Tag Archives: marrowbone

Green Acres is the Place to be, or La Symphonie Pastorale

Last weekend, dear reader, confirmed all of my long-held beliefs that canines, like all other creatures of the wild, are meant to spend their days in the great outdoors…with the exception of bitter cold winter weather. Pugs would not survive long in such unforgiving conditions. Pugs do well curled up in front of a fireplace or on a soft sofa, safe from such challenging elements…but I digress.

Because Mom and Dad had to attend a wedding party in New Orleans last weekend, Lizzie and I were driven to Ct. to spend that time with our other grandparents. While their knowledge of and experience with dogs is somewhat limited, they tend to lavish us with treats, attention, and great freedom as compensation. I would never want to disappoint them by suggesting such treatment may not be in our best interest, and so Lizzie and I just go with the flow! Marrowbones awaited our arrival and we were free to explore their three acres for the most desirable chewing spot. I found mine under a large shade tree and was content to idle away most of the afternoon in this rewarding pursuit. Lizzie, however, liked following Grandpa around as he gardened, but then again she has never been very imaginative. I was able to take advantage of her absence by hiding her bone behind the tool shed, which afforded me great pleasure. I then remembered my former ploy of burying my bones in the tall grass and then appearing crestfallen before my Cape Cod Grandma and Grandpa. Assuming I had consumed them, my Ct. grandparents handed over more, which I hid for future use…kind of like putting money into a savings account.

I discovered living such a bucolic life gave me a brief return to my former glory, as I nimbly navigated the outdoors stairs without any assistance.  I was able to travel up and down at will, with no ill effects. How was such a feat possible, given the severe limitations of my hindquarters? I cannot answer this question but can only assume that the magic of such a weekend gave this venerable old pug a small taste of his former glory. Whatever the reason, my legs took wing, enabling me to forget all of the pills, pain, and palliative care of my daily existence. I know it was difficult for my grandparents dealing with all of the diapering, pilling, and bedtime issues but I want them to know their efforts were greatly appreciated. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for making this old pug feel like a young pup again.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

How perfect a picture is this?

Love this because Lizzie is behind the fence and can't get in

Yours truly being held while wistful Lizzie looks on!

Naptime

King of the yard with his treasure

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A Pug’s Wish List, or What Pugs Really Want for Christmas

Because you humans attach such significance to holidays, it seemed appropriate to address the age-old question of what to get the pug. First of all, I need to dispel the notion that we actually care about receiving a present as we watch you tear madly into your excessive haul. We do, however, enjoy the excitement it engenders, and we really love walking around in the aftermath of strewn papers and ribbons. That having been said, I feel obligated to share with you what we, of the pug breed, most love at this time of the year.

  • Cuddling on the sofa, in front of a roaring fire, with one or both of our parents. If a nap ensues, then even better. If you’ve no fireplace, no worries…we are still happy for your undivided time and body.
  • If you’re baking Christmas treats, let us stand with you in the kitchen and be your taste-tester. If a few crumbs fall our way, then we are also happy.
  • Long, leisurely walks in newly fallen snow (or not), knowing that a nice dog cookie is our reward at home.
  • A fresh marrowbone or oversized biscuit is always a welcome gift.

What we really don’t like at all, but you love giving as gifts:

  • Hand knit sweaters, fleece jackets, hoodies, booties, and any item of apparel you find adorable on us.
  • Christmas costumes of any sort, including reindeer antlers, Santa beard, hat, and coat, elf outfits, jingling bells, Christmas tree lights, and baby Jesus swaddling. We hate all of this and endure the indignity of wearing it because it pleases you enormously and you want that Christmas card photo so desperately.
  • A new baby puppy. Enough said.
  • Wrapped presents because you think it is great fun watching us struggle with unwrapping  them.

We pugs were put on earth just for your pleasure and we are the consummate people pleasing dogs, and so, if you would like to please us this holiday, consider giving us what we really want.

Happy holidays from a wise old pug, and respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here we are, all suited up and ready to brave the cold for our hike.

We look like extras from a sad circus in our colorful sweaters. I understand we needed some outer garment due to the extreme cold, but why do we have to look so garish?

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Zen and the Art of Pug Maintenance, or You Can’t Keep a Good Pug Down

I apologize, dear reader, for my lengthy silence but Grandma’s schedule has been frantic and full for the past two weeks (I wish I could say the same for mine!). I realize that some of you have been concerned about my silence, so let me say, without any equivocation, that all is well with yours truly.

It was a hectic weekend for me, both from Grandma’s arrival on Friday for the pet writer’s conference, and our journey together to the Cape on Sunday for an early consultation  Monday with a surgeon. The reward for these chaotic few days was delivered upon our arrival at Grandma and Grandpa’s, where Dad built a fire and Grandma handed out beautiful marrowbones. To say I was transported to a place of incredible bliss would be an understatement.

