Retirement and Dogs Part 18

GG being bad tearing up a training pad

This is as ferocious as Mason gets

I wanted to talk to you about the difference between GG and Mason. I wasn’t a dog person always and can’t say exactly how it happened. I know I don’t like cats, because to me they are sneaky animals with beady eyes. No offense to the cat-lovers, it’s just my preference. I’ve had three dogs in my lifetime and they were two different breeds: a lab and Shih Tzu. The first dog, the lab, I left when my relationship ended. GG, my first Shih Tzu, was gotten because I was lonely and needed company, and Mason, my other Shih Tzu, I got because I thought GG needed company. I’ve wondered how many people get dogs to soothe some kind of paternal emotion they have, since having a dog is like having a child that can’t talk. I have also come to realize that some dogs are more intelligent than others, and their personalities can be quite different. It has nothing to do with their breeds, but has more to do with their personalities, like people. There are book-smart people, and people who need a little more patience for them to get it. I have found with GG and Mason that there are teachable dogs, and some dogs that need waaaayyyyyy more patience than I have. GG took a weekend to learn to use a training pad, while it took Mason four years, three couches, two baby gates, a crate, and french doors before he got the message. GG is a clean freak. When she poops or her water is low, she comes over and barks like crazy until you get up and follow her to whatever needs to be taken care of. Mason couldn’t care a bit about cleaning up anything after him. GG tries to keep her food on her mat, while Mason will drag his food to any corner to hide it for when we can’t afford to feed him. When GG gets tired of walking, she will step down on her leash to say, “that’s it for me, take me home.” Mason wants to keep walking so he can disturb the neighbors with his barking. GG isn’t afraid of thunder, while Mason is afraid of rain, snow, thunder, and lighting. You get the picture – he only likes sunshine and warm weather. Mason is on medication because of his anxiety. I didn’t have to take GG to any pet training for her to understand commands, but Mason was taken and put out of a training class. I haven’t figured out if Mason is a protector or just figures barking should take care of everything. There have been a couple of occasions when I have been walking them, and a big dog had gotten out of his/her yard. On one of those occasions, GG started to fight with the dog, and on another occasion, she just stood there hoping – like me – that someone would come get this dog. On both occasions, Mason just stood and barked, no protection whatsoever. I am not saying GG doesn’t have bad habits, because she does like tearing up training pads when she doesn’t get her way. GG hardly barked before Mason came – it was like she discovered that barking gets attention. I do know that she got all her bad habits as a result of Mason. I kept Mason because his barking gave me a sense of security while K was in Afghanistan. Mason does have his good points, but right now I can’t think of any. Really. He did grow out of being cross eyed and can be lovable at times. The point is, just like kids, these two are as different as having a boy and girl in your house. Think about a boy and girl and how different they really are in personalities. When you compare dogs and kids, is there really that much difference? I look at my floor and there are toys all over the place from GG and Mason playing, and when my grandkids come over, my floor has this same look, except I can have my grandkids pick up after themselves. My final thought is that GG and Mason are as different as a boy and girl, and dogs are about the same as children. Want to start a conversation? Email me at Don’t forget to checkout my other blog,, and visit our store at Be safe out there. My next blog will be about my problem child Mason.

GG and Mason makes the same mess as my grandsons.

Retirement and Dogs Part 17

Mason showing the squirrels his ferocious side

I told you in my last blog about the dislike between Mason and the cats in the neighborhood. The cats just can’t stand Mason. When we pass them, they look at us with their sneaky, beady eyes, and with tails in the up position. Mason, on the other hand, pretends not to see the cats by turning his head in the opposite direction. There have been times when a cat has been sleeping under a bush outside, and Mason decides he has to go under that bush. When this happens, I pull him back on the leash while he barks and the cat screeches. The squirrels outside in front of the house are also enemies of Mason. The squirrels stand on their hind legs in front of the door, which drives Mason crazy. Mason runs back and forth in front of the door, barking. The squirrels are quite bold to me to stand there like that. Mason, as you can tell, just has a personality that animals love to hate.

One day, K called from Afghanistan to tell me that she wanted us to buy a house with the money she was making. I was tasked with managing the money and finding a realtor. I found a realtor, and started looking online for a house in Florida. We didn’t want to deal with snow or excessive cold in our old age, neither did we want to do stairs. Do you know the effort that goes into walking upstairs? When you get old, it’s a little top much effort, though doctors will call it exercise. I call it a Bengay hurt. I saw online that in Florida, there were a lot of houses being sold through the bank. This is called a short sale, where the owner and bank have a arrangement to sell, which is usually low because the bank just wants to get some of its money back. Banks are not in the real estate business, and therefore they will sell houses at a discount. Five years ago, Florida had plenty of short sale houses. I was warned that short sale houses are sometimes ruined by a disgruntled owner. I had a great realtor who looked out for us. There were pitfalls I needed to be aware such as Chinese drywall. Chinese drywall was used in building some houses in Florida because it was cheap. The downside to Chinese drywall is it smells like rotten eggs.

