Monthly Archives: October 2009

You Can Go Home, or To Every Season There Is A Purpose

Forgive the ruminations of a sentimental old pug, but I find it comforting to recall the life I just left behind. Lizzie and I now are ensconced in our Manhattan apartment, napping and waiting for our new dog walker to arrive for our afternoon outing. It is hard to believe the dramatic change we’ve undergone within the past twenty-four hours.

We love being with Mom and Dad again but, like anything in this life, there is a tradeoff. We lose the natural beauty of our surroundings on the Cape, the freedom of running or sleeping outdoors without leashes, and having human company all day long. In NYC, we are alone during the day (except for the dog walker’s two visits), our walks are on leashes on the sidewalk but at least the smells are intoxicating, our apartment is small but at night we sleep with Mom and Dad. In either case we gain and we lose something.

I miss Grandma and Grandpa and all of our car outings, I miss visiting Chloe, I miss going out on the boat, I miss clamming, and I miss evenings in front of the fire.  I love, however, waking up in bed with Mom and Dad and having that extra cuddle time in the morning, I love weekends walking to Thompkins dog park, I love napping on the sofa with Mom on a Sat. or Sun. afternoon, and I love sharing a pizza with Dad.

Both lives are wonderful and we are extremely fortunate but I still hate goodbyes. Lizzie is an idiot and will cuddle with any warm body, so I don’t think she cares where she lays her head. I, however, am extremely mindful of my surroundings and always suffer from dramatic change syndrome.

If you see us walking around the Lower East Side, stop and say hello. We miss all of our friendly faces on the Cape.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

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Our last day on the Cape...

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Our final lobster dinner

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Lizzie going for the last drop.

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Look at me going for my last taste!

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And, our last boat trip....

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“The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on” (Henry VI, part III), or This Pug Has Teeth

I don’t know why I am always shocked and amazed when certain events in this life don’t go the way I expected. Just because a pug behaves in a highly consistent and predictable way each and every day of her life, doesn’t mean that she will continue to do so forever. I know this sounds a bit cryptic and obtuse but bear with me on this.

I believe most of you readers know me well enough now to appreciate my mastery of life skills. My ability to procure and consume vast quantities of food/snacks/treats is legend in dogdom. My overwhelming supremacy in the art of control and self-defense needs no explanation. My talent for eluding detection of unaccomplished toileting remains unchallenged by any pug. So then, dear reader, how did one timid, reluctant, passive, spineless, stuffed partridge of a female pug grow such massive, forgive me, cahones, while under my tutelage?

Grandma was preparing a butternut squash soup yesterday and there were many cooking utensils needing our attention after their use. I was given the food processor and Lizzie the large skillet.  In record time I completed my assigned task and then ambled over to Lizzard’s cleaning area to assist her, in what I assumed was far too great a job for one pug. Lo and behold, I was greeted with the most ferocious vocal and physical attack ever! WAHHHHAAAAHHHH, as she lunged for me. I don’t know who was more shocked, Grandma, Grandpa, or me. Lizzie was unaffected, hopped back into her skillet, and resumed her licking. My immediate reaction was to go flying across the the kitchen, as far away from this fiend from Hell as I could get.  Then I became angry and resentful, and finally awed and somewhat proud. This insignificant, wimpy, and lowly pug had given me back what I’d been giving her for over a year. She now feeds like a greedy pug, begs for treats from Aaron, the UPS driver, and defends her food like a pug-beast should. It is with mixed emotions that I dedicate today’s blog to Lizzie.

And yet again, Mr. Shakespeare says it best.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here is a good perspective of the scene prior to Lizzie's outburst.

Here is a good perspective of the scene prior to Lizzie's outburst.

Here is "The Terminator" standing in the skillet cleaning it thoroughly.

Here is "The Terminator" standing in the skillet cleaning it thoroughly.

And yours truly, wondering why he didn't receive the lion's share of this treat.

And yours truly, staring in disbelief and wondering why he didn't receive the lion's share of this treat.

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I Hear Your Voice

“I hear your voice-(call)

your voice (call)

your voice (call)

the way it used to do

I feel my heart (fall)

my heart (fall)

I try to keep you off my mind

but every time I do, I hear your voice”    Lionel Richie

I am not a huge fan of pop music, dear reader, but today Lionel says it best.

