Tuesday was a glorious day for yours truly…fair weather and a gentle breeze wafting the scent of herbs from Grandma’s herb garden in my direction. Grandma had gone to the beach and we were at home with Grandpa. As lunchtime approached, Grandpa informed us that he had a special treat to share with us. Of course my thoughts naturally turned to the food kind of treat and not to the spiritual variety. When I saw Grandpa start boiling water, my hopes were confirmed and I quickly assumed the waiting position.
For a pug living on Cape Cod in the summer, one of the greatest treats is eating clams, whether they are quahogs, cherrystones, or steamers. Even if they’ve been emptied of their meat, we love just sucking on the shells. On this occasion, Grandpa served up steamers. Those of you unfamiliar with them, they are the particularly unattractive bivalve whose “foot” projects through its two shells. I don’t really know why it is called a foot since it resembles no foot I’ve ever seen. Quite frankly, if I weren’t such a lover of all things edible, there is no way I’d ever touch that disgusting looking appendage! But, since I am a dog, I have no such aversion.
Grandpa, with the greatest generosity, fed us those delicious, delectable delicacies. Oh what bliss, what joy! We dined as no pugs could even imagine. Sated, we then succumbed to the warmth of the sun and napped on our deck. My mom was horrified when she learned what treasures we’d been fed, shouting, “How could you feed those two the best part of the steamer?”
I have the answer, Mom: “Because Grandpa loves us more than steamers.”
I realize you wanted to see us eating the steamers, but Grandpa was eating too. I'm showing my first photo since it shows Lizzie and me on "the half shell."
Our maiden voyage of the season was all that it should have been: fair weather (for a while), nice breeze, tangy smell in the air, and some good naps in the sand. The only thing keeping this cruise from a four star rating was the marked absence of dog treats. I prefer the more planned outings to the spontaneous ones since part of the planning includes the procurement of ship victuals! Still and all, we enjoyed ourselves enormously.
Lizzie doesn’t have much sea savvy and so she never anticipates when Grandpa is going to open up his engine in the high-speed zones of water. She is so funny to watch when this happens since she is inevitably thrown forward or off her seat. I, however, have spent enough summers engaged in this particular activity so that I know when to move safely aft and hunker down until we reach the no-wake zone. Oh dear me, it makes me laugh just thinking about her helpless little face, trapped forward and afraid to move.
Reaching the island is as fun as the journey. We eagerly alight, sniffing the rosa rugosas and listening to seagulls as they squawk and screech. Their cries can pierce the most comatose pug nap! Lizzie and I snort and snuffle around a bit, getting a sense of what creatures are living and what ones have moved on to the next realm. It is always changing and always the same. After this, we settle down for a beach snooze.
I think in re-reading this, it sounds pretty dull for the uninitiated, but for pugs who love the sea, boating, and exploring, it is our gateway to summer.
Here I am, master of my domain, heading out to sea
Look at silly Lizzie, peeking at us from the front of the boat.
I am having the best nap ever out at Sampson's, aka Dead Neck Island
You know the old saying, “what goes around, comes around?” Well, in my case it truly did. It would appear that I am an excellent teacher, because little Lizzie has mastered the art of aggressive behavior.
Grandma gave us each a marrowbone, which is one of the true delicacies for a carnivore, and we each repaired to our respective dining stations in the back yard. Lizzie prefers the deck for this treat, while I prefer the grass or the wooded part of the yard. This seemed an innocent enough activity for both of us and yet it took a decidedly nasty turn.
I tend to move quickly over these bones, sucking what marrow I can initially, removing any meat or fat that still remains, and then burying the bone safely in the woods for a future retrieval. After burial, I sauntered up to the deck to check on Lizzie’s progress when she viciously turned on me, growling like a fiend from Hell! I was so shocked and dumbfounded that I froze momentarily. I looked at her with both awe and confusion. How could this be? Another case of my tutelage creating a monster! She had turned on her master. I could only shake my head and back away from this beast. Grandma kept saying, “Lizzie! Was that really you?” I think Grandma was as amazed as I by our little girl’s outburst.
Do I believe Lizzie intended me harm? No, but she certainly employed my tried and true technique for warding off bone invaders, so I will not put her to the test in order to satisfy my curiosity. It almost brings tears to my eyes, watching her growing prowess and strength. She is becoming a force to reckon with and I am the proud professor.
Here I am in the initial phase of marrow retrieval
Deeper licking and chewing
Off to the woods for burial
Here is Miss Lizzie, threatening me as she stands guard over her bone.