Monthly Archives: July 2009

What A Pug Wants, What A Pug Needs

I am transported, I am comforted, I am in a state of such bliss that words don’t come easily. To see my mom open the back door and come inside carrying luggage was almost more than this little pug heart could bear. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating…you don’t know what or whom you’re missing until you are faced with that thing or person, and then you realize that there has been a hole in your heart that is suddenly filled.

My mom really doesn’t have to say much to me because we communicate on our own special wavelength…a secret unspoken language that we’ve shared since the day we met. We understand that our love goes beyond physical boundaries and that together, we are complete.

Her arms wrapped around my body reassure me that all is well with the world and there is no place in which I would rather be. You wonder how one little pug can feel this and know it? Well then, just look into your pug’s face closely and you will discover this truth. It is there for you to see if you have any doubts.

Of course Lizzard wriggled and squirmed for Mom, and Mom gave her a hug and kiss, but I have enough self-confidence to let her have that little moment. The thing is that Lizzie has no deep loyalty. She pretty much will waddle off with anyone who pets and loves her. When Grandpa asked who wanted a nap upstairs, off trotted that fickle little female. But not yours truly…I settled in with Mom on the downstairs sofa, and even though she and Grandma were chatting, I was being petted, stroked, and held.

I must apologize for the schmaltzy, sentimental pap that I’ve written today but sometimes even my emotions just flow like a river heading to the ocean.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Look at how we fit...

Look at how we fit...

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Lizzie From The Block

Hi Everyone…

It’s Lizzie writing for Mason today. Mason asked me to because he is just plain exhausted from our morning book reading and signing at the Osterville Library. I think Mason gets himself very worked up at these events and by the time they are over, he just crashes. I don’t have the same interest in meeting “our public” (Mason’s words) because, as you know, I am quite shy. I like little children who are very quiet and gentle. They don’t scare me and I actually like being petted by them.

Mason, on the other hand, loves it when people get excited over him, exclaim about how cute or handsome he is, and run around with him. If you didn’t know Mason, you would assume he really loves everyone (which he does) but what he actually loves more is the thought that they may give him food! He always has an ulterior motive. He cracks me up because I can see just what he is really after and most people don’t have a clue.

Mason makes such a big deal over these appearances, telling me to look perky, eager, and alert. He says I act like a loser by hiding under a chair or behind Grandpa’s legs. He says my droopy looking tail turns people off and that I really need to “turn it on” for the crowd. I’m sorry, Mason, but I am not like you and never will be. I do try to be friendly but I can’t light up like a Christmas tree on a moment’s notice. Mason says we’ve got to give the people what they want, and what they want is some “razzle dazzle.” I don’t know about that. I’m just Lizzie…nothing more, nothing less. I figure that folks will either like me or they won’t, regardless of how I “work the room.”

Okay, that’s it from me today. I know Mason will tear this to shreds after he wakes up from his beauty nap. He specifically said, “Don’t make a fool out of yourself, Lizzard, and try to sound mildly intelligent.” As Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam.”

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Lizzie

Sometimes I also get exhausted after these events and just fall asleep in weird places.

Sometimes I also get exhausted after these events and just fall asleep in weird places.

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Sundays and A Homesick Little Pug

I am a pug…” If you prick us, do we not bleed?

if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison

us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not

revenge?”  William Shakespeare

I know some of you may find it difficult or painful to accept, but we pugs have an internal calendar and whenever Sunday rolls around, I find myself experiencing a yearning otherwise absent during the week. I apologize to the most revered Mr. Shakespeare for my lighthearted tampering with his The Merchant of Venice, and let me reassure you, dear reader, that I am not seeking revenge for anything, but you need to understand that pugs do feel pain and emotional anguish as do you humans.

Sundays were the day Mom devoted to me, her number one little man. We took long walks in the park, spent lazy afternoons napping on the couch or watching a favorite movie together. It was our day, our time, and it sustained me for the workweek ahead. I allowed her liberties I would never, under any other circumstances, consider acceptable by anyone else. We cuddled, snuggled, and frolicked together. She was mine and I was hers.

I don’t mean to be such a sissy, but Mom, I really miss you on Sundays. I can’t let Grandma and Grandpa know because they would feel bad and not know what to do. So, I did what any self-respecting pug would  under these circumstances…went into the back woods, found an old bone, and let it comfort me for the afternoon.

Sad in Sepia is what I call this photo...

Sad in Sepia is what I call this photo...