I faced the appointment Monday with my usual equanimity and sangfroid. I was gracious but reserved, tolerant but mindful, and open but cautious as I met this surgeon for the first time. He manipulated my weakening hind feet and legs, moving them back and forth and from side to side. He studied my x-rays closely, peering and squinting in the darkened room. And finally, for the coup de grace, he did the dreaded examination of my maleness. Why doctors seem so fascinated with that particular area of my anatomy, I have no idea. I do know that every single one of them ultimately arrives at that destination, for fondling, pressing, and palpating. I’ve become so inured to this process that I merely stare stoically ahead, imagining a juicy marrowbone or Lizzie’s head caught in a vice grip.

Well, dear reader, the news is not so grim. This learned man of medicine said that were I his dog, he would do nothing surgically, since spinal surgery is so risky and oftentimes has disastrous results. He said I was in no pain (I could have told him that had he asked!), and he certainly could see no diminution of life quality (again, I could have told him that). Outwardly I appear unchanged, except for the occasional cough or bark that can release a stored surprise, an exceedingly embarrassing event for a man-pug.

And so, yours truly once again escapes the dreaded knife. I was floating on air as we left, urging Grandma on to even greater speeds, so that I could finally enjoy a much-deserved breakfast.

Life is good!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Look at that minx, Lizzie, and you will finally get her true measure. There is no guile or deception on my face, however.

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Every Pug Has Its Day, or Lizzie Has Her Say

Dear Diary,

I’m writing because Mason isn’t “feeling it” today and also because I need to vent some of my frustrations. Sometimes Mason can be so sweet, well maybe not sweet but at least not mean, and other times he can be so cruel. I just don’t understand. This morning, diary, we were out in the yard and Mason was chewing on a marrowbone (he has them scattered all over the yard) and I just happened to walk past him to the deck when he jumped up and ran growling and snapping at me! What did he think? That I was going to take his nasty old, dirt encrusted, slobbered up bone? I just don’t get him sometimes.

And this weekend, we went out on the boat and of course Grandma and Grandpa invited their friends who have Chloe (I’m sure you remember HER!). It was her first trip ever on a boat and Mason starts acting all weird, like being on a boat is where he is most at home and then trying to pretend he didn’t even see her (how could you miss her since she’s about six feet long?). I don’t get him at all. And then, diary, out at the island, he went out of his way to be near her. I swear she didn’t even look at him the entire day. What am I, chopped liver?

But when we ride in Grandma’s little sports car, with the top down, then he is all cuddly with me. We sit together in the passenger seat and he drapes his body over or against mine. He couldn’t do that with Chloe, that is for sure.

He seems very moody lately and I’m not sure why. Our food is really good here, we are outdoors a lot, we take beach and trail hikes, we get to do errands with Grandpa and we’re never lonely. So why does he have to be such a pill?

I love Mason so much. He is my everything guy but I wish I understood him better. I guess he has his reasons but he sure makes it hard for me sometimes. Thanks for listening, dear diary.

Until next time,

Lizzie

Here is Chloe. I don't think she's all that, do you?

Here is Chloe. I don't think she's all that, do you?

Look at how he pretends to be sleeping when actually he's watching her.

Look at how he pretends to be sleeping when actually he's watching her.

They don't even look good together, do they? I mean she is nice enough, but not for Mason.

They don't even look good together, do they? I mean she is nice enough, but not for Mason.

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Pug Perfect, or A Pug Tale of No Consequence

Mason is so busy chewing his marrowbone that he requested I do today’s blog. His words were,  “Go write your usual sappy drivel, Lizzard, but just don’t bother me!” That Mason, isn’t he the funniest old thing? At any rate, I thought it might be nice to share with you one of the most wonderful days ever.

I’m sure Mason would argue about that, only because he never likes to agree with me, but yesterday was really pug perfect. Grandma and Grandpa asked if we wanted to go out to the island on the boat with them, and of course we went crazy with excitement. I love standing on the pier waiting for Grandpa to come up in his boat, load us and all of our stuff onto it, and then head out to the island. The breeze was perfect, blowing my ears gently as I cuddled up with Grandma in the front of the boat.

As soon as we anchored and went ashore, I found my spot…behind Grandma’s chair under her draped beach towel. It makes a perfect shelter from the sun so that I can nap comfortably while the onshore breeze keeps me cool. There is always a nice bowl of water in my tent, so it couldn’t be better. Mason is busy, always busy searching for food, running from one person to the next. He goes swimming to keep cool but won’t take shelter because he is so afraid of missing a crumb of food. Finally he fell asleep in Grandpa’s arms, but his eyes would snap open the minute he heard any sound at all. I really wish he could relax.

