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.

Retirement and Dogs Part 15

Mason, GG and my grandson Alex

Mason, GG and my grandson Alex

Argh, he’s still here.

I’m sure we all who have a dog thinks their dog is special, and I’m not saying Mason isn’t special, but he’s a little off. I’m not saying he doesn’t have his good moments, but those are mostly a relief that I’m not calling his name for something he’s doing wrong. We all have our way of dealing with Mason, like GG pushes him down the steps with her nose, I show him the remote, and K, well, the back scratcher is her weapon of choice.

Alex weapon of choice for Mason

Let me give you a scenario: I have put stairs up to the bed for GG to come up more easily as she’s gotten older. Mason will go and lay across the stairs so that she can’t come up, then GG starts barking to let me know that something is wrong. I start calling Mason to move, and after about the sixth time calling his name, he’ll turn his head toward me and go back to pretending he hasn’t heard me. This is annoying, just as if it was a child doing it. Finally, I pick up the remote and have to get up off my comfortable spot  to stand in front of him and wave the remote, and then he takes his time getting up. Boy, oh boy, I really want to pop him. I’m not saying he has never gotten popped, but it has been very few  times because I’m scared I might have flashbacks to all the things this dog has caused and done, and I might not stop. The newspaper headline would read “Woman in Jail for Beating Her Dog.” If I’m going to jail for anything, let it be something worthwhile, and not because of Mason. Has anyone noticed in his pictures Mason’s head is small? Does that mean he has limited intelligence for a dog’s standard or what? Let me give you a comparison: GG was home alone when I went to work, so she had to get used to weather occurrences. Mason gets left home with GG, but maybe since she has no interest in him he feels he’s home alone. GG has no problem with thunder, lighting, rain or snow. Mason has issues with all weather conditions, except sunshine. When it’s  thundering and lightening  most dogs get scared, shake and try to find a comfortable place to hide. Mason not only does those things, but we all have to get into the bed. I mean GG, K and myself have to get in the bed, and Mason  lays on the bed and faces the wall and stares. Not normal. What’s even weirder is he will stare at things when the rain is far away. The rain can be in Delaware and moving our way, and Mason would be staring at the food container or anything in his path. We have come to use our weather dog for more accurate weather predictions than the weatherman. My cousin emails me and says “ I know you are being held hostage.” I guess that could be a true statement. We can only move when he finally moves. What you are wondering, is what happens if we don’t get in the bed. Mason is running around upstairs, downstairs, barking and shaking. I’m afraid he will give hisself a heart attack. We had to finally take him to the doctor for something to help, because the thunder shirt didn’t work, nor the shock collar. The first time he had anxiety meds they where too strong, and Mason would be staring at the trash can or walls with no rain forecasted for the east coast. We had to take him back for a lesser dosage because he was scary. One night I dreamt I turned over and he was on top of me showing me his teeth, but when I was fully awake, he was laying down sleeping. I hope it was a dream. Mason meds are regulated, he still stares, but he is better with the shaking. I hope you enjoyed this blog about Mason, and you look forward to next week’s blog. Be safe.