Retirement and Dogs, Part 21

My handsome grandsons Nick, Xavier and Alex


I am staying a week at my sister’s, which means K is in charge of GG and Mason. Our children, is how I refer to them. I’ll say something like “Bring the kids a snack”. I know a lot of people, who think it’s crazy to refer to animals as kids, but when you sit down and think about it, aren’t they? Let’s look at a few scenarios to prove my way of thinking. I want to say a few things before we continue, one is that I am not saying kids are animals, or anything of that sort. What I’m saying is, when I look at the behavior, attitude and personality of my dogs, GG and Mason, and compare it to my grandsons; Xavier, Nicholas and Alexander, there is a correlation in these attributes between the two. A few blogs back, I mentioned that I saw the same mess of toys on the floor from my grandsons, and GG and Mason. When my grandsons visit, I have to constantly tell them to pick up their toys. GG and Mason, although I do tell them to pick up their toys, its only a few times, as they actually will do it. Is it because they don’t understand, or is it because they have not been trained to understand that command? We tell our kids to speak when adults talk to them, again, however when I speak to GG and Mason there is no words that come out, however, they will give me facial expressions and attitude. A example of this is Mason, with his stupid grin when I come into the house and say hello, and GG slowly walks over, so I can pick her up and carry her to the couch, just so she can come down her stairs and follow me back into the kitchen. A better example here, might be when I see my grandsons, and they break out into a smile, and the youngest one runs to greet me.  The point here is, that both groups have a way of communicating, in order to show that they are happy to see me. I really wish somebody would create a bill, so that pets may be tax exemptions. GG and Mason, with doctors bills and preventive monthly medicine for heart worms and fleas, all adds up quite a bit within a year, there is no difference with kids. They need dental care and healthcare yearly, and unless you have great insurance it will take a bite out of your budget, and it’s the same with pets –  a big chunk right out of the budget. The problem is, that at least you hope your child, or in my case my grandsons, grow up to appreciate the sacrifices that were made, in order to make sure that they stay healthy. The other part is that you hope that they will grow up to be a responsible and self sufficient adult, when they grown up. I can’t hope that for GG and Mason. GG is old and ornery, and Mason, what can I say? He’s different. If you have read my previous blogs, then you know what I mean when I say different. GG is old and she needs help going to the bathroom, so the vet said I could give her miralax, but I didn’t want to give her laxatives daily, so I looked online and saw pumpkin is high in fiber. When I first started to give it to her, I would put a little on a spoon and feed it to her. That didn’t work so well, because most of it ended on the floor. The next thing I tried was mixing it with her food, and that didn’t work for a variety of reasons: Mason and GG eat boiled chicken breast with franks or hamburgers for their meals. I put down dog food in the morning, that is never touched, but I do because Mason will on occasion eat dog food, if there is nothing else. GG won’t touch the stuff as she’d rather eat crumbs of chicken breast off the floor, than to have her mouth touch a piece of dog food. I couldn’t mix the pumpkin with chicken breast and franks meals, because Mason would then decide he was hungry and wait until I wasn’t looking, and eat the food.  K decided the best thing to do, was buy KFC or some kind of fast food, and mix GG’s pumpkin with it. Here’s another example; most kids, including my grandsons, love to eat fast food, there is no difference there between them and GG and Mason. Mason eats it so fast that he doesn’t chew it, and it comes right up whole, just like he ate it, and Mason doesn’t need any help going. He seems to go after each meal, twice sometimes. GG, at first, she would suck down the pumpkin mixed with her fast food, but now she tries to pick the fast food out,and throw the pumpkin on the floor. When my grandson doesn’t like something, he spits it out. We as adults always have to stay one step ahead of kids, and I don’t know if its just K and myself that seems to be always trying to stay ahead of GG and Mason. I had to check online to find some other food high in fiber, because the pumpkin has become a no-no. If you have a dog that needs the help of fiber to go, try sweet potatoes cut up in little cubes, and string beans cut into little pieces. My daughter periodically has to give a laxative to my youngest grandson because he’s a picky eater . I talked about the expense of healthcare for both pets and children is out of control, what about clothes? I mean if you dress your pet because you want them to look as good as you, then you have to spend money. The rich and famous certainly do spend on their pets, because they feel it’s a reflection of them. My eldest grandson wanted Jordan’s for  Christmas, I mean $200 for a pair of sneakers. GG and Mason we like to dress up from time to time, and no we don’t buy them anything in that money range, but we do spend money on leashes, collars, boots and coats on a regular basis. GG keeps getting bigger, so she needs a new coat it seems like every year or so. GG doesn’t really like clothes, but Mason you can put anything on him, and he doesn’t mind whether it fits or not. He just want attention. K has retired now, and she realizes how out of control Mason is. I hear more pleading and begging from her trying to get Mason’s attention. Mason will look her way, and promptly turn his head back to give her the back of his head. Again, with my grandchildren, if they are watching television or on their computer, I am calling their name in vain with no response from them. I have to use the same tactic with my grandsons, as with GG and Mason, that’s yelling like I have a blow horn. I just think it’s interesting how much these two groups share in common.  I know I’ve been slacking, but I’m back. I’ll have a read for you next week. Have a safe week.