The trip home was equally good because we were so pooped. Mason does sleep then. After he had a shower with Grandma (because he went swimming) we got ready for dinner at friends of my grandparents. What a yummy dinner it was! Fresh tuna steaks, seared on the grill but raw inside! We actually had some and Mason then became a crazy man. After dinner we went outside to watch the meteor showers. We sat on lawn chairs just staring up at the sky. I lay on Grandma’s lap and Mason on Grandpa’s. It was so quiet and beautiful that I felt this amazing connection to nature.

So you see, it was not an exciting day, but for me, a perfect one. Mason just read this, laughed, and said that I am a Pollyanna who lives in “la la” land and I have no connection to anything. I am going to disagree with him this time.

Pugs and kisses,

Lizzie

Mason chose this because he said everyone will laugh at me when they see it. I don't know why.

Mason chose this because he said everyone will laugh at me when they see it. I don't know why.

And then he added this close up because he wants his readers to see what a loser he is living with. Whatever, Mason.

And then he added this close up because he wants his readers to see what a loser he is living with. Whatever, Mason.

Mason said to say, "This is what a true representative of the breed should look like."

Mason said to say, "This is what a true representative of the breed should look like."

Here I am in my shelter by the sea.

Here I am in my shelter by the sea.

Here is Mason asleep on Grandpa's chest. He,he,he...I slipped this past him!

Here is Mason asleep on Grandpa's chest. He,he,he...I slipped this past him! He doesn't look so fierce now, does he?

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A Marrowbone in the Mouth Is Worth Two in the Bush, or I’ve Got A Bone to Pick

Summer time and the livin’ is easy for pugs with generous grandparents. Grandma purchased wonderful marrowbones for Lizzie and me, and I must say I lost all track of time while chewing on mine. Maybe that activity is analogous to whittling for old timers. All I know is I come away feeling relaxed, refreshed, and at peace with the world. It is a solitary activity and I prefer seeking out a quiet, secluded spot in the yard while I indulge in what I believe to be one of the great pleasures in a pug’s life. It’s not competitive, there is no schedule for completion, and, like a great book,  it can be picked up and put down at any time.

It gives me time for reflection and contemplation. God knows what it does for Lizzie because I suspect she is incapable of either thought process. Now I must admit that I become very combative when someone approaches and tries to remove said bone from my jaws. Because I don’t wish to lose my prize, I am forced to emit rumblings from deep within my massive bull-like chest. Initially this proved a deterrent to intruders, but over time, people figured out that all I could do is rumble.

Like most addictive personalities, I am never ready to end a pleasurable experience. I wish to keep the good feelings coming and so when I do have to relinquish my treasure, I do so with a lot of fuss and nastiness. Lizzie, on the other hand, doesn’t even understand the concept of extreme pleasure, and so when asked to leave her bone, she willingly acquiesces, trotting her round little behind cheerfully back into the house. I, however, demand a replacement treat/reward/pacifier to placate my suffering.

And there you have it, dear reader, the basic difference between a fierce and obsessed hunter (read Ahab) and a compliant and passive homebody (read Goody Two Shoes).

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

I've secured my prize.

I've secured my prize.

Captured in my magnificent mouth

Captured in my magnificent mouth

A long shot of yours truly holding the beast bone.

A long shot of yours truly holding the beast bone.

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Karma’s A Bitch…Named Lizzie, or Marrowbone Madness

You know the old saying, “what goes around, comes around?” Well, in my case it truly did. It would appear that I am an excellent teacher, because little Lizzie has mastered the art of aggressive behavior.

 Grandma gave us each a marrowbone, which is one of the true delicacies for a carnivore, and we each repaired to our respective dining stations in the back yard. Lizzie prefers the deck for this treat, while I prefer the grass or the wooded part of the yard. This seemed an innocent enough activity for both of us and yet it took a decidedly nasty turn.

 I tend to move quickly over these bones, sucking what marrow I can initially, removing any meat or fat that still remains, and then burying the bone safely in the woods for a future retrieval. After burial, I  sauntered up to the deck to check on Lizzie’s progress when she viciously turned on me, growling like a fiend from Hell! I was so shocked and dumbfounded that I froze momentarily. I looked at her with both awe and confusion. How could this be? Another case of my tutelage creating a monster! She had turned on her master. I could only shake my head and back away from this beast. Grandma kept saying, “Lizzie! Was that really you?” I think Grandma was as amazed as I by our little girl’s outburst.

 Do I believe Lizzie intended me harm? No, but she certainly employed my tried and true technique for warding off bone invaders, so I will not put her to the test in order to satisfy my curiosity. It almost brings tears to my eyes, watching her growing prowess and strength. She is becoming a force to reckon with and I am the proud professor.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Here I am in the initial phase of marrow retrieval

Here I am in the initial phase of marrow retrieval

Deeper licking and chewing

Deeper licking and chewing

Off to the woods for burial

Off to the woods for burial

 

Here is Miss Lizzie, threatening me as she stands guard over her bone.

Here is Miss Lizzie, threatening me as she stands guard over her bone.

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