WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- I have a confession: When I was growing up I had a truly bizarre obsession with pugs. How weird was it? Well, the first screen name I ever had on AOL Instant Messenger was "PugsRule634". Yeah...it was that weird.
Despite my fascination with the fuzzy, cuddly creatures, my parents refused to give into my youthful desires and adopted several Dalmatians, not pugs, throughout my childhood.
And yet, being the loving parents they were, my mother and father worked to satiate my puggy appetite. On my 12th birthday I received all pug-focused gifts including a pug fact book, a stuffed animal pug, and even a Philadelphia Flyers hockey puck that they deemed a "hockey pug" in an attempt to be clever.
It was a truly peculiar interest for an adolescent boy who spent nearly every non-school hour on the soccer field.
Fast-forward to today and my 26-year-old self no longer obsesses over pugs. At this stage in my life, I've even concluded that when I get a dog it probably will be a breed other than that of my childhood fantasy. Still though, while I am a changed man, some puggy residue remains evident in my life: I have a t-shirt that says "Pugs not Drugs", a tank top that reads "Pug Life", and probably most embarrassing of all, if you snoop around my room at my family's home in Baltimore, you can find a "Pug X-Ing" sign that used to hang on the door.
I'll admit it's still kind of weird, but it's not as weird as it once was. Baby steps are all one can hope for when it comes to a strong addiction.
So after reading this strange history of my relationship with pugs, you'll probably understand why I wanted to create a photo gallery dedicated to pugs.
Take a look at the gallery above, courtesy of TwitPic, of 35 photos that will make you want to drop everything you're doing, find the closest pug, and squeeze it.
At least that's what I want to do when I see these photos. Looks like I'm back to square one.