Monthly Archives: August 2009

Pug Pleasing Pumpkin Puree, or Good For You and Tastes Good Too

After a brief hiatus I am back, dear reader, ready to regale you with tales from the pug vault. Today’s entry may be of interest to both you and your human keepers. I realize that it would be a very rare pug indeed that needs his or her appetite stimulated so that what I am about to reveal may sound like “bringing coals to Newcastle.” My grandma is always looking for ways to enhance the quality of my life (Lizzie’s too, unfortunately) and so when her sister suggested adding pumpkin to our meals, Grandma moved on it immediately.

I have never questioned the taste of my kibble meals, nor have I ever complained about their repetitive quality, but after having pumpkin introduced into the mix my dining experience will never be the same.

There is a quintessential earthy bouquet and organic texture to pumpkin…a certain “je ne sais quoi” that makes this dietary addition irresistible. Grandma’s sister is a dog trainer and general fount of information about all things dog, so that when she says something is good, Grandma always listens. Pumpkin is supposedly rich in nutrients, loaded with fiber, very filling, and virtually without calories. Do I care about any of this? Of course not! I just know that having pumpkin added to my kibbles is the most exciting thing to come along since marrowbones.

If you recall, our little Miss Reluctant Diner was always mincing around her bowl, waiting to be coerced into taking a bite, stood over and monitored whenever food was presented…but not any more! You should see the snarling, aggressive, demanding beast she has become since pumpkin came into our lives.

This entry is a personal thank you to Debby in Maryland for giving Grandma the best advice ever. Pugs, demand that you too get to savor this little taste of heaven. A tablespoon, mixed with your grim gray kibbles, will change your dining experience. When it comes to food, you can always trust Mason!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

The only downside to pumpkin is the unattractive residue it always leaves on a pug's face.

The only downside to pumpkin is the unattractive residue it always leaves on a pug's face.

But, oh my, is it ever worth it!

But, oh my, is it ever worth it!

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Tricks of the Trade, or Confessions of an Undercover Pug

In light of my most recent expose, I feel a need to offer exculpatory evidence for another activity of mine. While the activity does not involve a crime, it could be considered misleading by my human caregivers. Let me explain.

As I have mentioned in an earlier entry, I don’t always feel the necessity for relieving myself when taken outside. I do, however, understand how important it is for humans to see me perform this activity. Their faces initially appear both expectant and hopeful, move into frustration, and ultimately display disappointment and controlled anger. I am able to say with confidence, dear reader, that no pug enjoys witnessing those facial transitions. And so, being a highly intuitive and sensitive pug, I devised a plan of great subterfuge for these toilet excursions. First, I skirted the perimeter of the woods in a purposeful little trot, tail curled tightly, giving a backward glance at my grandparents. Their faces beamed with reassurance, but since I was without urgency or interest, I knew I had to mislead them in order to avoid their looks of disappointment. Off I went, back into the woods, breaking branches and small bushes, going deeper into the cover of foliage. I knew, without looking back, that they would be nodding and commenting about my need for privacy. I, however, was finding the most concealed area so I could count out the appropriate seconds required for completion of said toilet, before  bursting victoriously through the trees into the yard. Making a mad dash for the deck and back door, I waited expectantly,wearing a look of mission accomplished.

All of this seems a lot of trouble and you’re probably asking yourself why I just didn’t do what I was supposed to do and be done with it. Well, that is simple. I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to see their faces or hear their admonishments. I wanted breakfast and I wanted it immediately. I could and would relieve myself later, when I was ready.

I hope you can understand, from a pug’s point of view, we have so little free will that there are times when we must take a stand in order to retain a shred of our independence.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here I am standing at the perimeter of the woods.

Here I am standing at the perimeter of the woods.

Evening on the sofa. That sanctimonious little Lizzie is trying to guilt me out for being tricky. I refuse to even look at her.

Evening on the sofa. That sanctimonious little Lizzie is trying to guilt me out for being tricky. I refuse to even look at her.

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Hang My Portrait on The Wall of Shame

Oh my, dear reader, my soul is in turmoil and I am tormented by the demons of my transgressions. It is to this forum that I must turn in confession, lest I find myself spiraling downward into Dante’s ninth circle of Hell.

How to begin? This may be the one blog entry you wish to skip over, and then hope that better days lie ahead for yours truly. I am an addict. There, I’ve said it. I have a vile predilection, a taste for the highly unsavory (by human standards), a penchant for the forbidden. Many of you pugs reading this will know immediately to what I refer, so don’t pretend you don’t.