This morning, while Grandma and Grandpa were having breakfast, my mom phoned (which she does on a daily basis), and Grandma decided to put her call on speakerphone so that I could hear her easily. I cannot even begin to describe my response. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. In the past, Grandma has put the phone up to my ear for these chats with Mom, but they always frighten and disturb me. This, however, brought my mom’s voice right into the room, as if she were there. I must admit that I looked around for her but without any success. I really don’t understand how her voice can be so immediate and clear, and yet she not be there physically. All I know is that hearing her unleashed a torrent of emotion and longing. I was fine until that call.

Now I cannot stop thinking about her. Grandma reassures me that she and Dad are arriving on Friday for the weekend and that Lizzie and I will be returning to Manhattan with them for the winter. That news also triggered another emotional outpouring. While I am excited and thrilled to be with my parents, the thought of leaving Grandma and Grandpa is tearing my little pug heart apart.

I do know, however, that Lizzie and I have a great capacity for adjustment to change. We are highly adaptable creatures; otherwise we could not live these two separate lives so well.

Trite but true axiom: when one door closes, another always opens. This is my last week on the Cape and I plan to suck all the marrow from the remaining time before my NYC apartment door opens.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

A bittersweet time for us.

A bittersweet time for us.

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The Week in Review, or Never A Dull Moment for Mason

I must combine topics today since my week has been so filled with adventure and I don’t wish to sacrifice one for the telling of the other. It interests me that weeks can go by with little to next to nothing happening and then suddenly one is caught up in a whirlwind of happenings.

On Saturday night we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s friends, who own Chloe (my “affaire de Coeur”), for dinner. Nothing unusual transpired until after dinner. I noticed my darling slipping quietly into her bedroom on, what I assumed was, an errand; however, she did not return to the living room. Thinking she should be checked, I, too, slipped into her bedchamber where I found her lying languidly on her dog bed. I have no idea what possessed me or what impulse sent me in that direction, but I found myself settling in beside her. Someone must have noticed our absence because the next thing I knew, a camera was being clicked, accompanied by a blinding flash of light. Before the paparazzi run wild with this photo and story, I wish you, dear reader, to understand the innocence of this moment. Enough said.

Yesterday, Grandpa had to forego our daily hike around Eagle Pond and so it was just Grandma who took us. This outing is truly the most eagerly anticipated event of our day, but without Grandpa it is not the same. I tried to put on a good face but honestly my heart wasn’t in it. Of course that single-cell excuse of a pug, Lizzie, has no such sensitivity and happily she will trot off with any human who assumes the position of pack leader. But, as you all know, she is a fool and a twit. That aside, I had to literally drag myself along on the trails until Grandma chose a path we’d never explored before. I suddenly became aware of new scenery and scents, and my basic canine curiosity overcame my earlier reluctance. Off we went into the gloaming, stimulated and fearless. Grandma then began muttering out loud that she had no idea where we were and then she picked up the pace. We moved briskly further into uncharted territory. There was not a sound or sight of another human or beast. The further we went, the darker the sky became. I knew Grandma was concerned but I soldiered on, since I had to be the alpha male (read, only male). Finally we came upon a path leading us back into the forest in the direction of the lake. We followed it and eventually came around to our entry/exit point. Neither my energy nor spirits flagged during this Robinson Crusoe-like trek but I was mightily glad to reach home and tuck into a hearty repast!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

My darling Chloe and I...you can see the innocence of our bed sharing. The media will twist this into something unnatural and sordid.

My darling Chloe and I...you can see the innocence of our bed sharing. The media will twist this into something unnatural and sordid.

The thrill of smelling a new tree!

The thrill of smelling a new tree!

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David and Goliath, or Mind Your Business and Not Mine

By now most of you readers know that I am a reasonable pug, respectful of all living creatures, not one who makes hasty judgments, and one who is prepared to accept all those whom I meet. So it may come as a shock to you, dear reader, to learn that I was recently forced into a situation requiring an aggressive and combative action. Yes, I have, on rare occasions, taken up the cudgels in self-defense.

