Years ago, my friends and I did one of those “for fun” quizzes on line to determine what breed of dog we would be if we suddenly found ourselves four-legged.

My friends were those beautiful, large, long-haired beasts like golden retrievers and Bernese mountain dogs. I was a pug.

I felt humiliated and ugly, until one of the retrievers pointed out I was the tough one, the spitfire, the one who has to keep everybody else in line. That appealed to me, so I got over my sore feelings.

The theme of “pug” has returned, however. 

During most of the pandemic, I have stayed right in my house. But one day, I had to pick up an order at a local store. I could use the drive-through, they said, but I decided to wear one of the masks one of the nice ladies in the community made for me.

I tried it on at home first and discovered I must truly have a face like a pug.

For instance, vertically it seemed almost too big and horizontally, too small. I could have covered my entire face with it if I had placed it just so, but something very wrong was happening with my ears. I looked in the mirror to discover the elastic bands were pulling my ears forward. Did that mean my ears are too small? Too large? My face is too deep? My head is too thick? (I guarantee somebody thinks my head is too thick.)

I’m not sure what my suddenly erect ears mean about my face, but the thought of “pug face” rushed back to me.

Sure, pugs are cute and funny little dogs, often high energy, and they’re beloved by those who love them. But a face like that on a grown woman, a woman of a certain age, even, well, that’s just not a good thing.

Fortunately, you don’t get to be a “woman of a certain age” by worrying about what other  people think, especially when it comes to the way you look. So I have the face of a pug. It could be worse. I could look like the other end of a pug. I’ll just keep my mask on as long as it’s medically necessary. Be glad about that; it will cover up my pug face. Besides, if you have a mask on, who will notice?


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