I thought I was managing this addiction fairly well this summer, but with two highly productive cats and two litter boxes in the house, I am surrounded by temptation on a daily basis. I also have noted that Grandma and Grandpa have become much more lax about maintenance of said boxes. I was weak yesterday, weak with hunger I should say, but the results were disastrous. Apparently this foray was my undoing, my overdose, if you will. The evidence lay all over my bed and when Grandpa discovered it, he ran downstairs to confer with Grandma. It was inconceivable to them that I would soil my own bed, but the evidence was irrefutable. Only today Grandma realized the vile product, that she assumed was “an accident,” was in fact the result of my stomach discharging its rich and toxic contents.

There will be no intervention, but I am guessing there will be greater vigilance for the rest of my stay here. You see the depth of my despair and shame, but at least I won’t be wearing the dreaded diapers that Grandma threatened before she knew the truth.

As the Pet Shop Boys sang, “So I look back upon my life, Forever with a sense of shame, I’ve always been the one to blame, For everything I long to do, No matter where or when or who, Has one thing in common too, It’s a Sin.”

I am a monster.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

P.S. I cannot show my face on this entry.

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Pug Perfect, or A Pug Tale of No Consequence

Mason is so busy chewing his marrowbone that he requested I do today’s blog. His words were,  “Go write your usual sappy drivel, Lizzard, but just don’t bother me!” That Mason, isn’t he the funniest old thing? At any rate, I thought it might be nice to share with you one of the most wonderful days ever.

I’m sure Mason would argue about that, only because he never likes to agree with me, but yesterday was really pug perfect. Grandma and Grandpa asked if we wanted to go out to the island on the boat with them, and of course we went crazy with excitement. I love standing on the pier waiting for Grandpa to come up in his boat, load us and all of our stuff onto it, and then head out to the island. The breeze was perfect, blowing my ears gently as I cuddled up with Grandma in the front of the boat.

As soon as we anchored and went ashore, I found my spot…behind Grandma’s chair under her draped beach towel. It makes a perfect shelter from the sun so that I can nap comfortably while the onshore breeze keeps me cool. There is always a nice bowl of water in my tent, so it couldn’t be better. Mason is busy, always busy searching for food, running from one person to the next. He goes swimming to keep cool but won’t take shelter because he is so afraid of missing a crumb of food. Finally he fell asleep in Grandpa’s arms, but his eyes would snap open the minute he heard any sound at all. I really wish he could relax.

The trip home was equally good because we were so pooped. Mason does sleep then. After he had a shower with Grandma (because he went swimming) we got ready for dinner at friends of my grandparents. What a yummy dinner it was! Fresh tuna steaks, seared on the grill but raw inside! We actually had some and Mason then became a crazy man. After dinner we went outside to watch the meteor showers. We sat on lawn chairs just staring up at the sky. I lay on Grandma’s lap and Mason on Grandpa’s. It was so quiet and beautiful that I felt this amazing connection to nature.

So you see, it was not an exciting day, but for me, a perfect one. Mason just read this, laughed, and said that I am a Pollyanna who lives in “la la” land and I have no connection to anything. I am going to disagree with him this time.

Pugs and kisses,

Lizzie

Mason chose this because he said everyone will laugh at me when they see it. I don't know why.

Mason chose this because he said everyone will laugh at me when they see it. I don't know why.

And then he added this close up because he wants his readers to see what a loser he is living with. Whatever, Mason.

And then he added this close up because he wants his readers to see what a loser he is living with. Whatever, Mason.

Mason said to say, "This is what a true representative of the breed should look like."

Mason said to say, "This is what a true representative of the breed should look like."

Here I am in my shelter by the sea.

Here I am in my shelter by the sea.

Here is Mason asleep on Grandpa's chest. He,he,he...I slipped this past him!

Here is Mason asleep on Grandpa's chest. He,he,he...I slipped this past him! He doesn't look so fierce now, does he?

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What Price Fame, or Noblesse Oblige

It was inevitable. I’m not sure that I would have chosen this path had I known how rigorous and invasive it would be. Fame…that elusive, and tantalizing old seductress…has ruined more happy and uncomplicated lives than can be estimated. The price fame extracts is often incalculable, leaving its victims blinking like moles in bright sunlight.

Since our book’s release, library appearances, and rave book review, Lizzie and I rarely have outings where we are not recognized. People freely shout out our names as they see us, come over to pet us, and then call their friends over to meet “The Summerpugs,” as we are referred to by many. All of this is lovely, and naturally I deport myself graciously and manfully (not like that shrinking idiot who shadows me).

