Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Yin and Yang of Pugs, by Lizzie

Mason really didn’t feel like writing today and I did, so he very generously offered me his space. I think his exact words were, “Go ahead, make a fool of yourself. It won’t be the first or the last time you do.”  He even suggested this title after I told him what I wanted to write about. I hope it makes sense. What a silly old grumpus he is, but I love him dearly.

 I think Mason and I are so different in our personalities, interests, and habits that I’ve decided those differences are what make us work as a pair. It is also interesting that Mason pretty much assumes I am slow witted and timid, and therefore not a real pug by his definition. I admit it, I am slow and I am shy but maybe people and pugs shouldn’t be so quick to judge a book by its cover. He still hasn’t gotten over the night that I took his beloved little bear from him and put it in my bed. I’m not  sure why I did it either, but at the time, it felt really good. I know Mason was upset and confused, which made me feel a little sad, but not enough to return it. He did retrieve it later but I was over the moment.

 Mason hates the heat and suffers so much when he gets hot. His panting and discomfort are  awful to watch. I, on the other hand, love to curl up either in the house or outdoors, wherever the sun is brightest. I adore sunbathing. Mom thinks I’m more like a cat in that regard. I love burrowing under the blankets, up close to Mason or my parents…the more heat, the better.

 I do not like crowds of people – they scare me – and so I hide away someplace quiet and safe. Mason, however, loves crowds and will always go where there is the most action. He tells me he has game and I have none, whatever that means. He can always make me laugh at some of the stuff he says. A lot of it I don’t even understand and that makes him laugh! He calls me a fool, which is okay because I know he really loves me, and I call him my hero. I don’t think he really minds that though.

 Food comes first for Mason, but for me it is and always will be love and hugs. To cuddle up with Mason, Mom or Dad is the very best treat in the world. I know Mason will make fun of what I’ve written, saying it has no focus, no conclusion, is too sappy, and isn’t literate, but I say “vive la difference!”  See, Mason, I know some stuff too.

 

 Pugs and kisses,

 

 Lizzie

 

Here I am, on Mom's lap having a nap. I look like such a baby, don't I?

Here I am, on Dad's lap having a nap. I look like such a baby, don't I?

 

Here I am sunbathing on the terrace. Mason says I should be ashamed of myself because I look like a frog and not a pug.

Here I am sunbathing on the terrace. Mason says I should be ashamed of myself because I look like a frog and not a pug.

 

 

 

 

 

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Food, Glorious Food or How A Pug Works the Room

Just when I thought my life was at a standstill, I win the lottery! Well, not literally, but for a highly motivated pug that is fully committed to the acquisition of food, there is nothing more momentous or thrilling than learning that Mom and Dad are hosting a dinner party. It is the Holy Grail, the brass ring, and the penultimate of events for such a pug. Now, the down side of this news is the acute realization that in order to achieve that goal, a pug must be willing to work hard at his craft.  A lukewarm approach will garner no reward. A clever pug knows that he must expend an inordinate amount of energy wagging his curled up stump of a tail, cocking his head coquettishly, standing posed and poised, and sending out the subliminal message of “Aren’t I adorable, don’t you want to feed me something from your plate, you know you can’t resist me, and just look at how grateful I am.” This is exhausting and time-consuming, folks, but yours truly is a veteran of this campaign.

Guests arrived at 4:30 and there I was, at the door giving out the best pug vibe I could muster. I did not go off duty until about 11:00, and then only because I couldn’t stand up any longer. I am both embarrassed and gladdened by the fact that goofy old Lizzie has no interest in this opportunity…embarrassed since she calls herself a pug and gladdened because it gave me such a huge field in which to work my game.

The best parties involve a serious amount of liquor, so that with any luck the event should take on a bacchanalian quality. Guests who imbibe are, as the evening progresses, usually loose and generous with bits of foods. Also, they become sloppy, dropping food carelessly. That is when I become a superstar in this production. Since this was a terrace party, I was able to move freely and swiftly, so that no crumb was ever left untouched for more than two seconds.

What a wonderful welcome to spring. I am still recuperating, dear reader, but basking in my memories of the first of many warm weather food events.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Here I am, lying on the terrace floor, waiting for the magic. Note my focusHere I am, lying on the terrace floor, waiting for the magic. Note my focus
Another rather nice shot of yours truly, waiting eagerly on the chaise, for the first guests.

Another rather nice shot of yours truly, waiting eagerly on the chaise for the first guests.