Mom, I can hardly wait until Friday when you arrive for two weeks.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, or I’m Not Interested in What You’re Selling

Ah, dear reader, I did have misgivings about writing Monday’s blog but I am both moved and touched by all of your incredibly thoughtful words and good wishes. You must believe me that I had no intention of inspiring such an outpouring when I wrote it. I am as happy, fulfilled, and hungry as I could be, so no more concerns about me, please.

I must disagree with Sigmund Freud who said, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.”  Today, I am addressing an issue, which I introduced earlier, and have let drop for much too long, and that is the silver tabby named Zoë. I hoped by ignoring her she might disappear or even just fade into oblivion. But no, she is here to stay and is certainly an ever-visible presence.

She reminds me of certain people and dogs who cannot respect or recognize boundaries. I am sure you know to what I refer when I say that their concept of personal space differs vastly from yours or mine. Zoë, I even shudder using her name because I don’t wish to make her real, has no sense of propriety, nor does she understand that she should always defer to me. She has no sense of class or species separation. At any opportunity she will approach me, try to engage me in play or repartee, and today’s behavior was an affront to my dignity. While I was lying in Grandma’s office, with my harness and leash on, since we were leaving soon, she had the audacity to lie beside me and begin playing with my leash! She took it into her mouth and between her front paws, and then tugged at it wildly. Thinking she had enticed me, she then proceeded to roll into me. She laid on her back in wanton abandon while batting at me with her paws. The nerve of that cheeky minx! I was horrified, tried to avert my gaze, and still she persisted. When I got up to remove myself, she again seized my leash and started pulling me. She even grabbed hold of my front leg! Fortunately, Grandma had the good sense to look down and see this spectacle unfold; however, she laughed out loud saying, “Oh Zoë, you clever little puss…look at you and Mason” as if I were a willing participant.

I had a good mind to cuff her but decided instead to take the high road. Oliver, their other cat, would never cross that boundary. He and I are close in age and in temperament, so that we have an innate understanding of one another. He respects my space and I his. Zoë needs a good lesson taught her, but she is still young and undeniably cute, for a feline that is.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I am sleeping peacefully while little Miss Thing is alert and plotting her next move.

I am sleeping peacefully while little Miss Thing is alert and plotting her next move.

I like this because it shows her cunning nature and brazen look.

I like this because it shows her cunning nature and brazen look. Also, check out those eyes. They are just wrong!

Here you can how close she has gotten. I know it looks like I've moved but it is she who is encroaching my space.

Here you can see how close she has gotten. I know it looks like I've moved but it is she who is encroaching into my space.

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Downward Facing Pug, or I Chose Life

Every now and again I find it helpful to stop and take stock of my life. As midsummer approaches I am reminded of my various limitations. This is not a maudlin pity party, believe me, but rather an honest look at how my many physical conditions have not limited my zest for living.

It was discovered about four years ago that I have an under active thyroid, for which I must take Soloxine twice a day for the rest of my life. It also requires a yearly blood test to be sure the dosage remains correct. Around that same time, my vet informed me that the reason I coughed and gagged so frequently is due to a collapsed trachea, a condition for which there is no treatment. It becomes a problem when I ingest food because I naturally do this rapidly, due to my excitement…and so I make ghastly retching sounds after eating. It doesn’t bother me but I think it upsets the humans around me!

Around the time I was living in Dallas with my mom, I started having seizures. They happened about twice a year, were horrifying for Mom, and left me only a little tired but otherwise unaffected. Since they were not an isolated event I was put on Potassium Bromide about two years ago as a preventative course of treatment. This I take once a day and have blood drawn twice a year to check my levels. Now some of you, dear readers, may be saying to yourselves that this pug is being held together with duct tape, but my story is not over. Last summer a neurological issue developed, which necessitated emergency surgery (see Dec. 27 blog about this procedure) leaving me without the use of my gender distinguishing feature. I am having difficulty with my hindquarters this summer and my vet feels all of this is connected. I take ¼ tablet of Temaril P every other day to reduce inflammation.

You must wonder, why am I regaling you with my tales of woe? I do so only to point out that not one or all of these physical limitations have slowed me down or depressed me. They are not even an annoyance. Life is rich, beautiful, and full of incredible food. As Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”

I am a pug living my life deliberately and well.  L’chaim!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I just happen to love this shot and Grandma says I look like an angel. No hint of health issues on this pug's face!

I just happen to love this shot and Grandma says I look like an angel. No hint of health issues on this pug's face!

