?

He's slowed down considerably—but still has the occasional zoomie—since we brought him home, but in a good way! Most of the day, he lazes around until everyone gets home then comes alive and gets playful. Currently, his favorite toy is a pizza, but he also loves ropes, antlers and anything soft! He also knows several tricks including: "give me paw" (high-five), “bow,” “shake,” and "bang bang" (complete with a finger gun!). We've also taught him how to "howl."

He's a master at guilt-tripping people. He looks at you with those big liquidy brown eyes and the upturned lip, making you question every decision you ever made that didn't benefit him in some way. And he's an opportunist! If you leave anything in reach that's food-related, he will get into it when your back is turned! Every so often, when something new is in the house (an Amazon box, a pineapple, a cardboard cutout of Professor Snape from Harry Potter), he will lose his mind! He's equal parts brave and afraid when it comes to new things. Balloons are public enemy #1!

The best part is when you've had a bad day or you're not feeling well, Jack's always right there, as close as he can be to lick your hand or curl up in your lap.

How has your pug fit in with your family and in your home?

I'm going to be very clear here: I may have adopted Jack and I love him dearly, but his absolute favorite person in the world is his dad, my husband. And the same goes for my husband. I never had a chance! They are two peas in a pod. Matt was a little hesitant at first until Jack came home on Gotcha Day. But now all Matt talks about is adding more pugs to our family in the future. Jack is the apple of his eye.

When Jack came home, we were worried about our other house inhabitant, my sister's cat Neville. At first, Neville was not a fan of Jack and was a bit vocal about it. But we were patient and kept working with both. After realizing that Jack was mostly harmless, Neville warmed up to him and they are now best friends and inseparable. If you put Jack outside, Neville will sit by the door until you let him out as well or let Jack back in! Neville even takes time to occasionally groom Jack's ears and face. It's the funniest thing!

My parents also recently added a new Lab, Ivie, to their family and we go over to visit them every weekend. She's a bit of a bully (as all puppies are) and at first, he wasn't good at telling her to back off. Now, they're friends and they wrestle nonstop until we have to throw them into the backyard so they don't break anything.

This heirloom dog sweater has been in our family for almost 40 years. We have pictures of all of our labs wearing it and now, one of Jack!

What’s his favorite food, or rather--let’s make this pug-appropriate-- is there anything Jack won’t eat?

Pickles. One time, Jack ate a pickle slice. His look of joy went to one of disgust in half a second. I don't think his mouth even closed before he spat it back out onto the ground.

If Jack could talk, what would he say?

He'd give me a stern talking to (or a well-worded guilt trip!) for all of times I brought something weird and scary into the house, like the time he spotted a pineapple on the table. I've never seen a dog skid to a halt and back up so quickly before.

If your pug had thumbs, what would he do?

Probably figure out how to get into the fridge, the pantry...anywhere there's food!

Jack at various Renaissance Faires with us. He's really good-natured about the ridiculous things we put on him. Far right, 1 week after we got him-- there were cannons going off all day and he didn't budge at all.

Family pic

We're so thankful to Kim and PRK for rescuing Jack and allowing us to adopt him. Even though we got married the same year, I still like to say that adopting Jack was the best decision of 2015. My husband and I love him dearly and can't imagine life without him. He brings color into our everyday life and has been our constant companion, whether we're at my parents, on a boating trip, or bringing him along with us to any of the Renaissance Faires that we do as a couple. Every day is an adventure with him!

  • Melody Chalaban

Sora is a 9yo fawn pug, who Kelly Nass adopted on February 19, 2012. (Hey, her Gotcha Day is coming!)

In rescuer Kim's words:

"Sora was found as a stray around 2011. She was young, under 1 yr, and healthy but nobody came to adopt her, so I took her in.

"At that time I lived with my parents. My house was crowded with other fostering pugs so she stayed at the vet clinic. I visited the vet everyday to walk her. She loved it a lot. When I walked her, I dropped by Starbucks to get iced latte. She wanted to share so I had with her.

"She got ultrasound to check whether she spayed or not, and she was spayed. She was already spayed but stray as young puppy...Sad. After staying at the vet she flew to the States on Feb 2012."

Fun Fact First!

Check out Sora in Pug Nation LA's 2020 calendar. She's Miss February!

Follow Sora on Instagram @sorasmom

First picture Kelly saw of Sora

How did you happen upon Sora?

I found her cute little nugget face on petfinder.com.

Gotcha Day

How did you know Sora was the “one?”

