Tag Archives: summer

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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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,

Mason

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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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, or Just Give Me a Treat

What a splendid farewell to summer we enjoyed the past week. Boating, clamming, feasting, walking, sleeping, and cuddling with Mom and Dad topped off our summer on Cape Cod. While Lizzie and I will remain here for another month since Mom and Dad are busy with market and travel, we are very aware that fall is in the air. Grandma and Grandpa will return us to Manhattan the first part of October, and then our winter lives will begin.

I am mindful of all the attention and care we’ve received throughout the course of our lives and it started me wondering why praise is such an integral part of the dog experience. I noticed that cats rarely, if ever, receive praise for going to their litter box or eating their dinner, while dogs are showered abundantly with praise for every little task they perform. Are we slower, more susceptible to such basic a reward? Or, are we more intelligent and therefore recognize and require verbal signals?

The thing is, I am almost nine years old and I really don’t need someone hovering over me when I’m relieving myself, saying “Mason, what a good boy,” or “Fine job, Mason!” I’m sorry but truthfully all I require is a nice carrot or biscuit after completion of my outdoor business. And honestly, dear reader, if I didn’t receive a treat afterwards it wouldn’t cause me to stop performing these functions. I would be angry, whiny, and obnoxious, but I would still need to do what I’m put outdoors to do.

People praise their children when they are toilet training them just as they do their dogs, but at least they stop the praise once they are trained. Why not with their dogs? Maybe I am dwelling too much on something of no consequence but it has struck me lately that we dogs receive praise long after our training is complete. I, for one, believe that a food treat is ample reward, requiring no verbal assistance. Cats are just so weird that I think people figured out, early on, that anything said to a cat is wasted. They pretty much do as they please and when they please.

And there you have it…more deep thoughts from a pug named Mason.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!

The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!

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Don’t Rain On My Parade

I must open with a passage from King Lear, dear reader, since a deluge from which there seems no relief engulfs my days…

Contending with the fretful elements;

Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,


Or swell the curled waters ‘bove the main,


That things might change or cease.”
- William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.1.4


Perhaps this is being a shade too dramatic, but I find Shakespeare a great comfort for any of the maladies plaguing living creatures. Being locked in by a month of tempestuous, gloomy, and wet weather on Cape Cod is not what I signed on for. This is supposed to be the summer of Mason! I had so many plans, places to go, and people to see, and yet each day I am faced with cool winds and rain as I crawl out of my pug nest and go out to perform my morning toilet. It is discouraging to me and if it weren’t for the tasty breakfast that follows I am sure I wouldn’t bother with observing the niceties!

My grandparents try to compensate by taking us on car trips and errands, but it is not the same as having a nice chew on some bone or bully stick in the yard on a sunny day. Forgive me for sounding like a Willy Whiner, but I feel as if I am losing precious hours to a never-ending nap orgy.

I think there may be relief coming tomorrow, and if not, then certainly by the weekend. I’ve lost my mojo and seem to be living under a curse from which there is no escape. I do try to remain cheerful and alert, but I find the desire to nap almost overwhelming.

If you are living under a fair sky with a warm sun shining and a balmy breeze blowing, then be grateful and think of me…a handsome pug that is fast becoming a dull mushroom. The only bright spot right now is my new web site: www.summerpugs.com, where you can purchase an autographed (pawtograph) copy of our book. The site is filled with unpublished photos and interesting information, so do visit it.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Here I am on one such rainy day, trying to stay in the game and keep up my spirits.

Here I am on one such rainy day, trying to stay in the game and keep up my spirits.

Chasing a crumb

Chasing a crumb

And, as you can see, I'm falling asleep

And, as you can see, I'm falling asleep

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Summer Time And The Livin’ Is Easy (For a Pug on Cape Cod)

I apologize, dear reader, for the large gap between writings. It is not my granny’s fault but strictly mine. I have settled in to a routine of such indulgence, lethargy, and pleasure that I haven’t felt as compelled to pursue my particular avocation. Part of the problem is that I don’t have to be so actively engaged in seeking out food and treats on the Cape. That is not to say that one mustn’t remain vigilant, but there is certainly less desperation in the pursuit here. There is always a bountiful supply of edibles in and around the kitchen. I know I wrote about eating steamers on the deck last week, but it happened again yesterday. For some bizarre reason Grandpa doesn’t care for the feet and so Lizzie and I have only to sit there as he discards those delicacies onto the deck.