 

 

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Just Keepin’ It Real, or What Price Fame

Since I am a pug who eschews idolatry or any form of cult-like devotion, I find myself now standing at the brink of this seductive abyss. I must be very clear about my position, dear reader, that I am not, nor ever will be, drawn like a moth to the flame of fame.

I am a very basic pug who enjoys food, sleep, food, walks, food, family, and food. Those who choose to elevate me to iconic status do so for their own personal reasons. I am still Mason from the ‘hood (to paraphrase J Lo’s tune).

 Pugs, by their very nature, are compelled to interact with humans. Helloooo, that is how we get food, right? Our hunting and gathering days are long over. That instinct has been bred out of us so that we are simply your companions and little more. Because we are dependent upon you, we know how to charm and entice. Our goal…the acquisition of food. When you see a successful pug in a film, you must understand that he or she is working for food and nothing else. Don’t assume that we are naturally “stars” or have star quality. We are just driven to unimaginable feats for the reward of a treat.

 Fame means nothing to us. We are unaffected by its siren-like lure. So, while I have a certain degree of notoriety and recognition these days, I am still the same unspoiled, unaffected, butt-sniffing, food-seeking pug you’ve known and loved. I am, however, not saying that I don’t enjoy the flattery from admiring females as well as the fan mail I’ve received, but rather that they have not affected my core persona.

 At the end of the day, as my mom is so wont to say, I am just a pug who enjoys doing pug things.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

P.S. You should buy our book.

 

Here Lizzie and I are "keepin' it real" in bed Saturday morning.

Here Lizzie and I are "keepin' it real" in bed Saturday morning.

 

Lizzie and I at Thompkins Sq. Park Saturday morning...just like normal everyday pugs.

Lizzie and I at Thompkins Sq. Park Saturday morning...just like normal everyday pugs.

 

 

 

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Touch Me, It’s So Easy to Leave Me, All Alone With the Memory

What a weekend we had! What joy, what bliss, what love, and dear God, what glorious treats! Grandma, like the postman, delivers. The lyrics of the song “Memory” from Cats sums up my Monday morning…she touched me and left me with my memories.

 I’m afraid that my memory bank is on overdrive and so, dear reader, bear with me for today’s entry, since it must take a somewhat divergent path from its usual lyrical flow of words.

 The biggest news is our book, SUMMER PUGS. Yes, it is ready for your viewing pleasure at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/summer-pugs/6855940

Here we are on the cover of our first book! I think Lizzie looks a bit arrogant, don't you?

Here we are on the cover of our first book! I think Lizzie looks a bit arrogant, don't you?

I haven’t actually seen this tome but Mom gets very emotional when looking at it so I’m afraid I will have to reserve judgment about its literary or pictorial merits. But since so many of you seem to enjoy our photos, feel free to indulge your personal pug passions.

 Also noteworthy is our entry into the Valentino: The Last Emperor pug photo competition. Not only was our photo selected as a finalist, but also is it displayed in the lobby of the Felt Forum Theatre in Manhattan, where the documentary is showing. Again, it is with great relief that pugs cannot accompany their owners to movies because I understand from Grandma that my mother made a complete spectacle of herself when she went to the film a second time this weekend. I know she loses her normal cool business exterior when it comes to anything having to do with Lizzie and me, and so, I can only imagine her wild reaction upon seeing our faces on the movie poster.

I know the quality of this is poor but Here is the poster in the lobby. Mom used her phone camera and was undoubtedly shaking like a leaf.

I know the quality of this is poor but here is the poster in the lobby. Mom used her phone camera and was undoubtedly shaking like a leaf. Lizzie and I are on the right hand side sitting behind a platter of lobsters.

 I am exhausted, a bit bored, lonely, let down, and overwhelmed today but rest assured that I will be writing my usual insightful, focused, and eloquent entry quite soon. I just need a day of recovery.

 

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

 

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TGMGC, or Thank God My Grandma’s Coming

Do you remember in Mary Poppins, how the chimney sweep announced the arrival of a new strong wind, blowing from a different direction, which served as a metaphor for Mary Poppins’ appearance at the Banks household? Well, dear reader, the same analogy pertains for the upcoming arrival of my grandma this weekend. She, like Mary Poppins, brings much needed change into our little household and of course, a great traveling bag (see my entry “Pugs and Kisses For Grandma, Jan. 2009).

