• 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

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  • 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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  • Melody Chalaban

Our rescuer, Kim, rescued 1yo Buddy from the shelter in 2017.

“It was strange that nobody wanted to adopt him from the shelter. Maybe it was his photograph on the official stray site. He was very small, 11lbs. He had canine cold (cough, runny nose). People were afraid he had pneumonia or distemper. He was not seriously sick. He recovered! He was hospitalized for 2 weeks and, during that time, I would visit him to say hi.”

Buddy in Korea

Once healthy, we flew Buddy to Los Angleles on March 29, 2017. He then pugged on over to our friends at Pug Nation of LA, who took care of his adoption from there.

Here’s his mom, Tere Gonzalez:

Gotcha day date: April 13, 2017

Current age: 3 years old

Buddy in front, 2nd from the left, 2017

How did you happen upon Buddy?

First, I noticed him (see first pic) in Korea and thought he was cute. Then while watching Pug Nation’s Facebook Live video, I saw him again! They announced they would be at the Tailwaggers Adoption event the next day but that there was already a waiting list for him. So I didn’t get my hopes up, and I didn’t think they would take him to the adoption fair either. I had lost my pug Coco four months before and had intended to go to Tailwaggers just to play with the pugs.

What’s Buddy’s adoption story?

Gwenn from Pug Nation told me there was a list of 10 people ahead of me and she wasn’t sure how I ended up with him. I was shocked too, so it was meant to be!

How did you know Buddy was the “one?”

At Pug Nation, I didn’t notice him initially. But my boss, who was with me, spied him sitting under the volunteer’s chair. The volunteer asked if I wanted to take him for a walk, and I did! He was so cute, but I was told he already had someone coming to the Station to see him tomorrow. But they liked the fact that Buddy would be coming to work with me every day and, since he had a rough life, that would be good for him. They did the home check and landlord check all in one day, and when Gwenn called me the next day, she said, “I don’t know how you ended up with him, but that he’s all yours! Congratulations!”

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

Left work to pick him up at the Station, was a bit nervous but excited to have a dog back in my life (the first 2 pix above are Buddy's first day and night in his new home!).

What’s Buddy’s personality like?

He’s super sweet, loves everyone, including cats! He’s super crazy for food, twirling and spinning from the kitchen to his bowl. He loves to dress up and lets me take his picture, so funny! He loves his zoomies (all day long at the office) and his toys, but he HATES baths.

Buddy with Tere's boss

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

He fit right in, especially at work, which was so surprising. He doesn’t bark and he loves my boss (sometimes I think he loves him more than me, lol).

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


If your pug could talk, what would he say?

What’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner and where do you keep the treats.

If your pug had thumbs, what would they do?

Open the refrigerator.

I want to thank Kim, Renee, Melody & everyone involved with Pug Rescue of Korea. I know it’s not an easy job and y ’all are awesome & amazing!

Buddy as a Korean tourist lost in LA, Halloween 2019

Fun fact: Buddy recently won a Best Costume Award at Pug Nation’s Annual Pugtacular Spooktacular Event!

Follow Buddy on Instagram @lilmanbuddy

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