Saturday night, my grandparents had friends over for a cookout and of course Lizzie and I were included. It was a veritable food orgy and by the end of the evening we were exhausted and sated, since their guests found us so delightful.

Lizzie and I seem to be sleeping later each day, with Grandma having to waken us at 8 AM some mornings. It is quite a life for pugs that have been living in the fast lane for the past nine months. Our daily schedule is never the same and always includes some errand running with Grandpa. We also love riding with Grandma in her little sports car when the top is down. These are all things which probably seem commonplace to dogs living here year round, but for us each activity is exciting and filled with promise.

Mom is in Italy on business right now but I know she is thinking about us. We are fine, happy, well fed, and enjoying every day. The only thing missing in the picture is her.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 P.S. I just reread this and I am ashamed by how weak and soft I sound. I hope I’m not losing my game! 

 

Look at Lizzie's dull vacant expression as she is being held.

Look at Lizzie's dull vacant expression as she is being held.

 

And here is yours truly, doing what he does best at a dinner party!

And here is yours truly, doing what he does best at a dinner party!

 

I had to include this since Lizzie looks so ridiculous.

I had to include this since Lizzie looks so ridiculous.

Here we are, at the end of the evening, sleepy and sated.

Here we are, at the end of the evening, sleepy and sated.

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It’s The Destination, Not the Journey or It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Pugs, like all primal herd animals, have an innate sense of change. We are so closely attuned to the seasons and workings of our masters that we know, without being told, when it is time to pack up our living essentials and join the great migration…in this case, heading northeast.

 Yes, dear reader, it is time for Lizzie and me to end our fast paced Manhattan life and begin our lazy idyll on Cape Cod. Thursday Mom will load up the car, with some trepidation since she is going alone, and drive us to our summer destination. When we reach the Bourne Bridge, the air changes its scent. To a pug, even a sleeping one, this always is our signal that we have entered a different realm, our Xanadu. There is a salty sweet piquancy in the air, laced with a scrub pine scent intensified by the sun’s heat. Dirt and concrete is replaced with sand, and street noises with the soothing surf. We will go out for clams in Grandpa’s boat and then eat them on the deck at the end of the day. The roadkill is ubiquitous and pleasingly pungent, but low tide is truly an olfactory paradise.  Oh, forgive me, I digress and take little journeys in my mind.

 Even though our summer is filled with many activities, I plan to keep writing my blog so that you remain connected with Lizzie and me. My next entry will be from the Cape!

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mason

 

Here we are last summer out clamming on Grandpa's boat. See how patient and alert we were.

Here we are last summer out clamming on Grandpa's boat. Even though we were tired, see how patient and alert we were.

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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow, or A Pug on the Cusp

I apologize for the lapse in my writing, but Grandma seems to be traveling a lot more than I anticipated when I began this literary adventure. Without her, I have no voice. She is back, however, and ready to process my words again.

 This is a strange time of year for yours truly; I am on the cusp of leaving one life for another. I leave behind Winter Mason and assume the mantle of Summer Mason. I love both Masons but there is always a price to be paid for the exchange. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have been quite needy lately, and not in the “I want food or a treat right now” kind of way, but rather in the “I want my mom right now” kind of way.

It has taken us both by surprise because I am by nature a dude kind of guy- independent, and a bit removed from the cuddly snuggly sort of pug. Lately, though, I have felt the need to be held in my mom’s arms while she sits on the couch, to nestle close to her in bed, and be in the bathroom with her while she showers. I can attribute this aberrational behavior only to my impending departure for the Cape. Of course oblivious Lizzie has no idea that our departure is imminent; she probably has no sense of seasonal change either. All she cares about is being cuddled and cosseted. Sometimes I think I am a saint for tolerating her insipid behavior and lack of intellect!

 At any rate, dear reader, I know that next week we move our pug world from a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan to a five-bedroom home on Cape Cod. I understand we have some speaking engagements and appearances in conjunction with our book while we are there, but mostly we will live our lives as free-ranging pugs who go shellfishing, boating, to baseball games, eat al fresco, and loll about, chewing marrow bones in a huge back yard. Not too shabby, right?

I’ll miss my mom and dad though.

 

 Respectfully submitted,

 

Mason

 

I know this is an oldie from my very first blog, but it helps get me ready for summer on the Cape.

I know this is an oldie from my very first blog, but seeing it helps get me ready for summer on the Cape.

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