WASHINGTON — Mr. Butts, a seven-year-old D.C. pug, puts sit, stay and fetch to shame. He excels in one area in particular though — skateboarding.
Justin Siemaszko and his wife have raised Mr. Butts since he was puppy, and have trained him themselves.
"He gets seasonal depression because he can’t go out much in the winter, so I took it upon myself to give him some evening training every day, even when he couldn’t go to the dog park," Justin said. "I ran out of tricks, and was like ‘What else do I do?’' I was like, ‘Alright, I bet skateboarding will take a while.’ I was wrong — he picked it up in about three days. He loved it, it's now his favorite trick to do."
This isn't the only thing Mr. Butts can do though. His training surpasses basic skateboarding. If you're looking to spot Mr. Butts in action, you can find him at the Shaw skate-park, working on skating up the ramps.
"He does obstacle courses on the skateboard, we’re going to definitely one-up the dog that goes down the stairs and be doing that soon too," Justin said. "He actually climbs ladders, he can walk on balance beams and he can stand on tiny pedestals.”
Mr. Butts is an adventure-seeker, according to Justin.
"I have a Baby Bjorn that he rides in for bicycle rides," Justin said. "It's like actually for babies not for dogs. But he sits, it’s the cutest thing ever."
Mr. Butts doesn't do the tricks for the treats or fame though. According to Justin, he enjoys skateboarding and will do tricks without the reward of a treat. However, Justin said he'll do them with more enthusiasm when a treat in involved.
How did he get his name, you ask? The answer is pretty straightforward.
"My wife took one look at him as a baby and said ‘That's Mr. Butts," Justin said. "That was the end of it."
Mr. Butts is no ordinary pug, and the Siemaszko's have become the face of his skills.
"It’s ridiculous, everywhere I go, if it’s a patterned walk people jump," Justin said. "D.C. is a city where no one will acknowledge you exist, but no — try having the cutest pug in the world. Everybody knows you.”
Mr. Butts often frequents the local coffee shop where he flaunts his skills. He's not shy and seems to enjoy the attention. Mr. Butts doesn't have plans of slowing down anytime soon.