Part Two of The Mason Chronicles: Seeing-Eye Person

The summer heat is not ideal for running a dog, so the second rain comes in and provides a little relief, I grab the leash.

Watching Mason play and run in the rain takes my mind off of the actual exercise. He splashes in puddles and even manages to lap up some water while moving at full speed. His tail and ears are always high in the air like he’s having the time of his life. The only part that doesn’t make sense is his attempt to shake off the water, but how do you explain water constantly falling from the sky to a dog?

Mother Nature provided some nice, cool rain – just perfect for a run – last Thursday. The light drizzle we started off in was lovely. It wasn’t until we were almost home when things turned torrential.

It was really coming down, so I sped up to push through the last bit. I could tell Mason was having a hard time keeping up by a little pull behind me on the leash, so I turned around to shout encouragement. (Normally the words squirrel, cat or puppy will get him moving.) As I turned toward him it became obvious why he was running slowly behind me. His eyes were completely shut. I guess he wanted to keep the rain out. He was running blind, and I was his seeing-eye person.

 


Part One of The Mason Chronicles: Why Delivery Men Fear Me

Delivery men fear me. At 5’2, 120lbs, I’m certainly not physically intimidating, but I can see the fear in their eyes just the same.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I get to the part about delivery men fearing me, it’s important that I introduce you to our dog, Mason.

Mason "Puppers" Roy

Mason is an 8.5 year old lab mix that I rescued after he was thrown off the back of a moving truck back in 2002. He was 4 months old at the time, and a total disaster. He was skinny with scabs, missing patches of hair, and a huge, funky gray mole smack dab in the middle of his head, but he was sassy, and I liked him.

We’ve been through a lot together, and he’s my baby, but we don’t always agree on his behavior. He’s got a lot of personality, and if he thinks he’s in trouble with me, he runs. Or, I’ll tell him not to sass me (yes, it’s obvious when he is sassing me), and he’ll grumble at me just like a child back-talking. He’s too smart for his own good.

Once, I left our video camera running so I could catch him getting on our couch when we weren’t home. He watched me leave, made a quick lap around the house to make sure he was alone, checked one more time out the window to verify I was completely gone, then he curled up on the couch for an afternoon nap. He knew exactly what he was doing. Unfortunately for me, you can’t show a dog a video and go, “Ha! I caught you.” Little bugger…

One of my biggest disagreements with Mason is how he responds when someone buzzes our door. Let me describe this frequent scenario so you can get a clear picture of why delivery men fear me.

What happens when the door buzzes:

Mason starts barking loudly and dashing toward the door. His bark makes him sound enormous. I take off after him saying, “No barking. Bad dog!” and try to grab him so I can put him up before he terrifies whomever is at our door. Just as I’m about to get his collar so I can drag him to the patio, he darts away from me so that my hands only end up grasping his hind quarters. As I grab him, he lets out a huge, squealing cry as though I’ve just severed a limb. I then grab his collar, put him up, return to the door, and open it with a smile to welcome our guest who is looking at me as though I’m hiding a dead animal behind whichever door is closed.

At this point you might be wondering why on earth I haven’t trained our dog better. Well, I actually did train him, and he knows what to do, but as he gets older, he just doesn’t seem to care anymore. I guess he figures that since I didn’t kill him when he ate part of the couch when he was 1; nor did I strangle him when he almost peed on my head when I didn’t want to get up from a hangover to take him out (in my defense, that was almost eight years ago – in his defense, I probably deserved it); and I didn’t ring his neck after fishing him out of the canal he fell into in New Orleans – even though it cost me some of my favorite heels and a business suit – now he figures he can probably get away with not following all of his training.

At this point, I don’t know which of us is better trained, actually.