My realtor informed me of which places were good ones, and which were a money pit. She found us a place in a great neighborhood with not too many kids. You have to remember that all this was done over the phone and emails. I didn’t go down even once to see the place. I trusted my realtor, and hoped I did the right thing.

K finally came home, and we drove to Florida with GG and Mason. We were beyond excited to see the Florida house. We found hotels that accepted dogs, and he was still an embarrassment. If he heard any noise in the hallway, he would started barking, and wouldn’t stop. It was a hotel, so there was always noise in the hallway. When we took him out, we had to try to find an area where there weren’t any dogs or people. That all took time and patience, which we were short on. When you get to the development, you have to turn right past the cows. Yep, there were cows at the beginning of the development.

Finally, we got to our new home. It was very nice, more than we expected. One day, while walking GG and Mason, we decided to walk to the corner store, which was past the cows. When Mason saw the cows, he started barking and running back and forth his usually antics. What happened next blew my mind. The cows starting moving toward the fence where we were. They were just looking at Mason, and as we walked, the cows walked sideways along the fence with us. It was a sight to see. I didn’t have a camera with me the one time I needed it. I’ve surmised that maybe Mason is a Dr. Dolittle, an animal that can attract, gather, and be a leader of other animals. OK, maybe that’s a bit much.

The house has a fenced-in patio and pond out back. The ducks and sand cranes can walk to the fenced-in patio, which again drives Mason crazy. They come and just look at him running back and forth, barking. On each of these occasions, GG would sometimes join in or just go in the house. K and I are usually trying to get him to shut up because we haven’t heard any barking from any other dogs. There are plenty of dogs in the development that are probably better controlled than Mason. because you don’t hear them. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Be safe out there, and be sure to check out my other blog,, or visit our store,

When he’s at his quietness

Retirement and Dogs Part 16

Guess who snores the loudest

I hope you have gathered from my previous blogs that there is something wrong with Mason. I mean, how can one dog cause so much havoc in a family? I experienced none of this behavior from GG. K went to Afghanistan for a little less than a year, which left me and GG against Mason. Mason actually thought he was the man of the house. When it was time for bed, he would get in K’s spot in the bed and put his head on the pillow. Can you imagine turning over and knowing that spot should be empty, and opening your eyes to find Mason stretched out? GG, meanwhile, is lying on top of the covers at the foot of the bed like she’d been taught. Mason wasn’t having any of this foot of the bed on top of the covers nonsense. I would put him at the foot of the bed, only to wake up and find him there, lying next to me and sometimes with his paw straight up in the air. I couldn’t get a break. GG was not only giving me the evil eye, but now she was ignoring me when I called her. What could I do? Stay up all night to keep putting him at the foot of the bed?

I left for work before 5am in the morning, so I couldn’t take them out until I got home. I had read that, when you leave your dogs, you shouldn’t acknowledge them, you should just walk out the door. When you come home, you then acknowledge your dog as soon as you enter. Well, when I left, he would start barking and jumping on the door. I felt sorry for my neighbor because, every morning that I went to work, he had to listen to Mason’s mouth. I sometimes would stand outside the door to see if he stopped once I locked the door. Nope, Mason would still be jumping. I wonder how long after I left before he realized I wasn’t coming back. They say girls mature faster than boys. I guess that goes for dogs too.

When I came home and opened the door, I would acknowledge GG first and then Mason, but most of the time I had to bypass Mason because he would have knocked GG to the side so he could be picked up first. I would take them out as soon as the hello’s were done, and of course the mess was cleaned up. The problem was the summer because people were out. This meant I had to spend as much time trying to dodge people as walking them. When I had no choice but to pass a person, Mason would slow down and start running in circles, so now I was tangled in the leash, and GG would just sit there looking at me as if to say, “You got him so you deal with him.”

The other crazy thing about walking him was that he seemed to know where every dog lived. We would be on the sidewalk walking, and he would creep up to their door and stop waiting for a dog to show him/herself. Sometimes, I would have to  drag him from the front of houses. I think people felt sorry for me and tried to go the opposite direction or keep their dog from in front of the window or door. I was just embarrassed by his antics. Mason and the neighborhood cats were also an issue. The cats would walk in front of the door or window, which started Mason barking. When we were out walking and I had no choice but to walk in front of a cat, Mason would look in the opposite direction of the cat and pretend he didn’t see the cat. I know if I saw the cat he saw the cat too. He’s a punk, all bark and nothing else. I don’t like cats, and on one occasion when walking GG and Mason there was a cat across the street chasing a squirrel. The cat stopped trying to get the squirrel when he saw Mason, and he put his tail up. I was like, ‘Oh, shit what do I do?’ I had no choice but to keep walking toward home. The cat was taking a few creeping steps in our direction. The only good thing was that the punk Mason pretended he didn’t see the cat and kept walking. I hope you enjoyed this blog. The next blog will be about Mason and other animals. Be safe.