Category Archives: blog

Buffalo Pizzle, A Gentle Breeze, and Good Company

Something about the weather, the angle of the sun, the relaxed atmosphere that led Grandma to the cupboard for our stash of buffalo pizzles…They are stinky, foul smelling items but to us the greatest treat in the world. Daphne, of course, as our leader, would never dream of joining us on the grass for these delicacies. She always separates herself from the pack…something about maintaining a certain discipline and distance I think. She will inhale hers while we are still sucking and chewing away. Poor old Cecily though…because she is both blind and deaf, she loses hers easily and then she wanders around trying to find it. Grandma always keeps one eye on her though so she doesn’t harm herself.

What a summer this has been for us Fresh Air Fund dogs…the most fun of all is playing Treibball with Daphne. Actually, it is Daphne who herds the ball and we just chase her, barking crazily. it is exhausting because she is so fast, chasing that ball through the woods, around trees, up and down little hills, all the while howling and screaming at it like a foxhound on the scent. When Grandma and Grandpa say we’ve had enough, we collapse with our little sides heaving and our tongues going in and out so fast from panting…but it is the greatest thing ever!

I know some great big dogs are coming tonight and that worries me a bit…two Bernese Mountain dogs, and one huge Labrador…Grandma says she will make sure we are safe though. It is going to be really quiet in NY when we return, but at least Maisie and I have each other during the days.

Last night Grandma had a few leftover scraps of salmon to add to our dinner. The smell was driving us mad and the taste was out of this world…wouldn’t mind having that every night!.

I’ve included some photos of our pizzle party and a video of us playing Treibball…

Until next time,

Phillip

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Letters From Camp

Dear Mama,
Grandma says we may write you a letter from Camp since we miss you and you are sad. I will write first because Maisie is busy playing with Daphne. We are having a wonderful time, Mom, and Grandma is very good to us. We get breakfast every morning around 7 AM and then Grandpa takes us out for pees and poops. We like to hang out under the kitchen table while they read the paper and drink coffee. Grandpa likes to eat earlier than Grandma so we watch his side closely. After they are finished we have our big morning nap…sometimes all of the pugs climb into the puffy bed and Daphne sleeps in the chair. At lunchtime Grandma takes us out for pees and some Treibball play. We come in for our dried liver treat and then it is the big afternoon nap. Late afternoon is more backyard play and barking, and then dinner is served at 5:30 sharp. After dinner, either Grandma or Grandpa takes us for a walk. By the time we are back, we are ready to snuggle in for the evening. Bedtime is 10 PM. We go out for a final pee and then follow Grandma upstairs to their bedroom for a cookie and the big bed like we have. I know it must sound boring to you but we really like it because throughout the day we go in and out, play in the pool, bark at Booker, chase Daphne, and just hang. I wish you were here and I miss cuddling on the couch with you while you watch Bravo TV. I can hardly wait to see you. Don’t be sad…there are so many butt holes to smell, Mom! I love you,
Phillip
Hi Mama!
OMG, Daphne is so cool. She scares me and excites me at the same time. I will follow her anywhere even if it looks dangerous. She can be so sweet and fun and then, for no reason, snap at me. I have learned she doesn’t mean it and I know how to run really fast and avoid her when she is snappy…like when we play Treibball. I swear she wants to kill it!
I know you are having a bad time and I wish Phillip and I could cheer you up and wrestle for you. Grandma says I am the Energizer Rabbit and sometimes she has to get cross with me when I get too “busy.” I know she loves me though because she talks to us all the time. She calls us her McNuggets and Velcro Pugs. We didn’t like sleeping in the dormitory…I am not sure why but once we moved in with Grandma and Grandpa, we sleep like babies.
I could play with Daphne forever but she needs more naps than I do so I don’t “poke the bear.”
I love you and miss you, but don’t worry about us…camp is great. I can hardly wait until I see you.
Love,
Maisie
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Dear Readers

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Tears continue to fall as I sit at my computer, writing for the last time, words about my beloved grandpug, Mason. As Mason’s “transcriber,” it has been my privilege for these many years to give him the voice he so rightly deserved. His passing leaves a gaping hole in so many of our lives and a silence that is nearly deafening. Never have I known an animal in such a tiny body to have such a powerful presence. He was engaging, charming, demanding, funny, loving (on his terms), masterful, beautiful, courageous, tenacious, and all-consuming. His connection to my daughter was something incredible to behold and I feel certain there never will be such a bond between any human and animal.

Bringing him to life was a completely organic experience. He did tell me what he wanted to convey and always with a dry, sardonic, and somewhat jaundiced point of view. He was a gentleman but a glutton, a romantic but a pragmatist, a mastermind but an innocent. He was always a study in contradiction.

To say that he will be missed, is a huge understatement. In time we will all be able to share the many Mason stories that have become part of his lore and cachet, but not for a while. Right now we miss him too much and feel his absence too greatly.

