Tag Archives: vet

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,


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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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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“I Have Only One Eye,–I Have a Right to be Blind Sometimes . . . I Really Do Not See the Signal!” – Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson

These eyes, tho’ clear
To outward view of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven’s hand or will, not bate a jot
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward.
John Milton, Sonnet XXII (l. 1)

Dear reader, weep not for me today (even though your every instinct would compel you) because I am bearing up nobly. I write only to reassure you that even though I suffer from a corneal ulcer and must wear this cruelest of medieval contrivances…the Elizabethan Collar…I am on the road to wellville (paraphrasing T.C. Boyle’s wonderful book’s title).  This is a mere speed bump, a minor snag in my already challenging life.

We have no idea what caused this but presumably I walked into something and scratched my exposed cornea. I liked the rakish look it lent, before treatment, sealed shut and offering only one window into the world.  I felt like a swashbuckling pirate pug, except that it didn’t elicit fear from viewers…only pity and concern.

I must receive eye drops three times daily and wear the collar until the doctor feels I am beyond self-harm. Being the rather clever and inventive pug that I am, I managed to devise a way of having my marrowbone and eating it too. If I wedge it carefully within the inside of the cone, and then press my head against a wall or some other stationary object, it is possible to enjoy, in a limited fashion, a small bit of comfort.

The really disappointing component of my malady is the discovery of that conniving and false Lizzie’s true nature. She who greeted me with wild abandon after my visit to the vet’s, she who sniffed me from stem to stern, assuring herself that I was okay, she who pretended to care for my suffering, is the one who immediately began to squirrel away all of my bones into her nest, knowing I would have an impossible time finding and reclaiming them. I am done with that self-serving, dishonest little strumpet of a pug. Remember, Lizzie, I may not see well, but I know and remember what you’ve done. Revenge will be mine.

Respectfully submitted,


P.S. I cannot include a photo…it is far too humiliating for yours truly. Please respect my need for privacy.


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Where Everybody Knows Your Name, or I Feel Your Pain

Here’s the thing, dear reader, a trip to the vet shouldn’t be the highlight of a pug’s day and yet surprisingly for me it is. After all that I’ve suffered at the Cape Cod Animal Hospital, you would think that is the last place I’d ever want to revisit, and yet I love going. First of all, I get respect, love, and lots of attention from the staff and doctors, as well as extraordinary treats. There are containers of freeze dried liver bites in each of the examining rooms, and I swear to you that I could endure any form of canine torture any tech or doctor could inflict just to consume one of these sublime nuggets. They are as close to receiving holy communion wafers as a pug can get.

I love walking in the front door and hearing, “Hey Mason, how’s it going buddy?” I love trotting over to the other patients and greeting them as if I were welcoming them into my drawing room. I like to think of myself as the gracious host at a social gathering of eclectic friends when I’m in the waiting room.

My excitement builds as I am ushered into one of the examining rooms. Knowing that I will be the focus of all attention for the next five to fifteen minutes is heady stuff. I become hyper-alert, pose as a show pug with my tail twitching bewitchingly, and lock eyes onto my target. Today was a simple blood draw to check my T-4 level. The tech is an old fan of mine from last summer…the only male tech in the hospital. He and I bonded and shared our maleness during “the bad time,”  and we always reconnect in a very masculine way whenever I come in. In order for the rest of this exposition to have meaning, I must refer you back to my entry of Dec. 27th, “All I’m Asking For Is A Little Respect,” so that you understand to what he refers when he asks Grandma how I’m doing. When she honestly answers that I am fine, he then says, sotto voce, “I mean, you know, about the other business of last summer…I felt so bad for the little fellow. Does he, ummmm, seem, ummm, okay with it, you know…I mean it’s gotta be kinda uncomfortable for him, you know?”  He clearly felt I would be horribly embarrassed by his reference to the unpleasantness of last summer, hence the whispered conversation.  I, however, was nearly beside myself, waiting for him to take the blood so I could get my d— liver treat.

The blood was drawn smoothly and painlessly and I hit the floor poised and primed for my reward. I think in remembering last summer’s surgery, the tech felt such empathy for me that he started just throwing the treats at me. I didn’t even have to pose or beg because he was so moved by my courage and spirit. Little did he know that there are no limits to what I will suffer for a little treat.

Ah, another successful foray into the world of animal medicine for a clever pug!

Respectfully submitted,




Who's the man? A glorious head shot of yours truly proving clearly my masculinity

Who's the man? A glorious head shot of yours truly, proving clearly my masculinity

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All I’m Asking for is a Little Respect

Just when I thought all of my trips to the vet were over, I found out I was scheduled to visit my Cape doctor over Christmas. My summer on the Cape was filled with quite a few medical emergencies, and while my vet there is an okay guy, quite frankly I’ve had my fill of his “invasive” procedures in my dude area. Without getting into graphic details, let me just say that the emergency operation I underwent this summer involved some rearranging of certain conduits in that area.  I’m fine and enjoying myself but Mom felt there was some swelling that needed a little lookie. Now, I knew from Grandma that the staff at the hospital had a very big Christmas cookie saved for me so I was psyched. I couldn’t imagine that the good doctor was going to go through all of the probing, poking, and exposing of last summer so I was fighting mad, to say the least, when he started up that business again.  Then I was informed my toenails had to be clipped! As any pug knows, toenail clipping is up there with neutering on the pain chart. I let them know that my cookie better be as big as a gingerbread house and it needed to come fast! Because I’m a dude I put up a brave front,  but when I heard Dr. M. refer to my recent medical debacle as “Tales of Ragged Dick” I knew I had to get out of there. There is only so much indignity a dude can endure! 

At any rate, dear reader, I am showing you the feast Lizzard and I enjoyed on Christmas night…not too shabby, right? And yes, ladies, I am fine!


Respectfully submitted,



Aren't we polite?

Aren't we polite?


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