Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, or Just Give Me a Treat

What a splendid farewell to summer we enjoyed the past week. Boating, clamming, feasting, walking, sleeping, and cuddling with Mom and Dad topped off our summer on Cape Cod. While Lizzie and I will remain here for another month since Mom and Dad are busy with market and travel, we are very aware that fall is in the air. Grandma and Grandpa will return us to Manhattan the first part of October, and then our winter lives will begin.

I am mindful of all the attention and care we’ve received throughout the course of our lives and it started me wondering why praise is such an integral part of the dog experience. I noticed that cats rarely, if ever, receive praise for going to their litter box or eating their dinner, while dogs are showered abundantly with praise for every little task they perform. Are we slower, more susceptible to such basic a reward? Or, are we more intelligent and therefore recognize and require verbal signals?

The thing is, I am almost nine years old and I really don’t need someone hovering over me when I’m relieving myself, saying “Mason, what a good boy,” or “Fine job, Mason!” I’m sorry but truthfully all I require is a nice carrot or biscuit after completion of my outdoor business. And honestly, dear reader, if I didn’t receive a treat afterwards it wouldn’t cause me to stop performing these functions. I would be angry, whiny, and obnoxious, but I would still need to do what I’m put outdoors to do.

People praise their children when they are toilet training them just as they do their dogs, but at least they stop the praise once they are trained. Why not with their dogs? Maybe I am dwelling too much on something of no consequence but it has struck me lately that we dogs receive praise long after our training is complete. I, for one, believe that a food treat is ample reward, requiring no verbal assistance. Cats are just so weird that I think people figured out, early on, that anything said to a cat is wasted. They pretty much do as they please and when they please.

And there you have it…more deep thoughts from a pug named Mason.

Respectfully submitted,


The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!

The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!


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4 responses to “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, or Just Give Me a Treat

  1. I agree, Mason. As I am also almost 9 years old I don’t feel the need for the verbal nourishment required by the young…a tasty treat is expected and appreciated. By now I know that I’m “wonderful, outstanding, Mommy’s good boy,” etc. My superiority among all living creatures is established. Just give me the tidbit & a nod, then let me get back to my snooze.

    As for cats…I’ll address that at a later date.

  2. I know what you mean. I would be just as happy with my treat and not a word spoken. The momma doesn’t haven’t any furless kids, only me. So I wonder if it’s the whole I’m small and cute like a little one so she just continues to act like I am. As long as I keep getting my treats for doing what comes naturally, I can tolerate the constant praise.

    No comment on the cats . . .


  3. Lexie, Chloe & Coco

    Yes, we concur with all of the above comments. Our mommy and daddy don’t have any “furless kids” either (as Lilo so aptly put it), so they are free to shower us with all their affection. And who are we to complain? And we can live with the praise for going potty outside (as we always do). It’s the coaching that gets old. “Go potty like a big girl” is the phrase du jour…every jour. But hey, it all evens out since they put up with all our little habits as well (which are much too numerous to get into here!).
    Anyway, have a great last month of summer, Mason! I’m sure your grandma and grandpa are dreading giving you guys up next month. How do they live without you???
    ~Lex, Chloe and Coco

    p.s. As for cats, we appear to be adopting two kittens in a month! We haven’t decided if this will be a good thing or not. Any advice you have will be appreciated!

  4. Roxy, Blue and Bono

    Well said Mason…

    Your Pug Fans,
    Roxy, Blue and Bono

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