I've been wanting a dog for some time now. Oh sure I know the drawbacks and it won't happen right away, but it will happen. And it might be a pug.
Pugs are silly looking. That's important in a dog, as part of its job is to help us not take the world too seriously. I mean, look at that face and try not to smile!
I've always assumed that the name Pug had something to do with pugilist, the latter being a name going back to Ancient Rome and being a synonym for boxer. Pugs of both sorts tend to have those flattened noses after all. Indeed that is one theory you'll read, along with a related one that claims the name comes from "pugnus" meaning fist...because their faces sort of look like one. But it apparently is not so. Pugnacious, meaning ready to fight, comes from the same root word. It hardly applies to pugs which are generally regarded as sweet tempered.
Pug, or Puggy is a very old term of endearment, one that has the connotation of a loved one who is small, elfin and a bit mischievous. The word is first recorded circa 1560 and is probably a variant on "puck". Puck of course is an Elvin character in A Midsummer's Night Dream (circa 1595). Puckish has persisted as a word meaning full of mischief.
The other literary use of Puck is more modern. In the delightful play turned movie Harvey the titular (to most) invisible six foot tall rabbit is in fact a Pooka this being another variant on the word descriptive of a decidedly mischief filled creature. Variations on this word are quite old indeed, emerging from Celtic obscurity circa 1300.
But it appears the Puck/Pug designation for a fun filled, somewhat unserious being did not jump straight from mythology to dogs. It was applied to monkeys from the 1660's onward and did not get connected to this ancient breed of dogs from China until the mid 1700's.
Well as I said at the start I'll get a dog one of these days. Perhaps until then I can go the "Harvey" route. If I simply pretend to have a small white dog I can accurately describe it as a Pug/Puck/Pooka even if others can't see it!