 Because I am a thinking pug, as well as a highly sensitive one, I am aware of the whispered conversations concerning Grandma’s upcoming visit. Lizzie, however, sheltered within her cocoon of oblivion and insensitivity, hasn’t a clue. I have been mentally composing a wish list of Grandma treats for this visit…something with yams, duck, or buffalo…or maybe a yummy knucklebone from the butcher. I know that Grandma will sweep me up in her arms, exclaiming over my beauty, smothering me with hugs and kisses that I will patiently endure, while waiting for the presentation of gifts. This will be further delayed because Lizzie also will have to be fussed over, which will take even longer because that fool dog actually loves this part the most! During this, I will strike a pose with my tight little tail twitching wildly, eyes beseechingly glued to Grandma’s face, while sending subliminal messages for her to put Lizzie down and dig into that bag of treats. Fortunately for me, Grandmas reads and understands signals well. She will look at me and say something like, “Does my little Mason man want his treat now?” And I will begin twirling around and vibrating all over, with eyes bulging dangerously. Just seeing her reach into the treat bag nearly sends me over the edge.

 This is how I have lulled myself to sleep each night this week, replaying that most perfect of moments and all of the foreplay leading up to it. Ah, Grandma, please get here safely and quickly Friday.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Could any grandma resist this face? I think not!

Could any grandma resist this face? I think not!

 

 

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When Worlds Collide

How do I even begin, dear reader, to describe the singular event of this past week that rocked my world, leaving me speechless and reeling with disbelief? I am not even sure I can adequately describe how profoundly shattered and bewildered this one seemingly innocent event has left me.

 On Thursday evening, a typical workday evening of no particular consequence, at about 8:30 or 9 PM, Lizzard and I were just comfortably hanging out  (no better euphemism springs to mind) when, without warning or fanfare Lizzie got up, strolled over to my space, took my little stuffed bear and sauntered back to her bed with him. She then just curled up as if nothing untoward had happened. I stood there looking at her and then at Mom…back and forth my eyes darted trying to make sense of the insensible.

 For all of you armchair psychologists, perhaps you can help a pug out. I do not have a logical explanation for her behavior…I do have theories but none are ironclad. This little bear is mine, all mine, untouched by anyone other than my mother and then only when she is cleaning the apartment (even that contact disgusts her). I’ve worked so diligently on my bear, both sucking and pummeling him, that now he  sports a very edgy and stiff Mohawk hairdo. For Lizzie to venture into my arena is nothing short of heresy. I can hypothesize that she wished to assert some newfound confidence, or maybe she thought that by taking my bear she could entice me into some lame pug play. Or, perhaps she just had a momentary lapse of judgment, based upon her innate stupidity. Whatever the reason, she left me so stunned that I was incapable of action.

 If any of you have ideas about her aberrant behavior, please let me know. I remain baffled in Manhattan.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Okay, I admit it. This is not a great shot, but you can certainly see my little bear...not Lizzie's little bear, my little bear!

Okay, I admit it. This is not a great shot, but you can certainly see my little bear...not Lizzie's little bear, my little bear!

 

 

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I’m Just A Pug Who Can’t Say No, or Vanity, Thy Name is Mason

In my last entry I touched briefly upon a quality or trait of mine about which I am not too proud…and that is vanity. Apologies yet again to Shakespeare for my bastardization of his famous line, but it is fitting, I fear. I am convinced, however, that I am not the only pug to fall victim to this affliction, nor will I be the last.

 Case in point: when Grandma visited me in the fall and we were out on a walk, in freezing weather, with me cranky, whining, and anxious to get inside and consume treats she had brought, a group of young schoolchildren on a field trip caught sight of me and Lizzie. They began squealing, oohing and aahing, and begging for photos of us. Lizzie, being the introverted, camera shy, fearful little pug that she is, wedged herself between and behind Grandma’s legs in a vain attempt at invisibility. I, however, heard the battle cry, the words that always send me spinning around and striking a pose, “May we take a picture of your pugs?” Gone was the cold, the sulking, the quest for treats, and in place was a pug that would have put Madonna to shame with the number of poses struck in the space of two minutes. One inept little one struggled to get her camera working, while I, patient and undaunted froze in a charming position until the shutter clicked. Yes, I know, dear reader, you are thinking to yourself that this pug should be a model or an actor, and of course I could have been. My instincts are purely professional.

 What, then, motivates my behavior? It is simple…I want to please people, to make them smile, to make them love me. Okay, it makes me feel really good too. Is that so bad? I don’t think so. It seems a win-win situation for everyone. Fortunately for me, Lizzard has no interest in that kind of attention or adulation.

 There you have it…another piece of the Mason puzzle.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Look at me! Super Star!

Look at me! Super Star!

 

 

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