Update: Vinny the pug passed away on March 15, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer. But his dad, Allen Kimble, vowed to continue his mission in his honor. To that end, he came out with a line of designer handbags and accessories bearing Vinny's iconic image launched in spring 2014 with proceeds to benefit animal causes, which you can read about here.
As a world-renowned canine adventurer, Vinny the Pug is well-known for his rock climbing prowess.
Born on July 1, 2000 in Orlando, Fla., the plucky pug and his human, Allen Kimble, later moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where Vinny displayed a keen affinity for scaling the rocky heights of Mt. Camelback in the Sonoran Desert and the majestic red rocks of Sedona.
So heralded were his heroic exploits that Vinny was featured in the magazines Climbing, Sweat, Fido Friendly, Pug, Loving Pet and Sonoran Tails; the Arizona Republic and Scottsdale Views newspapers; in the book “Unleashed: Climbing Canines, Hiking Hounds, Fishing Fidos, and Other Daring Dogs” by Lisa Wogan; and on Phoenix’s 3TV.
The Pug is Denied a Record Book Plug
During Vinny's illustrious rock climbing career, Kimble, a photographer and fundraising and advertising software developer, amassed more than 10,000 photos of the pooch’s pursuits.
Vinny’s goal for many years was to have his rock climbing accomplishments recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. But the venerable record-keeping organization declined his request, which sent him and his human into a tailspin.
The denial generated so much outrage in the doggie world that even the Bureau of Petitions took Guinness to task for snubbing the pug.
The Pug Rises Above the Snub
Although they were deeply disappointed by the slight, man and pug decided to regroup and pursue another cause: A multi-city North American tour of the U.S. and Canada to raise awareness and funding in partnership with shelters and rescue groups to help end the killing of healthy rescue pets.
Their goal is to help establish universal, 100 percent no-kill policies by 2020.
The tour was originally slated to begin in August 2010, but had to be postponed because of a death in Kimble’s family. It has since been rescheduled to start in spring 2011, with the kickoff to take place in Phoenix.
The tour, during which the pugnacious pug and his human hope to raise $1 million, has even been endorsed by the fundraising support and resource organization USAFundraising.
The Pug Keeps Plugging Ahead
Be sure to stay tuned to my blog for updates about Vinny’s future adventures.
Until then, I wish this pug the best of luck in his dogged pursuit of greatness.