It was a beautiful fall day, perfect for enjoying our daily hike around Eagle Pond.  At the end of our hike we met a pack of very large dogs, one of which was a two-hundred pound St. Bernard. They were all quite wet from swimming and were filled with the kind of high spirits that large beasts are wont to after exercise. I, in my  gracious but somewhat reserved manner, made them welcome and allowed the usual sniffing, circling, and general inspection, before moving on. All but the St. Bernard did just that, but he, for some unknown reason, became more persistent and insistent in his inspection of my….hmmmm, how to phrase this….business. I am a patient pug, up to a point, but once that point is crossed then I have no choice but to respond. With the speed and ferocity of a jungle cat, I hurled my body onto his, clinging to his fur with tenacity. I uttered the most primal, barbaric growls I could muster, while hanging on to the flanks of this beast-dog.

For some reason the humans found this entire exchange hysterically funny. I suspect they were shocked and horrified by my strength and lightening response. Fearing for the poor St.Bernard’s safety, Grandma and Grandpa pulled me off of his body and held me until I regained control of my emotions. If you can believe it, that fool dog was ready to come back and continue his invasive exploration! Lizzie, all the while, stood there trembling with fear and worry. She is an idiot and of no concern to me, but I mention her so that you can fully appreciate the gravity of this situation.

I think there is a lesson here for everyone: sometimes small packages carry gigantic surprises. My dignity is intact, a large dog has been taught a lesson, and I’m still master of my domain!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Look at me after successfully defending my honor. I am truly not a pug with whom to trifle.

Look at me after successfully defending my honor. I am truly not a pug with whom to trifle.

Look at that nincompoop, Lizzie, as she searches for signs of harm to my body. Unfortunately, we don't have a photo of the actual confrontation.

Look at that nincompoop, Lizzie, as she searches for signs of harm to my body. Unfortunately, we don't have a photo of the actual confrontation.

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I Am Lizzie, Hear Me Roar, or The Adventures of Squirrel Girl

As I’ve said several times in my blogs, I will never understand females. They are the final frontier for this pug. I am, of course, referring to Lizzard since she is a member of that gender. Just when I am absolutely convinced that I know and understand every dull little facet of her personality and internal workings, she astonishes me.

After her arrival into our family unit, I very easily filed her under, “Dull-witted, Malleable, and Of No Interest.” How very shortsighted of me that now seems. To wit: in the course of one year this plump little partridge of a pug has become sleek, fit, and fast. Her passive meek self has emerged as a serious contender, with a bark that can raise one’s hair. I have mentioned before that she will fearlessly go after any dog foolish enough to bark at us when we are passing. She will strain at her leash, rising up on hind feet, baying like a bloodhound, and not back off. She must be dragged forcefully away, while still emitting her bloodlust filled cries.

The most recent change in Lizzie’s behavior was evidenced last week. After breakfast she likes to perch on the back of the couch, allowing her a view of the backyard, kitchen, family room, and hall leading to the front of the house. And, because she is lying on the top of the couch she has a good vantage point. On the particular day to which I refer, our little Lizzie began a frantic and wild barking, flung herself from her perch, and hurled her body at the back screen door. Grandma was so startled that she ran to open it for Lizzie, and we all watched amazed as she barreled across the lawn in mad pursuit of a squirrel. She blazed through the woods and screeched to a halt at the base of a pine tree where the terrified rodent had fled to its top. Lizzie stood at the base howling in frustration and anger, until she surmised the creature was not going to come down and meet its fate.

Who knew that such a fierce and bloodthirsty beast lay hidden in the meek and ditsy guise of “Miss Thing?” I am yet again shaking my head in wonder. In this there is a lesson for all of us, I feel certain. I hope I can refrain from making snap judgments and absolute pronouncements about pugs and humans. I still don’t understand females but I am learning that there is more to Lizzie than initially meets the eye. Please don’t, however, confuse grudging respect with love.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I couldn't capture Squirrel Girl in action since she was too fast...but here she is, sitting on her perch, keeping a vigilant eye on the backyard.

I couldn't capture Squirrel Girl in action since she was too fast...but here she is, sitting on her perch, keeping a vigilant eye on the backyard.

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