I have loved sharing his life and telling his stories, and really grieve that there will be no more. I console myself with the knowledge that at least his voice was heard and loved by so many throughout the world. We all wish to thank you for your notes, letters, and comments throughout this very difficult time. Your words give us great comfort and peace, confirming what we’ve always felt about this little pug. Thank you for your loyal readership, support, and love.

Respectfully submitted,

Sue Newman

Mason’s grandmother and transcriber

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, or Did You Miss Me?

I know I know…my silence speaks volumes but, dear reader, my voice is stilled only by Grandma’s preoccupation with other matters (none of which could possibly be as important as my words). At any rate, I am pushing her to complete what I don’t consider an odious task, but rather a creative and informative pleasure.

My fourth of July was all a pug of my advanced years could hope for: a car trip cuddled next to Mom, green grass dotted with marrowbones, clam shells thrown casually about, lobster outdoors, fireworks viewed from the comfort of Grandpa’s Jeep, Four Seas ice cream, and a visit to my favorite animal hospital. No, there was no injury or illness…just a once-over by my sardonic, I’ve-seen-it-all vet, Dr. Munson. Mom was concerned since I am less able to navigate freely with the gradual wasting of my hindquarters, particularly the left hind leg. With his usual shrug and caustic tone, he assured her that I still “had game” and was in for the long haul. Reassured, she hugged me and professed her undying love. Frankly, I have no idea why she worries so. So what if I’m held together by duct tape? I have more enthusiasm and lust for life than most puppies I’ve seen. And of course, Lizzie performed her little “Oh Mason, I’m glad you’re back and so glad you are okay” dance when we returned. She is so disingenuous and I know this because the minute I left she was cuddling with Cecily, like I never existed.

The good part of this growing infirmity is that I am free to be me, and  dear reader, as any elderly human knows, one of these freedoms is to poop when and where I wish, without any warning. I apologize if I’m offending any of you,  but this is my reality. Yes, I do don the nightly diaper but it can manage only so much payload (forgive me again) and there are oftentimes escapees. And often, some errant stool, like rain from heaven, falls to the ground, as I either am  being carried or strolling through the house. Grandma and Dad are not fans of this occurrence. Of course that presents a secondary problem since Grandma’s domineering, alpha Frenchie, Daphne has a predilection for my sweet offerings. As I’ve often said, old age is not for sissies, nor the faint of heart.

Everyone was on high alert that weekend, always trying to  stay one step ahead of the inevitable. And  into the fray came Otis, the English bulldog, who vomits when he is frightened, but he spent his days at the beach swimming and body boarding.

I’m not sure how sad Grandma was seeing us leave but I know the weekend was magic for this old pug.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Ridiculous two females...Cecily and Lizzie just wallow in their girlish love for one another.

Daphne, the terrorist, on our boat outing over Memorial Day...

Otis at the beach, on a beach chair...His nose got sunburned because he spent every day in the water without sunscreen.

And now, the best is saved for last. Who could resist this pug mug?

Not too bad for an old guy. I'm in it to win it!

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A Pug’s Summer Idyll

 

I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I’m a sentimental sissy because I remember certain days or events with great satisfaction, but since Lizzie and I have so much alone time in the apartment we sometimes share our favorite memories…not maudlin girly stuff though.  In that same vein I’ve decided to share one with you, dear reader.

 Summer, as you know, is the time we spend on Cape Cod with our grandparents. There probably is no finer place on earth, at least for a pug, than this spit of land. The smells, the sights, the air, the water, and of course the food, all come together to create a kind of paradise.

 So when Grandpa, who is a bit of a soft touch when it comes to loving his grandpugs, needs to run errands, all we have to do is run down the stairs ahead of him and stand alert at the door to the garage. I know it doesn’t sound terribly exciting for most of you unimaginative sorts, but for Lizzie and me, it is the Holy Grail of outings! With only a look at our perky little donut tails and eager eyes, he says, “Would you guys like to come?” Like stink on road kill, we shoot out the door with him and jump into the jeep. We perch up front in the passenger seat, with the window down and the sunroof open, and wait for the fun to begin. First we head to the post office where Grandpa puts us up on the scales and then the postal ladies give us cookies. We wag and smile and look from face to face, hoping for another treat. Next we head to the bank, where we wait in the drive thru line. Knowing that the nice teller there always has cookies for us, we fling ourselves into Grandpa’s lap in the middle of his banking transaction and wait for the little drawer to slide out, bearing its treasures. Then, if there is an upcoming party or cookout, we go to the liquor store where Grandpa puts us in a cart and pushes us through the store. That always garners comments and cookies!

 What wonderful days those were and we comfort each other with the thought that they soon will be here  again.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Weighing in...what we suffer for a cookie!

Weighing in...what we suffer for a cookie!

 

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