Tag Archives: stress

Town and Country Pugs

Alas, dear reader, my absence has not been intentional but rather circumstantial. I hope to resume my usual philosophical banter, canine rants, and insightful observations now that we are back in NYC. My CT grandparents have many photos of our visit, which I plan to share with you.

It is interesting how vacations work…oftentimes we are not even aware that one is needed until we reach our destination. I don’t feel as if I live a particularly stressful life (and I can certainly state that Lizzie has never had a moment’s stress in her pathetic existence), but once we arrived in the land of Harriet Beecher Stowe (famous for UNCLE TOM’S CABIN) I felt a freedom and ease unlike my usual state of Red Alert in Manhattan. My grandparents have about three acres of beautiful land…land made for the wanderings and explorations of two city pugs. Our grandparents were engaged in the timeless pursuit of growing one’s own food and so their days were filled with the turning of soil, sowing of seeds, and watering of their efforts. Lizzie and I were only too eager to assist and support these endeavors.

Our days were long, our labors intense, but the rewards were generous. Because our visits here are shorter and less frequent than at our Cape Cod grandparents’ house, we were treated more deferentially, making it easier for us to behave in a less than praiseworthy manner, I must confess. Nonetheless, I think Art and Mary enjoyed us, even if they found us a bit challenging at times. Struggling with my nighttime diaper was somewhat difficult for them and learning to differentiate between my actual needs and begging wants always confused them. They were good sports and catered to us in a loving manner.

We were exhausted after our stay and spent the first two days in NYC, in a virtual coma. I did, however, come alive by the third day and felt my old primal urges kick in, causing me to convince Lizzy that Dad’s careless neglect of the garbage can deserved a good toss. She, in true form even after a lengthy absence from this wonderful sport, did a magnificent job, thus providing me a veritable smorgasbord of delicacies from which to sample. I, in turn, did my own toss…not just once, but throughout the apartment.

Welcome home, Mom and Dad, welcome home!

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

A purposeful stride around the garden by yours truly

an inspection of the garden's perimeters

Joining our "boss" on the job. My day began at 4:30 AM with a hearty breakfast and a rest before work.

Slacker Lizzie "on the job"

Taking time to smell the flowers

Taking time to smell the flowers....

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Agility Training For Pugs…An Oxymoron, or Just Give Me The Treat, Grandma

My version of weave is avoid

My version of weave is avoid

My life, so far, has been fairly undemanding and probably unproductive, which suits me fine, thank you very much. For some bizarre and unexplained reason, Grandma has taken up the notion that I would enjoy learning and performing the physical feats of a trained circus dog. As a result of acquiring these skills, goes her theory, I will become a much happier and more fulfilled pug. Au contraire, Grandma! I like my life just the way it is.

This week, however, brought stress into my stress free existence. Out came the newly purchased stakes…ten of them…planted strategically in a long row, 1 to 2 feet apart, in the back yard. Grandma proceeded to put me in my harness and leash, show me a fist full of tasty treats, and then lead me outside to the row of said stakes. Her voice was filled with a whole lot of encouragement and, what I later discovered to be false, bonhomie. After viewing the treats again, I was forced to “weave” through each of these stakes with the proffered treats always in view. Grandma kept repeating the dreaded “weave” and I, realizing what was being asked of me, stubbornly dug in all four feet while my harness was being pulled to the point of serious separation. Upon completion of this torture trail, Grandma forced a hearty, “Good job, Mason” and rewarded me with a tiny morsel. At this point, I felt I was okay because at least it was over; but no, again she started with the weave command. I couldn’t believe it! My grandma, who usually is tuned in to my every nuance, expression, and reaction, just forged ahead in her resolute determination of making me fulfill her dream — producing a superb agility pug.

Fortunately, and I cannot believe I am saying this, goofy old Lizzie waddled out, looked at my misery, and decided she would enjoy this game. She started walking in and out of the stakes, just to be near me, and Grandma suddenly said, “Why Lizzie, you may be a better candidate. Let’s get your harness on and try it.” Thank you Lizzie! I was free…never again would I be subjected to such folly!

You must weep for me, dear reader, because my once beloved granny was not done with me. She has made me revisit this medieval torture, this cruel practice every day. I am not doing any better and yet she persists. Somebody please put an end to this for me. Maybe an intervention is needed? Didn’t she get the memo that pugs are lap dogs?

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here is view from the upstairs landing of my torture course.

Here is view from the upstairs landing of my torture course. Lizzie is stupidly staring at the stakes and wondering what they are.

As you can see I have removed myself from the danger, while Lizzie "weaves."

As you can see I have removed myself from the danger, while Lizzie "weaves."

Yours truly beating a hasty retreat before being driven back to the stakes.

Yours truly beating a hasty retreat before being driven back to the stakes.

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