Retirement and Dogs Part 20

I hope you have read the previous 19 blogs, because then you have an idea that there is something wrong with this dog. If you haven’t read any of the previous blogs, take a minute so you can understand why I say he’s a handful. I want to share with you how K, GG and myself deal with Mason.

I will start with K, because he pulled the wool over her eyes from the beginning. K was not a dog person at all, until I convinced her that GG needed company. I let her pick the dog, so she would feel a closeness to him/her. Mason was laying in a corner by himself while his siblings were all playing together. That should have told her something, but with her being a novice of dogs, and me not wanting to interfere, I didn’t say anything. Mason was sort of cute with his cross-eyes and fuzziness. K’s love for Mason didn’t come easy.

She wanted him out when he pooped on the floor and peed on the couch. We argued. She wanted him out when he barked all night. We argued. She wanted him out when he had anxiety and would run all over the house like every room was his bathroom. We argued. She wanted him out when he embarrassed her and got put out of Pet Smart dog training. We argued. She wanted him out when she had to spend money to buy 3 couches, a crate, and French doors to block into the kitchen and dog gates. We argued. I know you’re wondering how it is that he’s still here. He is still here because she went to Afghanistan and I knew Mason would bark whenever someone came near the house. That is the reason, and the only reason, he is still here. Mason is now 7 years old, and 2,555 days later, he’s finally got it.

K has come to love him and find him adorable. The biggest problem now is her begging and pleading with him to move over since he gradually weaseled his way up to the head of the bed so he can share her pillow. There is also the fact that he ignores us when we talk to him. We call his name, and he looks at you and turns his head. We can call him again and again and he will just ignore us. The only way to get him to respond is clapping your hands or making some kind of noise. Mason still stares at walls, which is a little strange to me. He stares at walls now even when the sun his shining. He is a dog that loves sunshine and warm weather. If it rains, thunders, lightening or snows his anxiety starts and he’s off into doggy mind land. The main thing is that, after all the arguments, money spent, begging and pleading, she loves him now. It was rough getting to this point, but we made it.

GG couldn’t stand Mason when we first brought him home. She would give me the evil eye if I touched him. When Mason came into a room she’d leave the room. GG would just look at K and I when we argued as if to say “You brought him here. I didn’t ask for him.” I think, after trying to get her to be motherly to him, Mason gave up and started trying to get her put out. Why do I say that? He’d go and hit her and steal her food and play with her toys. He’d hide milk bones and still does. Mason would do things and then sit innocently while we tried and figure out who did what. At night, going upstairs, GG would push him down the stairs and keep going into the bedroom. It was funny, but not so funny that we didn’t realize he could break a leg and cost us more money. It took her at least 5 of the 7 years to get used to him being here. She does her matador shuffle when she’s tired of him bothering her. The matador shuffle is her moving each of her paws like a matador in a bull-fighting ring. When she does that it’s on, and Mason better watch out. Mason still thinks he should be first, but I show GG love first. I can’t say that she loves him, but she tolerates him. I feel that one of Mason’s main jobs now is to keep GG moving. She’s 17 years old and I feel that he keeps her running and jumping.

