Monthly Archives: June 2009

Agility Training For Pugs…An Oxymoron, or Just Give Me The Treat, Grandma

My version of weave is avoid

My version of weave is avoid

My life, so far, has been fairly undemanding and probably unproductive, which suits me fine, thank you very much. For some bizarre and unexplained reason, Grandma has taken up the notion that I would enjoy learning and performing the physical feats of a trained circus dog. As a result of acquiring these skills, goes her theory, I will become a much happier and more fulfilled pug. Au contraire, Grandma! I like my life just the way it is.

This week, however, brought stress into my stress free existence. Out came the newly purchased stakes…ten of them…planted strategically in a long row, 1 to 2 feet apart, in the back yard. Grandma proceeded to put me in my harness and leash, show me a fist full of tasty treats, and then lead me outside to the row of said stakes. Her voice was filled with a whole lot of encouragement and, what I later discovered to be false, bonhomie. After viewing the treats again, I was forced to “weave” through each of these stakes with the proffered treats always in view. Grandma kept repeating the dreaded “weave” and I, realizing what was being asked of me, stubbornly dug in all four feet while my harness was being pulled to the point of serious separation. Upon completion of this torture trail, Grandma forced a hearty, “Good job, Mason” and rewarded me with a tiny morsel. At this point, I felt I was okay because at least it was over; but no, again she started with the weave command. I couldn’t believe it! My grandma, who usually is tuned in to my every nuance, expression, and reaction, just forged ahead in her resolute determination of making me fulfill her dream — producing a superb agility pug.

Fortunately, and I cannot believe I am saying this, goofy old Lizzie waddled out, looked at my misery, and decided she would enjoy this game. She started walking in and out of the stakes, just to be near me, and Grandma suddenly said, “Why Lizzie, you may be a better candidate. Let’s get your harness on and try it.” Thank you Lizzie! I was free…never again would I be subjected to such folly!

You must weep for me, dear reader, because my once beloved granny was not done with me. She has made me revisit this medieval torture, this cruel practice every day. I am not doing any better and yet she persists. Somebody please put an end to this for me. Maybe an intervention is needed? Didn’t she get the memo that pugs are lap dogs?

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here is view from the upstairs landing of my torture course.

Here is view from the upstairs landing of my torture course. Lizzie is stupidly staring at the stakes and wondering what they are.

As you can see I have removed myself from the danger, while Lizzie "weaves."

As you can see I have removed myself from the danger, while Lizzie "weaves."

Yours truly beating a hasty retreat before being driven back to the stakes.

Yours truly beating a hasty retreat before being driven back to the stakes.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Here Comes The Sun, or June Is Busting Out All Over

When Helios’ golden chariot soared across the heavens yesterday morning, I for one, did not take its appearance lightly. Oh no, not this soggy, squishy, damp pug! We all had great reason for jubilation and celebration. Those of us living in the northeast truly appreciate the warmth and drying benefits of the sun. We wait nine months for this time of year, and so far, we’ve been cheated.

It was with gay abandon that I headed to the yard, hopeful that the healing and drying powers of Old Sol would work its magic as I lay in the grass, having a chew on my bully stick. But lo and behold, the grass was sopping wet and uninviting. Foiled again by Mother Nature, I abandoned my plan and headed back inside to masticate and savor this treat. But you know what? It just doesn’t have the same cache indoors. It is a manly stick, designed for consumption in the great outdoors…an al fresco treat, if you will.

Wouldn’t you know it, though, that simpleton Lizzie just gnawed and chewed away at hers, blissfully unaware of how flat its flavor is when consumed on a rug indoors. I was quite frankly disgusted by her behavior, and against my natural instinct, turned away from its enticing aroma and appearance. After she finished hers she then went for mine. She is a twit and I didn’t even have interest in wresting it away from her pitiful little excuse of a mouth. She rolled her goofy eyes back in ecstasy and drooled like an idiot while I held myself apart from this wanton display.

Yes, the weather is here finally, but I will wait until all conditions are perfect before I indulge in my favorite activity.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

This clearly shows the intense level of our boredom after so many weeks of rain. I apologize for its inclusion but without proof you might not grasp the severity of our plight...sunnier photos to follow!

This clearly shows the intense level of our boredom after so many weeks of rain. I apologize for its inclusion but without proof you might not grasp the severity of our plight...sunnier photos to follow!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Don’t Rain On My Parade

I must open with a passage from King Lear, dear reader, since a deluge from which there seems no relief engulfs my days…

Contending with the fretful elements;

Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,


Or swell the curled waters ‘bove the main,


That things might change or cease.”
- William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.1.4


Perhaps this is being a shade too dramatic, but I find Shakespeare a great comfort for any of the maladies plaguing living creatures. Being locked in by a month of tempestuous, gloomy, and wet weather on Cape Cod is not what I signed on for. This is supposed to be the summer of Mason! I had so many plans, places to go, and people to see, and yet each day I am faced with cool winds and rain as I crawl out of my pug nest and go out to perform my morning toilet. It is discouraging to me and if it weren’t for the tasty breakfast that follows I am sure I wouldn’t bother with observing the niceties!