I'd been thinking about adopting a pug for almost a year and a half but wasn't sure I was ready for the commitment. I researched the breed and browsed available pugs on petfinder.com often. I was originally looking for a black pug—we’d had black dogs growing up—but as soon as I saw her wonky eye and wearing that pink polka dotted coat, I knew she was the one!

When I put in my application, there were 3 people ahead of me. They said they’d call if none of them worked out, and I was so upset thinking I had no chance. Then I got the call a few weeks later that she was still available. Apparently, she wanted nothing to do with the previous applicants—even ran and hid behind the couch from one. I was in Kentucky taking care of my dad when I got the call (he’d just had a heart attack). I asked if they could wait a week before I was back in California, and thankfully they said yes.

I couldn't wait to meet her—I drove straight from LAX to her foster home. I sat on the floor to say hello, and she crawled into my lap and fell asleep immediately. Her foster mom said, "It looks like she chose you to be her Mom." My heart was instantly full. She's been my baby girl ever since!

What’s Sora’s personality like?

She's a bossy little queen! She's stubborn, demanding, lets me know when she thinks it's time to eat (even though she just ate), and basically rules the house. She gets really upset if people don't want to pet her—especially in the elevator. She also likes to lean against cute boys in the elevator—total flirt!! She absolutely hates escalators and will claw me to death any time we're on one (mostly at the airport). She's also startled by her own farts and looks at me like I did it! She gives great side-eye and has total attitude if she's not getting what she wants. But she's also the best snuggler and her puggy sighs are my favorite sound in the whole world.

How has Sora fit in with your family and in your home?

She's a mama's girl and doesn't like me to be out of her sight. Her favorite place is next to me or in my lap or using my neck as a pillow when we sleep. We're a mother-daughter team, although she loves my boyfriend, too. They take great naps together! She travels with me often and makes friends everywhere she goes. Kids and adults alike love her and constantly say she's the cutest pug they've ever seen.

What’s her favorite food, or rather--let’s make this pug-appropriate-- is there anything your pug won’t eat?

She loves blueberries and the foam off my latte (thanks to her rescuer, Kim, who took her to Starbucks after springing her from the shelter in Korea! Lol) She thinks every time we’re in the drive-thru, she should get a cheeseburger. And she demands a Dunkin' munchkin' every day when I walk her to get my morning coffee. She has the DD workers wrapped around her paw. When she starts barking, they apologize for not getting her munchkin fast enough!! She hates carrots and lettuce. Pretty much anything else is fair game.

If your pug could talk, what would she say?
“Bitch, where's my dinner?” lol

If your pug had thumbs, what would she do?

She would text me, "When are you coming home? Where's my dinner?"

Adopting Sora was the single best decision of my life. I proudly wear the crazy pug lady label, and contrary to my friends’ beliefs, I found a guy who loves her (almost) as much as I do.

Nothing is better than pug kisses

  • Melody Chalaban

Kim with Freya and Blanca

If you were to drive from the southern region of South Korea to the northern part of the country, it would take approximately 5 hours.

Our rescuer, Kim, has driven this.

To rescue a pug.

Countless times.

That’s like driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Or, from Richmond VA to New York City.

Kim drives all over the country to pick up unwanted pugs and shuttling them from one foster home to another and one veterinary clinic to another. She works a day job from 9am to 6pm, and she uses the remaining 15 hours in the day to drive the country rescuing pugs. Driving late into the early morning hours and on the weekends, Kim stops at rest stops to sleep. There are weekends when she’s doing this all day and into the night.

Pugs in cars....some getting coffee...

Why such late night driving?

When an owner wants to give up their dog, they want it out of the house immediately.

Once she finds an available dog on the online sales lists, Kim will call the owner, who will say, with urgency, “Can you pick up the dog tonight?” Kim, with the same urgency, then has to drive there that night or a breeder will land the dog instead. She makes the long trip hoping the dog will still be available and that she doesn’t get ghosted.

We have limited resources. But, we do have a wonderful foster coordinator, Mel, in Korea who has helped tremendously in placing dogs with foster families, creating a sort of PRK Foster Network. Without her and this network, we would not be able to save as many pugs’ lives as we have.

Despite this, Kim still handles 99% of the vet visits, meaning she herself will drive to the foster family (most are 3-4 hours from her apartment) to pick up the pug for their vet visit.

Dog rescuer to the bone

We speak to Kim nearly every day and never does she complain about these long drives. It’s like she knows this is her duty in her life. She doesn’t just accept it, but she embraces it. She truly embodies the life of a dog rescuer.

If you see this Pug Mobile in Korea, you know it's on a critical mission

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