Monthly Archives: June 2010

An Unfortunate Affliction, or Daphne’s Dirty Little Secret

Sitting in the capacity of senior member of this motley little pack, I am in a position to observe and comment about our behaviors and foibles. And so, dear reader, lest I offend any of you more sensitive sorts, let me warn now that what I am about to reveal will definitely be off-putting. I am not exploring this region of dog behavior because I wish to shock or horrify, but rather to inform and educate. While this particular “indulgence” is one with which I have had no familiarity, it is something I now fully recognize but abhor.

Daphne, Grandma and Grandpa’s French bulldog puppy, is an aficionado of coprophagia…the eating of feces. Yes, dear heart, it has a name…a medical name because it is in fact a medical condition. No longer must this repulsive habit be unspoken or, at best, whispered about among only the closest of friends. It must be openly discussed and examined. Vets disagree about the reasons for such a predilection and there are as many “cures” as there are reasons. Grandma has added Adolph’s meat tenderizer to our food, mixed pumpkin in all of our bowls, sprayed all of the stools with Sour Apple but with no success. We are now going to have pineapple added to our diet because supposedly that produces a highly unpalatable taste to our waste. I am not holding my breath on this either. Several theories suggest a vitamin deficiency as the cause, but after our vet thoroughly checked Daphne out, that was quickly eliminated. It is a highly unlikely cause for most dogs today since we are fed such perfectly balanced and nutritious diets. Another theory posited is that it is an acquired or learned behavior. Since neither Daphne’s mother nor littermates have that habit, then we can assume that theory is false.

So, poor beleaguered Grandma and Grandpa rush about frantically, with their state of the art “pooper scooper,” through poison ivy and brambles, trying to capture whatever any of the four of us deposit before Daphne can do “clean up in aisle four.”

When Daphne was in puppy class and one of the puppies decided the middle of the floor was as good a place as any to relieve himself, Grandma made a startling discovery. She, as a joke, told the owner that rather than clean it up she could turn Daphne loose. Almost every owner confessed their puppy liked that particular delicacy too, but they had been too ashamed and embarrassed to share this information. Grandma was dumbfounded learning this. Even the trainer said some of his own dogs enjoyed that activity.

As it stands now, Daphne no longer enjoys what she makes, but certainly seeks out Cecile’s, Lizzie’s, and mine. Grandma is covered in poison ivy, and Grandpa looks like Lucy in the candy factory episode of “I Love Lucy,” trying to capture the poops of three pugs, all squatting in different directions of the yard simultaneously, before Daphne “beats him to the punch,” so to speak.

We would welcome any and all comments on this one, folks, but for now kisses from Daphne are avoided.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

You didn't think I would show anything tasteless, did you? Just yours truly totally at peace on the deck.

Sunday morning, in Grandpa's lap, reading the Times...perfect!

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Fundraising for Carina

Dear Readers,

For those of you who are not fans of Mason and Lizzie on Facebook (shame), I want to share with you what my grandparents are doing to help out little Carina at Pugs ‘n Pals rescue, (http://www.pugdogrescue.com). My grandpa has designed two stickers in homage to his own dog family, based upon the classic Milton Glaser “I Heart” design, of a pug and a Frenchie.

For every sale of these wonderful bumper stickers, $1. will go directly to Carina for her ongoing medical bills. This is an opportunity for you to own a great sticker which you will be proud to display and, at the same time, help out a really needy little pug. Carina’s spirit in indomitable and she certainly deserves our help.

The web links are: http://www.capecard.net/ilovepugsticker.html and http://www.capecard.net/ilovefrenchbulldogsticker.html.

Thank you so much, everyone. We are a great community.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

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Carina Update

June 16th

CARINA

Hi everyone!

Miss Carina is doing well, still struggling with the mange, so far we have not gotten a negative reading, very frustrating. We have tried different meds, but it is going very slow. She should have been cleared by now. Her immune system is shot so she is healing slowly. But very happy and active girl, full of life!! A couple of weeks ago she got Giardia again, so now she is on Meds for that too! The left side of her face still paralyzed and it looks like it will stay that way. Part of her tongue is atrophy so eating and drinking is a bit difficult for her, but she still eats like a Pug! 🙂 In a few weeks we are going to visit the Neurologist to check her out as she seems to have some nerve pain on the left side of her body. We will also visit the opthomologist as she is getting a white spot in one of her eyes. She is very sight impaired, which we knew, but we want to make sure we are not missing anything. Her hair is growing in very nicely, she does have some spots, specially on her head that is not growing. She has many scars due to the severe infection she had. It might just stay that way, she is beautiful nonetheless.

Once again we thank you for caring and for your support. Her vet bill is really high so any continued financial support would be very much appreciated. Also thank you to those of you that sent care packages, she loves getting them and appreciates the toys and sweaters she gets, typical girl!

For those of you that sent money via check, we are sorry that we can’t send thank you letters, time is short and the mailing expenses high. So please pass this on to everyone you told about Carina and let them know how much we appreciate their donation. If they need a donation receipt have them send me their e-mail address and I will send it. Thanks everyone!!!

Tina Seri – Pugs ‘N Pals

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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pack, or I’ll Never Understand Females

Just when I thought I had a fairly good handle on the various personalities, positions, and alignments of my pack I get blindsided by aberrant female behavior. Now those of you who are long-time readers of my blog, know of my grudging tolerance /respect for Lizzie. You also know that after nearly three years of living with her I have a pretty clear understanding of how she functions, which is with serious limitations! So, it came as a huge shock when the most recent events unfolded.