My grandparents try to compensate by taking us on car trips and errands, but it is not the same as having a nice chew on some bone or bully stick in the yard on a sunny day. Forgive me for sounding like a Willy Whiner, but I feel as if I am losing precious hours to a never-ending nap orgy.

I think there may be relief coming tomorrow, and if not, then certainly by the weekend. I’ve lost my mojo and seem to be living under a curse from which there is no escape. I do try to remain cheerful and alert, but I find the desire to nap almost overwhelming.

If you are living under a fair sky with a warm sun shining and a balmy breeze blowing, then be grateful and think of me…a handsome pug that is fast becoming a dull mushroom. The only bright spot right now is my new web site: www.summerpugs.com, where you can purchase an autographed (pawtograph) copy of our book. The site is filled with unpublished photos and interesting information, so do visit it.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here I am on one such rainy day, trying to stay in the game and keep up my spirits.

Here I am on one such rainy day, trying to stay in the game and keep up my spirits.

Chasing a crumb

Chasing a crumb

And, as you can see, I'm falling asleep

And, as you can see, I'm falling asleep

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Lord of My Things…The Pug Possessive Case

The day was simply gorgeous. We saw the sun for the first time in many days and I, for one, was ready to snag my quota of Vitamin D. Grandma helped me in that endeavor by supplying me with a “Bully Stick” of handsome proportions.

With no interest in the activities of anyone else or curiosity about the doings of Lizzie, I trotted forth into the back yard, found my spotlight of sun, lowered myself onto the grass, and began the laborious process of consuming this braided beast.

I lost all track of time and it was only when I began the dreaded gagging and choking that Grandma appeared, falsely praising me for my fine efforts. I know from past history that when she takes that tone and utters those words, that I am about to be separated from my prized possession. I replied with threatening gurgles and rumbles through tightly clenched teeth, warning her away from me. She, undaunted, proceeded to pluck me up and wrench it from my jaws. It was beautiful, honed to slimy perfection…one end still hard and intact, and the other a viscera-like Udon noodle of bull pizzle. How could she be so cruel? I was so happy. So what if I choked and gagged a bit? Foiled again by my cruel summer mistress.

Now, here comes the crushing irony in my cautionary tale. The next time I was outside I hid that little piece of heaven back in the woods, so that at a later date I might enjoy its forbidden pleasure. Wouldn’t you know it though, that little ditsy pea brain Lizzie found it, took it onto the deck and proceeded to enjoy it herself. In all of her glorious stupidity, the little twit just assumed it was hers…left for her by the pizzle fairies!

Life can be so unfair at times.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here I am with the prize...the stride of pride. This is an earlier bully stick...not the one of which I write, but you get the idea.

Here I am with the prize...making the stride of pride. This is an earlier bully stick...not the one of which I write, but you get the idea.

I've begun the laborious work shaping and molding

I've begun the laborious work of shaping and molding.

A certain amount of licking is involved. This is not something an amateur should attempt.

A certain amount of licking is involved. This is not something an amateur should attempt.

As you can see, I have much still to do. It is exhausting but worth the time and effort, as are most things in life, until someone snatches it away from you!

As you can see, I still have much to do. It is exhausting but worth the time and effort, as are most things in life, until someone snatches it away from you!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Don’t Give Up The Ship!

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. John Masefield

Ah, yes, dear reader, I now wax poetic as I think of that day on the sea with Grandma, Grandpa, and Lizzie. Saturday was such a dazzling day that it seemed to be a trick or an illusion. We kept watching the sky closely, sure that the ubiquitous rain clouds would appear and we’d have to retreat back into our dripping house. But no, the sun shone on and so we packed up for the boat and headed down to the marina. I wasn’t sure we were included until we unloaded our gear at the marina. Usually it was deemed too hot for us to be out in the sun for the day. The air, though, was cool, dry, and breezy and we were keen for the outing!

The ride out to our island is the best part of the journey for me. I sit in Grandpa’s lap and steer the boat, with the wind blowing my ears in a charming, jaunty manner. I am, for that time, the captain of the vessel, but for some unexplained reason, the rules changed and I wasn’t notified. Without any warning, I saw Grandpa hoist that loser Lizzie onto his lap, giving her my seat and power! I was absolutely gobsmacked (to borrow from the Brits)!