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A Marrowbone in the Mouth Is Worth Two in the Bush, or I’ve Got A Bone to Pick

Summer time and the livin’ is easy for pugs with generous grandparents. Grandma purchased wonderful marrowbones for Lizzie and me, and I must say I lost all track of time while chewing on mine. Maybe that activity is analogous to whittling for old timers. All I know is I come away feeling relaxed, refreshed, and at peace with the world. It is a solitary activity and I prefer seeking out a quiet, secluded spot in the yard while I indulge in what I believe to be one of the great pleasures in a pug’s life. It’s not competitive, there is no schedule for completion, and, like a great book,  it can be picked up and put down at any time.

It gives me time for reflection and contemplation. God knows what it does for Lizzie because I suspect she is incapable of either thought process. Now I must admit that I become very combative when someone approaches and tries to remove said bone from my jaws. Because I don’t wish to lose my prize, I am forced to emit rumblings from deep within my massive bull-like chest. Initially this proved a deterrent to intruders, but over time, people figured out that all I could do is rumble.

Like most addictive personalities, I am never ready to end a pleasurable experience. I wish to keep the good feelings coming and so when I do have to relinquish my treasure, I do so with a lot of fuss and nastiness. Lizzie, on the other hand, doesn’t even understand the concept of extreme pleasure, and so when asked to leave her bone, she willingly acquiesces, trotting her round little behind cheerfully back into the house. I, however, demand a replacement treat/reward/pacifier to placate my suffering.

And there you have it, dear reader, the basic difference between a fierce and obsessed hunter (read Ahab) and a compliant and passive homebody (read Goody Two Shoes).

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I've secured my prize.

I've secured my prize.

Captured in my magnificent mouth

Captured in my magnificent mouth

A long shot of yours truly holding the beast bone.

A long shot of yours truly holding the beast bone.

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Don’t Just Stand There, Let’s Get To It, Strike a Pose, There’s Nothing To it

What is it about pugs that make their owners or caregivers absolutely obsessed with dressing them in costumes? Aren’t we cute or handsome enough without any adornments? I don’t have the numbers to prove my point, but my guess is that the vast majority of pug owners buy at least one outfit for their pug (usually more because the habit grows) and dress said pug up at least for one holiday and usually more each year.

Is it that our unusual facial structures or incredibly appealing bodies invite such foolishness, or is it that we are such compliant and agreeable creatures that we a actually encourage this bizarre human compulsion?  Perhaps it is a combination of both. Whatever the reason, we are the objects of much fussing, hilarity, shopping, and picture taking. This Sunday was no exception for yours truly. It wasn’t enough that Lizzard and I had behaved like superstars for two book readings and signings on Thursday and Friday, but on Sunday we were forced into the dreaded “doggles” and placed in our newly purchased wading pool for another photo op!

I am, if nothing else, a true professional and know how to do what is expected of me because, as experience has taught me, there is always a carrot at the end of the ordeal (or some other equally desirable treat). Lizzard, however, is nothing but a little baby…who struggles against the activity, running around like a wild animal, refusing to just relax and accept the inevitable. You’d think she would have the sense to just observe a pro like me, but no, she doesn’t.

After the donning of the doggles, we were lowered into the pool, which had been thoughtfully laden with carrots (Grandma thought that would sweeten the chore) and asked to pose fetchingly. I quickly assessed the situation and gave my best James Dean tough look, while Lizzie dropped her tail and hung her little head (pathetic beast). It was over in a flash and we were free. While Lizzie pawed off her eyewear, I trotted away proudly bearing a prize carrot, oblivious to the offending doggles, and enjoyed my treat.

A lesson, dear reader:  don’t trust your fantasies to an amateur…a trained professional is always the best choice. Enjoy the photos and forgive my choice of Madonna lyrics in today’s title, but sometimes a pop song says it best.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here we are in our pool. I am clearly one with the moment and Lizzie is, well, not.

Here we are in our pool. I am clearly one with the moment and Lizzie is, well, not.

I thought you might enjoy a solo shot. You can see how I am working it.

I thought you might enjoy a solo shot. You can see how I am working it. Check out the carrot in my mouth.

Here I am looking bad and fierce...comfortable in my look.

Here I am looking bad and fierce...comfortable in my look.

Ah, sweet reward! And, as you can see, not bothered at all by the doggles...

Ah, sweet reward! And, as you can see, not bothered at all by the doggles...

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