This weekend on the Cape was unremarkable in that no parties or outings were scheduled, and we were, for the most part, at home relaxing. On one such day, our little hedgehog Lizzie discovered a neglected marrowbone, still filled with much marrow and redolent of its earthy nest in the yard. She, quietly and unobtrusively, proceeded to work on its juicy treasures, seemingly unnoticed by the rest of the pack. Daphne, however, the nine-month old Frenchie and the bane of my existence, caught a glimpse of this activity and moved over swiftly to take control of said bone. Out of nowhere, with the ferocity of a cougar and the roar of a lion, Lizzie sprang for her. I must say that Daphne and I have gone at one another many times since our arrival, with neither of us backing down, but in this instance she retreated, looking confused and bewildered. Not convinced this was a real response from Lizzie, Daphne again approached and received the same warning. Imagine, dear reader, a very small, round, shy and foolish little pug with probably about five teeth in her head, terrifying a fearless French bulldog. I felt certain I was mistaken in what I had witnessed.

But lo, again a very interesting scene unfolded, involving the three females. Each morning the three of them hop up in an overstuffed chair and do a three-way wrestling activity that can go on for fifteen or twenty minutes. It is fascinating to watch…just the three females…in a very intense but loving ballet. This morning, however, Daphne got a little too intense with Cecily, who then took the maternal role of chastising her a bit with stronger bites and some high-pitched howling. Again, surprising this old veteran of dog play/fights, Lizzie jumped on Cecily’s back, wrapping both front paws around her and began to lick her ears and face in an attempt to comfort her. She sensed how upset Cecily was with Daphne’s rough play. I cannot understand, for the life of me, how these three consistently play, fight, comfort, and then repeat it all again! What is it about being a female that allows such an incredible mood change? Females are the final frontier for this old male.

And there you have it… an observation from a venerable vantage point.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here is how it begins...

And then it escalates a bit.

And then they are all "lovey dovey." Go figure.

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Ask Mason #2, or What is Love?

Readers often ask me questions of both a personal and spiritual nature, so that from time to time, I feel compelled to address them in this format. One that recurs, in one form or another, is “You really love Lizzie, don’t you?”  That, dear reader, is a loaded question – one fraught with many ramifications and consequences.

Much like Professor Henry Higgins, in Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, as he sings about Eliza Doolittle, I can say of Lizzie “I’ve grown accustomed to her face.” Hmmm, I just realized the strong connection between Eliza and Lizzie. How did I not note that before? I digress. Lizzie has become a part of my daily scenery, and more accurately, quoting the lyrics from said song,

“I’ve grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.”

The question still remains, “Do you really love Lizzie?” and to that I must honestly answer that I don’t know.  How is it possible to love such a non-entity of a pug? She contributes nothing to my day. She fusses needlessly over me when I’m ill. She stares at me with these pathetic mooneyes. She always waits for me to have the first treat. She is incapable of having an intelligent conversation and she simpers like an empty-headed twit. She protects me from any imagined danger on the street. She knows I’m not interested in cuddling but sometimes ignores that caveat and curls up close to me anyway if she “senses” I might need her little body near me. She is cloying and annoying. She has lost more teeth than she currently has, and her body resembles a cross between a hedgehog and a woodchuck. So how could I possibly love this foolish pug?

Think of me as a pug Rex Harrison and sing these words:

Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!
I’ve grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns,
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.
I was serenely independent and content before we met;
Surely I could always be that way again-
And yet
I’ve grown accustomed to her look;
Accustomed to her voice;
Accustomed to her face.

What is love anyway? I’m sure I haven’t a clue so I leave that answer to you, dear reader.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I offer this photo of Lizzie as evidence.

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Pug Pack Plus One, or I’m Still the Master of My Domain

Oh, dear reader, you must not construe my long absence as anything more than a much needed transition period and adjustment to our Cape Cod life. Since we are now four, our settling in has taken longer than normal. The irony, however, is that Lizzie and I have not been the ones upsetting the proverbial apple cart. I do believe that we are no longer on trial, as Grandma so cruelly mentioned. I think that Daphne, the nine-month old Frenchie is the (dare I say it?) bone of contention. She is a ferocious alpha bulldog, who is ready to battle at the drop of the first crumb. She has gone for my throat countless times, after which Grandma swiftly carries her into the dark powder room and leaves her for ten seconds as a “time out.”  I don’t know how effective this training method is, but Grandma is fierce in her determination to correct her unacceptable behavior. Wait a minute…this is what I do! At any rate, as long as Daphne (or Daphinator, Daffy, or Doodlebug as she is referred to) and I don’t have food or a bone between us, we co-exist fairly well.

Walks at Eagle Pond are one of our favorite outings and we present quite a picture to fellow dogs and dog walkers, as we troop along the trail at our own pace. I did take a slight detour this weekend, as I was feeling fairly parched from our hike, and left the bridge for the swamp beneath it. While the water was brackish, I drank fully and greedily. When Mom saw me, she shrieked and snatched me up from the muddy quagmire. At home I was immediately bathed and swaddled in a towel. I will never understand why humans are so offended by the sight of muddy paws and their accompanying earthy scent.

Our weekend was absolute perfection…Mom and Dad arrived Friday night, the weather was sublime, food and treats were plentiful, and nights were spent cuddled with the humans we love most.

And yes, my eye continues to heal and the prognosis is good but I will be forced to endure eye drops three times a day for the rest of my life. Oh well, my meals now consist of a bowl of pills and liquids with a few kibbles thrown in for flavor. Such is the fate of a senior pug with many ailments, much like an old human man similarly afflicted.

The good news is that we are becoming a pack, which delights the humans to no end. We mix and match throughout the day but oftentimes we function as one unit. Lizzie, for some reason that I cannot fathom, seems to be the lodestone to which we are all drawn. More on that phenomena later.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Yours truly waiting...always waiting...at Grandma and Grandpa's backdoor.

Here is the pack at Eagle Pond..formidable, aren't we?

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