I looked back and forth, from Grandma to Grandpa, knowing it was just a cruel mistake and that they would recognize their error immediately. Instead, Grandma just scooped me up into her arms, saying cheerfully, “Well, now, isn’t this fun, Mason Man? Getting to ride with Grandma today?” I couldn’t tell her how angry, hurt, and offended I was, but she is a pretty shrewd old woman and I think she got the message.

The return trip was much different. Grandpa gave the signal as we left the island and began our return journey. Up I went into his lap, and took the wheel. I don’t like to boast but I do cut quite a figure when I am piloting the boat. Our return was uneventful but it did help ease the smarting wounds inflicted on the outbound trip. All in all it was a wonderful day and I think Lizzie and I are quite seaworthy pugs.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Look at goofy Lizzie in the captain's seat. She has no idea what she is doing

Look at goofy Lizzie in the captain's seat. She has no idea what she is doing.

This is what a captain looks like, sitting at the helm. I was born for this.

This is what a captain looks like, sitting at the helm....serious and sober. I was born for this.

A closer look at yours truly. I probably should have made Lizzie walk the plank that day!

A closer look at yours truly. I probably should have made Lizzie walk the plank that day!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

To Pee or Not To Pee

I don’t really know how to broach this topic in a delicate manner (and you know, dear reader, I am not a pug of delicacy), but I wonder if this particular temporary affliction has struck any of your pugs. I refer to the occasional “plumbing paralysis” (my phrase). Typically this occurs without any warning and for no ostensible reason. Grandma or Grandpa leads Lizzie and me out into the back yard, where we are to perform our morning duties. The only problem is I am unable to perform and no matter how much admonishment and encouragement they offer, the result is the same.

 I can see the disappointment in their faces and hear the frustration in their voices. The air is literally humming with tension. I know they are anxious to return to their coffee and papers, while I am frantic to eat my breakfast. Neither of these wishes can be fulfilled until I am able to do the most basic of bodily functions.

 After repeated circles of the property, I shoot Grandma or Grandpa my most pitiful/pleading expression with eyes as dewy as a baby fawn’s…to no avail. The look is lost on them and I hear them mutter, “You’ll have to take him for a walk. He can’t eat until he _______s  or _______s, whichever of the two functions I haven’t performed yet. I must say, though, that there is some wiggle room if I have done the first but not the second. They always assume that eating will encourage the second function.

 So, off we go, and lo and behold, I am back in business. Whoopee! Happy day! There is a spring in my step and lightness in my air as we head back to the house. I know another day is under way and breakfast will be waiting for me. I can’t explain the reluctance of my bladder some mornings. It is just one of those pug mysteries, I guess.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason 

 

Now you didn't think I would show you a photo of my struggles, did you? Here Mom is cradling me before she left. Color me happy.

Now you didn't think I would show you a photo of my struggles, did you? Here Mom is cradling me before she left. Color me happy.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Summer Time And The Livin’ Is Easy (For a Pug on Cape Cod)

I apologize, dear reader, for the large gap between writings. It is not my granny’s fault but strictly mine. I have settled in to a routine of such indulgence, lethargy, and pleasure that I haven’t felt as compelled to pursue my particular avocation. Part of the problem is that I don’t have to be so actively engaged in seeking out food and treats on the Cape. That is not to say that one mustn’t remain vigilant, but there is certainly less desperation in the pursuit here. There is always a bountiful supply of edibles in and around the kitchen. I know I wrote about eating steamers on the deck last week, but it happened again yesterday. For some bizarre reason Grandpa doesn’t care for the feet and so Lizzie and I have only to sit there as he discards those delicacies onto the deck.

Saturday night, my grandparents had friends over for a cookout and of course Lizzie and I were included. It was a veritable food orgy and by the end of the evening we were exhausted and sated, since their guests found us so delightful.

Lizzie and I seem to be sleeping later each day, with Grandma having to waken us at 8 AM some mornings. It is quite a life for pugs that have been living in the fast lane for the past nine months. Our daily schedule is never the same and always includes some errand running with Grandpa. We also love riding with Grandma in her little sports car when the top is down. These are all things which probably seem commonplace to dogs living here year round, but for us each activity is exciting and filled with promise.

Mom is in Italy on business right now but I know she is thinking about us. We are fine, happy, well fed, and enjoying every day. The only thing missing in the picture is her.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 P.S. I just reread this and I am ashamed by how weak and soft I sound. I hope I’m not losing my game! 

 

Look at Lizzie's dull vacant expression as she is being held.

Look at Lizzie's dull vacant expression as she is being held.

 

And here is yours truly, doing what he does best at a dinner party!

And here is yours truly, doing what he does best at a dinner party!

 

I had to include this since Lizzie looks so ridiculous.

I had to include this since Lizzie looks so ridiculous.

Here we are, at the end of the evening, sleepy and sated.

Here we are, at the end of the evening, sleepy and sated.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized