Tag Archives: cape cod

Bitter and Sweet, Fair and Foul, The Best of Times and The Worst of Times

The weekend with my Cape Cod family passed by in a blur. After the greetings, the sniffings, pettings, exclaiming, and passing out of treats, it felt as if I were on a roller coaster ride at warp speed. This visit included, for the first time, Daphne and Cecily whose presence definitely had a great impact on the tone of our weekend. Remembering how I suffered so under Daphne’s reign of terror on the Cape, I let her have it immediately so that there could be no confusion. “This is MY house, bitch” (forgive me but that is the correct form of address for a female dog). After which, I attacked her. I felt so much better but unfortunately it did not deter her from aggressive behavior. She, within a few hours, had established herself as the alpha dog and ruled like a crazed despot.

Cecily resumed her nauseating relationship with Lizzie and they spent their house time cuddling and hiding out together. Whenever there was an altercation with Daphne they would climb into Lizzie’s bed and stare with wide innocent eyes. It sickened me.

On our walks, Daphne always drew attention…probably because she was the non-pug and people, for some strange reason, are drawn to Frenchies. And of course Cecily garnered many pats because she is the only black pug in our posse, which left Lizzard and me virtually invisible…like chopped liver!

While Grandma and Grandpa still lavished treats and attention upon me, I can see how the natural order has been disturbed. Physically, I am not the pug I once was and I am also much crankier and more demanding than ever. I tend to bark incessantly whenever I feel like it and I’m not the playful young pup of yore.  I don’t feel jealous of the newcomers, just mindful of the shift. I guess it is part of the aging process.

When they left Monday, I was surprisingly flat. The apartment was too quiet and we were too dull. But as long as I remain Mom and Dad’s number one pug, then I am content.

Respectfully submitted,


Still cutting a fine figure in the dog park

Here I am, trussed up like a turkey in my little back loader.


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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,


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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This Pug has Nine Lives, or See Puggy Run

Well, dear reader, it appeared that yours truly was down for the count, ready to buy the farm, about to take the big dirt nap on Friday. My hindquarters failed me and I was drinking more water than normal. My mom, rather than wait until Saturday to see the vet, came home from work and took me that day. Blood was drawn, urine sampled, and a grim prognosis given. The vet did give me an injection of Cortisone, hoping there would be some noticeable improvement on Saturday My tearful mom bundled me up in her arms, hailed a cab, and got me home. She phoned Grandma reporting her news and asked her to make an appointment with my Cape Cod surgeon for Monday.

And what an improvement there was Saturday morning! I offer you a brief film as evidence. The blood results came back fine…no anomalies and normal kidney function…BUT, and here is the clincher, I have Lyme disease, which of course caused the dysfunction of my hind legs.

So, once again, I have been snatched from Death’s mighty jaws! My appointment with the surgeon was cancelled and I am now taking powerful antibiotics for a month. Our plans to weekend in Connecticut with my other grandparents were reinstated and off we went on Saturday afternoon. What a glorious weekend it was. Lizzie and I ran with gay abandon over the acres of green grass, basked in the healing sun like frogs on lily pads (Lizzie most resembling that amphibian), and enjoyed the adoration of our family. Like Lazarus, I was restored to life, and like the Phoenix, I arose from the flames. As my Cape Cod grandma said to my mom on Friday, “Don’t give up on the old boy yet; he always comes back.” Yes, Grandma, I do, but not without some drama.

Respectfully and gratefully submitted,


P.S. When viewing my film think “Born Free” or “Chariots of Fire” themes playing over.



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Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen

You know, dear reader, that sometimes life blindsides us with such unpleasant maladies that we can’t help but wonder if we’ve done something really terrible to anger the gods. Two weeks ago the gods tested my fortitude, tolerance, and maturity.  My intestinal track was challenged in ways I found unimaginable and produced such a copious outpouring of vile excrement that even I was disgusted.

I fear that sharing this illness may offend some of my more sensitive readers, and for that I apologize, but the severity of that illness  left me weak as a kitten and without a great deal of dignity. Now some of you may be saying, “But Mason, you do have a diaper…why weren’t you wearing that helpful garment?” My answer to you, my well intended but highly naïve readers, is that wearing such a device in this situation would be analogous to catching the ocean’s incoming tide with a bucket.

My poor, inexperienced dad was overwhelmed and sleep deprived from mopping up after me throughout two nights. Mom was flying around the west coast on the corporate jet and not coming home until Friday night, which left only Dad in charge. He realized that a trip to the hospital was necessary since none of the usual treatments were working. After an assessment and a round of the appropriate drugs, yours truly was right as rain.

Since some time has elapsed since I began this entry, I must move forward. Lizzard and I are beginning our preparations for the annual migration to Cape Cod. In years past this has been a cause for joyful anticipation but this year I am feeling a sense of trepidation and concern. Grandma’s new dogs are definitely making me question the wisdom of this journey. Daphne, the Frenchie, is a handful (to state it mildly) and Cecily, the black pug, has serious breathing and jealousy issues. So I know that you, dear reader, are wondering how this will impact yours truly. I, of course, share these same concerns. Since I am in the autumn of my years, a certain amount of respect, deference, and attention is due me and my fear is that it will not be forthcoming in this new environment. Grandma is aware of my needs and wants to be accommodating, but the reality of four dogs and two cats may prove to be insurmountable. I will certainly establish my supremacy quickly and firmly, but Daphne, in her extreme youth and inexperience, is sure to breach my wall of power.

Stay tuned and send positive energy my way.

Respectfully submitted,


Lizzard and I enjoying nature's bounty

The youth in question

Daphne and Cecily together...formidable! Don't be fooled by their sleepy expressions.


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Now It’s My Turn

Hi Everybody!

It’s Lizzie. Mason decided to take a little vay-cay from writing today (he said his brain needed a rest and that he wasn’t feeling inspired). I don’t know about that but it really has been a long time since I last wrote a blog, hasn’t it?

For a pug, my life is wonderful, filled with much happiness and love, even though Mason would argue about that. Mason doesn’t seem to understand that I really do wish him well and that my world is topsy-turvy when he is away or unwell. That E-collar business was awful! I know he accused me of being false, but that is untrue. I was so worried when he went to the doctor that when he returned, I tried to cover him with kisses, nuzzling, and love. He would have nothing to do with me as I sniffed his doctor office scent and tried to comfort him. He is always acting the tough guy but I know he really loves the attention. As far as my stealing his marrowbones, that is not true either. I was merely putting them in a safe place until his recovery. Since he couldn’t chew with that huge collar on his neck, I put them in my bed so he wouldn’t feel frustrated every time he saw them.

And when he had to visit the surgeon on Cape Cod, I was really worried and anxious…so much so that on the trip back to NYC, I jumped up on the new rolled up carpet in the car to be near Mom and Dad. I needed comfort and Mason just assumed I was trying take them away from him. Mason says I can make truth out of fiction, if it suits my purposes. I think that is mean and untrue. Mason is always seeing the worst in people and pets.

Oh well, the thing is Mason has recovered and doesn’t need surgery, which makes me very happy. I know he thinks I am an idiot and a silly goose, but so what? I do love our pug contest on Facebook, and I think all of you who have sent in photos are wonderful and beautiful and brave! I think you all are winners, despite Mason’s sour view of life. He means well but he can’t help being a grouch sometimes. I think it is a guy kind of thing. He says, “Lizzie, you need to go to the mailbox and get your reality check. It must be here today!” I have no idea what he means so I just keep a low profile and take a nap.

Thanks for listening…until next time

Pugs and kisses,


This was taken right before Mason's appointment with the surgeon. You can see my worried expression.


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Now is the Winter of Our Discontent, or A Pug’s Countdown to Spring

When the apartment door closed behind Mom and Dad this morning, it rang as our vacation’s death knell. That click of the lock resounded loudly and with the finality of a tomb sealing. As you know, dear reader, I am a pug that likes to know that his creature comforts are always close at hand and not a struggle to obtain. This frigid and unrelenting cold has soured my usual sunny disposition, turning me into a needy, whiny, and short-tempered beast. Going outdoors for our toileting requires the outfitting of an artic expedition. First the blasted paw condoms must be fitted over eight resistant paws, then the dreaded sweaters and hoodies pulled and stretched over our heads and bodies, and finally the harnesses and leashes attached on top of the sweaters. By the time Dad gets into his gear, we are exhausted and struggling to hold our water and waste. This is not, I repeat, not the most wonderful time of the year for those of us living in the northeast.

Lizzie and I must find new ways to amuse ourselves and pass these miserable days. We’ve fully explored trash tossing and my penchant for chewing underwear and socks is only a memory of my youth. I’ve told Lizzie all of my embellished tales of glory and horror. Besides, she is hardly a worthy recipient of my intellectual prowess since all she wants to do is cuddle and sleep. So then the question remains, “What is a pug to do?” I am a bit concerned about the upcoming summer on Cape Cod, due to the addition of Grandma and Grandpa’s two dogs. The black pug is a formidable opponent. Like Lizzie she appears docile and meek, but if she senses any affront or attack upon her baby (the Frenchie) then she quickly becomes a snarling, howling killing machine. She caught me off guard several times when I went after Daphne for encroaching upon my food zone. That worries me a bit. The baby is a full blown, spoiled, active and willful toddler. She needs to be taught respect, manners, and boundaries before I can enjoy my idyllic existence there. I guess I need to give some considerable thought to this summer while I am ensconced in my overheated and quiet apartment.

The dog walker is due any minute so I must gird my loins for the donning of apparel, none of which is gay.

Respectfully submitted,


Lizzie and I doing what we love doing most...keeping warm on Mom's lap

The fiendish Cecily...looks sweet, doesn't she? But, at the slightest provocation, she becomes a tiger protecting her cub.

And the toddler, gnawing away on a marrowbone that should have been mine. She is an underaged lethal weapon.

Lizzie...the most indolent of all creatures living on the planet. What a ridiculous canine experiment she is. I am surrounded by too many bitches!


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Pug: $2,000, Vet Bills: $10,000, Pug Food: $5,000, Cost of Living in NYC: Astronomical, Mom and Dad’s Love: Priceless.

After a week’s hiatus I am ready to resume my musings for you, dear reader. Re-entry into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan takes some adjustment for yours truly. Getting back my city streets mojo is a far cry from living our pastoral type of existence on Cape Cod, but I’m feeling my old self again and ready to rant, rave, and whine.

Of course the real bonus in this is being wrapped nightly in my Mom’s arms and then knowing that when I awaken in the morning she will still be pressed against me, no matter how many moves I make during the night. That feeling of security is beyond compare…well, maybe a nice juicy marrowbone comes close, but no, not really. I am able to survive our long days alone in the apartment because I know my mom will be home in the evening, ready to reclaim our emotional connection.

This weekend was spectacular because we had long outings to Tompkins Square Park, cuddles on the couch, and a primo bull pizzle, which Lizzie and I consumed on our terrace. Life is good for us, I must confess. The only issue I currently have is the lack of comestibles in our NY home. At Grandma’s there was always a steady, flavorful, and diverse supply of treats. Grandma was mindful of fulfilling our palate’s constant jonesing for an amuse-bouche. I do miss those daily samplings and the heavenly aromas emanating from Granny’s big kitchen.

In the grander scheme, I am quite content and have been reminded this week of the old Simon and Garfunkel song lyrics:

Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

Mom, your little man is happy to be home again.

Respectfully submitted,



Just couldn't resist including this shot since it shows me at my finest...working on a lobster claw. Happy times!

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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,



Our last day on the Cape...


Our final lobster dinner


Lizzie going for the last drop.


Look at me going for my last taste!


And, our last boat trip....


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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,


A bittersweet time for us.

A bittersweet time for us.


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When The Frost Is On The Pumpkin, or Memories of a Season Well Lived

You know, dear reader, that I am a pug prone to rumination and as my season on Cape Cod draws to a close, I tend to experience each of my favorite things while living here with a bittersweet zest. Perhaps I am not alone in this regard. As I’ve written before, we pugs have an internal clock/calendar that guides us into seasonal changes and senses the passage of time.

When Grandma gives me a “bully stick” now, I attack it with a passion and fervor unlike earlier months. When Grandma mixes up my kibbles and pumpkin, I become wild with anticipation. When Grandpa asks, “Do you guys want to come with me to the bank/post office/library?” I respond immediately and as if it were my last trip on this earth. Even our morning and evening toileting has a poignancy unlike any other time. There is an organic quality to using the woods that we miss in the city. Everything is sweeter…the clams, the lobster remains, carrots, kitty crullers (to borrow from an observant reader my favorite new phrase for this delicacy), naps, walks, boat trips, swims in the ocean, and just being with the old folks (sorry Grandma and Grandpa).

I am not a pug that takes his life for granted; I know how fortunate I am. I don’t know if goofy Lizzie is cognizant of her blessings, because she barely knows what day of the week it is, but I am mindful always. I even enjoy Lizzie more than I could even imagine. And as I say that, please bear in mind that I haven’t crossed over into the dark side. I am just saying that this season of change has intensified everything for me. I have a picture in mind of returning on our last boat outing this past weekend, sitting in Mom’s arms, up tight against Lizzie, in the bow of the boat. The air was cool, our backs were against the wind, and the gentle motion of the boat lulled us both to sleep in the safest cocoon imaginable.

No more sentimental or mawkish thoughts from me…

Respectfully submitted,


This is for all of you who simply must have a seasonal shot...you can see my level of disinterest.

This is for all of you who simply must have a seasonal shot...you can see my level of disinterest.

I think this is a nicer shot of yours truly, and shows Lizzie to be the true loser that she is.

I think this is a nicer shot of yours truly, and shows Lizzie to be the true loser that she is.


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