A PUG-UMENTARY: RICHMOND PUG MEETUP

 

THE ASK: 
Immerse yourself in the world of a subculture and bring it to life through a documentary.

WHAT I DID: 
Spent time at a dog park with pug owners and talked to them about their pugs and why they joined Richmond Pug Meetup.

WHAT I LOVED:
Being surrounded by about 20 pugs running around and being goofy! The owners were all happy to talk to me and I got some adorably funny pug shots. This was such a fun project to take on!

 

The Pug-umentary:

 
 

Keep scrolling to read more about Richmond Pug Meetup and what I learned from this project.


My Favorite Pug Expressions, Captured on Film:

  Goofy, tongue-sticking-out pug.

Goofy, tongue-sticking-out pug.

  Terrified pug.

Terrified pug.

  Chillin', bow-tie-wearing pug.

Chillin', bow-tie-wearing pug.

 
  Movie star pug, ready for its close-up as I'm filming.

Movie star pug, ready for its close-up as I'm filming.

 

What You Should Know:

RICHMOND PUG MEETUP

Richmond Pug Meetup (RPM) is a group on meetup.com that connects pug owners in Richmond, Virginia through playdates and other pug-related events. The group also has a very funny and built-out website.

The group was founded in 2005 and is currently headed up by Meg and her pug Wonton. RPM hosts pug playdates on the first Saturday of each month in various dog parks around Richmond. The official Richmond Pug Meetup logo reads "Multum in Parvo," which in Latin means "a great deal in a small space."


 

PUG-O-WEEN

Halloween is a big deal for this group! Richmond Pug Meetup celebrates by hosting an annual Pug-O-Ween, which is the biggest event of the year.

At Pug-O-Ween, there are costume contests for pugs and their owners (cutest, funniest, & best group costumes). There is also a fastest eater competition (all dogs can participate but only pure-bred pugs can win since pug mixes have the snout advantage!). Pug-O-Ween merchandise is sold prior to and at the event.


PUGS AROUND THE WORLD

Richmond Pug Meetup has a large presence on both Facebook (519 likes) and meetup.com (747 members). However, it’s nowhere near the largest pug meetup group — the London Pugs group is made up of over 2,800 pug owners!

There are 116 pug meetups around the world that use meetup.com. In total, there are over 50,000 pug-loving members.

 

Key Learnings:
 

Pugs have some particular personality traits and needs. This is probably why so many pug owners come together through groups like Richmond Pug Meetup. A lot of people I interviewed said once they got their pug, they wanted to connect with other pug owners. I learned that pugs can get overheated easily, so the group often reschedules pug playdates if it's too hot outside.

Pug meetups are more low-key than what you typically see at the dog park. Not surprisingly, many of the pugs stayed close to their owners and hung out rather than roughhousing with other dogs. However, there were a few that tore through the dog park, chasing each other. The pugs seemed to be pretty chill and okay with it if their owners dressed them up in clothing.

"Pug people are a special breed." This is a direct quote from my pug-umentary. From their pug clothing to their goofy and carefree nature, pug owners are a fun bunch.


SOLO PROJECT BY:
Melissa Jackson (Strategy)