I deal with Mason very incognito, because showing him too much attention in front of GG gets me the evil eye. He’s older and more settled into how he should behave. Mason is not a normal dog, and we know it, but he’s our abnormal big pawed Shih Tzu. I’ll surprise you with the next blog. Be safe.

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Retirement and Dogs Part 19

I sometimes wonder if Mason thinks he is a human because he stands on his hind legs a lot. He is the only male with three women and there are times when he thinks it’s all about him. A example is when it’s hot he lays in front of the fan thinking of only his comfort. He pushes GG out the way when they come in from outside because he wants to be first in. It’s all about him. Then when he has weather anxiety if we want peace we had better all get in the bed while he’s going through his episode. I’m counting GG with K and I because she is a female. Mason ways definitely remind me of some of the men I know. These men have limited consideration and a me first attitude. Here are more reasons where I can compare him to some men. He likes to sleep on a pillow next to one of us, but it doesn’t stop there he has to stretch out. I mean stretch out like you have no room to lay flat. You have to lay in your side. I can here K some nights pleading with him to move over. He wants to be in charge of GG, like he wants her to chase him, and when their food is put down, he likes to eat it first, and leave GG only what he doesn’t want. When GG happens to eat first, or he decides he wants more after she starts eating, he tries to sneak up behind her to snatch her food. K and I watch as he saunters behind our chair to come up behind her. It is funny because he actually thinks he’s doing something. We can dress him in different outfits and he doesn’t mind, but GG? She’s not having it. She somehow gets the clothes off, or she will just lie there like a lump of clay. One day, while K was in Afghanistan, Mason got out while I was looking in the mailbox. I had on my pajamas because it was a lazy day for me. A UPS truck drove by the house and Mason took off behind it. The UPS truck made a left turn and Mason was on the truck’s tail. I’m running down the street in my pajamas and slippers yelling, “Mason!” Of course, he didn’t stop. I haven’t run in years, but I knew as much of a headache as he is, I couldn’t explain Mason getting out and chasing the UPS truck, and me not running after him. I ran out of gas chasing him for a block and a half. Okay it wasn’t far, but to me at that time it was like a marathon. There were people out looking at me running down the street like a crazy person, however, when they realized it was Mason I was chasing, they understood. You see, Mason has gotten out before, but instead of me, it was K who was in her pajamas falling all over the yard out front trying to catch him. He’d let her get close, and then take off in the other direction. She had slippers on so when he would cut to the opposite direction and she tried to catch him, she’d fall on her butt. It was funny, but now that it was me being embarrassed , it was no longer funny. Our whole neighborhood knows of Mason because he is so loud that they can’t help but notice him. The other reason they know Mason is because when one of us is walking them, he is usually pulling us down the street while he tries to get after a squirrel. The particular day I was looking like an idiot running down the street ended when the UPS truck stopped and Mason stopped running. I think he realized he was not at his home because he was looking all around. When I finally got to Mason and picked him up, he was shaking. I guess he was scared. I didn’t care that he was scared because here I was in the street in my pajamas. I know he didn’t understand, but I used a few choice words on him from the time I picked him up until we got home. I tell you, Mason is going to get us killed. GG is nothing like him. If she was, I’d be crazy. I mean, she did have her moments, like wanting to play all the time until I’d have to go sit in my car to have some peace of mind. She has more sense than Mason, and she doesn’t follow him when he’s up to his antics. There is an opening where the gate and the gate door come together. Mason will go out the opening and run around to the front door and bang on the door. GG just stands there. What we used to do when he got was to open one of the car doors, and he’d jump in thinking he was going for a ride. When we brought him back, GG would be standing at the door, and as soon as Mason was put down, she’d jump on him. I guess she was trying to tell him something, but it took a long time for him to learn. Mason is older now, and the only thing that has changed is he no longer runs all over the place. He just goes to the tree out front, and then comes to the front door and bangs. I have stated this before just like a boy takes a little longer to catch on to things so true it is for boy dog too. I was supposed to blog about how each of us deals with Mason, but he ran out the back and came around to the front today, so while it was fresh on my mind, I decided to share some of his antics with each of you. Be safe.