I am Ben Friedman, founder of Pug Party Chicago..
In 1993, I was the manager of a friendly neighborhood bar called "The LocalOption" located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. My pug, Knuckles, worked with me at the bar where he would greet and visit with the customers. We worked there from 1987 through 1999. Long before social media, he developed quite a following and prompted a few customers to get Pugs of their very own.
In 1994, we had a birthday party for Knuckles and there were 5 or 6 Pugs in attendance. It was great fun and most humorous. After that party, it dawned on me to have gatherings several times a year. Let's see how many Pugs we can get together. I thought if we ever got 50 that would be unbelievable. Twenty-four years later, the mailing list has grown to over 2,000 people.
When we get together in the Spring and the Fall, almost 200 Pugs come to the party. Participants come into the city with their family and friends from downstate Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Wisconsin and surrounding suburbs. It's great, and I am happy everyone has such a fantastic time.
I have had 3 Pugs of my own, spanning over 40 years. First was "Ching" in 1966. Followed by "Knuckles" & "CurlyJoe." I go way back with these beasts. Maybe that is why I have become the "Pied Piper of Pugs". It's a good thing.
I would like to thank all those who attend and participate at these gatherings. It has been a lot of silly fun.
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Pug Party Chicago