Which brings me to last night’s baseball game. We ate before leaving and since it was Mom and Dad’s last night on the Cape, we had lobsters and steamers for dinner. Knowing how wild Lizzie and I are for those delicacies and also how they would miss us, Mom and Dad threw many steamers and bits of lobster our way. I have never been one to halt a feeding frenzy and last night was no exception. On the way to the game I began to experience some discomfort in my stomach, which always causes me to pant. By the time we arrived my bowels were in turmoil, roiling with activity. Dear reader, under these circumstances there is no controlling the next byproduct of this agony. Soon there were groans from all of the passengers as I released my noxious vapors into the car. Still, I bravely trotted around the field, greeting the many fans that recognized us. Under normal circumstances I could have retreated into my mom’s arms, but I couldn’t since my public wanted to see a feisty, confident, swaggering pug. And so, the show must go on.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

P.S. I’m not including a photo this time for the obvious reason, and because you saw so many last time…

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, or Just Another Pug Photo Op

I apologize, dear reader, for my lengthy absence from this blog but since Mom and Dad have arrived our days have been filled with so many activities. I think it is true that sometimes a picture is the best means of communication and so I’ve decided to make this entry a photo journey.

Last Thursday was our reading and signing engagement at the Sturgis Library and it was wildly successful. Having Mom and Dad attend was the proverbial icing on the cake for yours truly. The children were polite, loving, respectful, and attentive…all that any pug could want from little people. They loved our book and responded positively to its reading.

Here I am before the reading, receiving the attention I so rightly deserve.

Here I am before the reading, receiving the attention I so rightly deserve.

Look at Mom holding Lizzie.

Look at Mom holding Lizzie.

This little boy thought he'd won the lottery by just holding my leash!

This little boy thought he'd won the lottery by just holding my leash!

Here's my mom again, looking like "La Madonna."

Here's my mom again, looking like "La Madonna."

These little girls had no intention of every leaving us.

These little girls had no intention of ever leaving us.

This woman sitting next to Mom has come to every reading just to be near yours truly.

This woman sitting next to Mom has come to every reading just to be near yours truly.

That same evening we were rewarded with steamed clams (of course we did not receive the lion’s share, but rather the leavings from the human feast). I think it is worth looking at our “Little Miss Perfect Lady” as she tears tenaciously and wolfishly into each little bivalve. I was, quite frankly, shocked and impressed. I do not have the patience that Lizzard possesses but, as you can see, the reward was worth her effort. Every day that silly pug amazes me.

Lizzie is beginning to work on her clam

Lizzie is beginning to work on her clam

She's putting a little more muscle into it.

She's putting a little more muscle into it.

Her clam shells are growing...

Her clam shells are growing...

That little pug really knows how to go for the gold!

That little pug really knows how to go for the gold!

Note that she never loses her form.

Note that she never loses her form.

Finally, yours truly has a go at it.

Finally, yours truly has a go at it.

This is how a real manpug does it.

This is how a real manpug does it.

Lizzie's final lick...

Lizzie's final lick...

Look at me with my prize! What a pugbeast I am...

Look at me with my prize! What a pugbeast I am...

And here we are with Dad as he works on a big deal...

And here we are with Dad as he works on a big deal...

Enjoy!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

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Pooped Pugs, or Fan Me With A Palm Frond, Please

I must confess, dear reader, to an ever-increasing lethargy and fatigue that seems to consume me each day. I can only assume that it is due to the oppressive humidity blanketing Cape Cod, and probably all of the east coast, this week. Mom and Grandma are feeling it too, which gives me more wiggle room for being a sloth.

Saturday we headed out to the island on Grandpa’s boat, and while the temperature was warm, there was a steady on shore breeze, which made the day perfect. Lizzie and I love the journey because of the wind on our faces and the tantalizing smells in the air. After we reached the island, anchored the boat, and hauled all of our paraphernalia ashore, Grandma decided we needed a swim. And swim we did. I am more of a plunk, plunk, plunk kind of swimmer. I see no reason to paddle furiously when I know the waves will take me to shore eventually. Of course Grandma supported me around my waist. Lizzie, however, begins a frantic, toes splayed, head held aloft kind of swimming well before she even hits the water. It really makes me laugh to see her go. Everyone near her gets sprayed once she is actually in the water. As you must know by now, she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Because of our frequent swims throughout the day we managed to stay quite cool and comfortable. On our return, we stopped at a choice little spit of land where clams love to burrow, and Mom and Grandpa dug for their dinner (ours too!). Those of you who have our book will know just where I am describing. There is a photo of Lizzard and me standing in the water there at low tide, looking for clams.

The finale to a spectacular day was an outdoor shower and shampoo with Mom. Our day could not have been better, but we were exhausted and slept like puppies that night. I am still not fully energized but will rally on Thursday since we have another book reading and signing at the Sturgis Library in Barnstable Village, 10:30 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

P.S. Let me know what you think of my blog’s new look. Grandpa designed it and I think it captures the essence of our summer…Thanks, Grandpa!

This is one I wanted to show last time and since no one took a camera on the boat, I decided to share this appealing shot.

This is one I wanted to show on my last blog and since no one took a camera on the boat, I decided to share it now.

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