Mason and Me

My dog Mason isn’t deaf. His ears work just fine when he needs them. Like in the woods when they point to the clouds while his nose sweeps the grass and rattles like a muffler. He's a sight to see, bouncing along, content with the smells and the breeze.

It’s only when the sniffing stops that trouble lurks. When he bolts upright and cocks his head, his ears up and twitching, turning towards the rustling or crinkling or whatever his selective radar picks up on, that's when it's go time.

Squirrels are his favorite, but cats, rabbits, moles, or even raccoons and possums will do in a pinch. Oh, and deer, not sure how that one ends for Mason, but he loves the chase.

Mason also hears the ambulance sirens, because he’ll drop whatever he he’s doing (sniffing poop, peeing on flowers, being a menace), and howl like a lunatic. Kind of embarrassing when other people are around. My point is that the dog can hear. Maybe he just has trouble with English.

He isn’t dumb either. He just doesn’t see the point in tricks. My wife has worked with him relentlessly, and there are subtle signs of a normal dog emerging. But still, if it doesn’t benefit him, he’s not doing it. He’s kind of selfish like that.

Right at 40 pounds, the dog is an exhibit of agility and quickness that rivals the wild animals on the Discovery Channel. He could win competitions if he cared.

Instead he looks at me like I'm an idiot with my useless commands, his ice blue eyes full of mischief and his bubble gum tongue dangling. If I’m lucky, he’ll cock his head side to side, maybe gripe and paw at the treat in my hand, sometimes crouching or barking his displeasure, his floppy ears straightened to points, perking up when I said the word “walk”, only confirming what I already know.

I take him on the trails every day to run, because destruction awaits if I don't. For all of you cross trainers, fitness freaks and the like, get a husky. The more neurotic, the better. He tugs me along with the torque of a sled dog—which he kind of is, until I let him run free, then he goes hog wild, loping along and freeing himself of the pent up energy he’s built up while sleeping in our bed all day. This routine worked fine until that day she came along.


No Mason, No!


This is how it happened. And yes, I know that I’m at fault here. Anyway, I was with Mason on the trails when we saw a lady (or witch) speed walking around the bend with two little ankle biters on the bike path. I turned to Mason in hopes that he hadn’t noticed, but he was locked in and hawking the scene. Those ears were touching the sky and he was all systems go.

“Here Mason,” I said in a low whisper, hoping to coax him back the leash dangling around my neck. The lady chugged along, arms pumping at her side with her little dogs and completely unaware that she was being stalked by a maniac.

“Mason!” I called again. I took a step towards him and he bolted, tearing off towards the lady leaving a gray gravel cloud in his wake.

“Mason!” I gave chase. But he was a galloping blur, swooping in on the old battle axe and her dogs just as gentle as a jackhammer. I was running and calling him when the lady jerked one of her dogs into the air like a yo-yo.

“Get your dog! Get your dog!”

I froze, more terrified by her squawking than by Mason’s behavior.

“It’s okay, he just wants to say hello. Come on Mason!”

“Get your dog!” She clutched the dog that had been jerked clean, a little napoleon sort, snapping and snarling from her arms. Mason jumped up—like he does with the squirrels—putting two Virginia clay reddened paws on her shirt in the process.

“Mason down!” I swiped for his collar but he ducked, crouching and weaving around the hysterical woman while chasing the unsecured dog between legs and leash. By now she had Napoleon in the headlock, but he managed to lunge and his snapping jaws came only a few inches from my ear. Meanwhile Mason took the opportunity to really get to know the dog at her feet, planting his nose firmly into its rear.

We continued around the woman more times than I’d like to remember. With Mason sniffing the dog on the ground and the woman shrieking and me tangled in the middle of it all. She somehow managed to hang on to her retractable leashes, winding and clicking as we fumbled after the dogs. Morning joggers stopped, shielding the sun from their eyes, pointing and laughing at the show right there on the trails.

And Mason didn’t’ disappoint. He danced and barked and had a ball with the two irritable dogs. By the time I got the leash hooked to his collar, my legs were bound to the woman in the twists and tangles of knotted leash cords. I tried to help but she was spitting mad, her face balled up into its own knot of anger.

“You should have that dog on a leash. There are leash laws in the city!”

“I do, I just let him off a minute ago," I said shaking the leash in my fist.Her dogs continued with their barking and snarling as I pulled Mason away.

“I’m really sorry.”

“Sorry isn’t going to cut it!” she said, pointing to Mason’s collar. “I know where you live.”

I took Mason home. He pranced along with a smirk on his face and trouble in his eyes. I wasn’t concerned. No harm, no foul and all. We crossed the creek and marched towards our house and I convinced myself that the lady was just upset, and possibly crazy. Surely nothing would come of it. I mean what was she going to do? Call the police? Go down to the station and report me for violating Lynchburg City ordinance, the one that prohibits the running of a dog without a leash? The last thing on my mind is getting served a warrant for a real live court date.

For my dog.


Coming soon, Mason's Day in Court...

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Comments 13 comments

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Really cute puppy. Looks like puppy love to me. I bet you all find a great happy medium.


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

I hope so Homestead...I think he's learning to get by on looks alone!!!


Kerri 5 years ago

this is really great, Pete! Mason loves you guys :o) Give him more time, he will show you how good he can be. Just don't leave the disciplining to Anne! hahaha


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

I will definitely take care of that, thanks Kerri!!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I read this again, and I remember a husky we had for a time. He sure could run, and after he figured out how to open the gates and crawl the wooden fence, he would run me around the town (yes, the whole town, and I was on foot) for hours trying to catch him. He required alot of attention, so I hope your wife does maintain her patience and persistence.


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

I have no doubts about that story homestead! They love to run and have the stamina for it too!


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

Mason looks like a lovely dog - I love the 'Under The Wing' picture - I'm sure that Brewster, even if he doesn't always want to play, will find Mason a source of amusement - I know they will bring you great joy - B.


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

Billips, Mason is lovely, when he's tired! As long as he's well walked he behaves. And you're right, Bruce does enjoy the company, I think he laughs inside at some of Mason's many mishaps. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Oh truly beautiful;thank you for sharing.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your day.

Eddy.


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Beautiful dog and I'm so glad it sounds like he has found his forever home. It sounds like you and your wife are excellent dog parents. Voted up!


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks for reading Eddy!

He definitely has and he knows it Efficient! Thanks for reading and voting!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Mason is a handsome boy, and it's to be hoped he outgrows the chewing by adolescence.

I'm not bragging (well, maybe I am), but my dog never chewed anything except her chew toys, even when she was teething.

I do know something about chewing dogs, however, as I tried unsuccessfully to adopt a Brussels Griffon. Actually, I tried with a young (past puppy-hood) "Griff", and that didn't work (BADLY didn't work), then tried with a puppy, which also didn't work. The puppy was about three months old, and she chewed the undersides of a set of vintage chairs with braided seats to the point they were ruined. Because she was standing under the seats when she chewed, I didn't realize what she was doing until they were wrecked beyond repair because the damage didn't show on top until the seats were about to cave in! This did not endear her to me.

Since my dog doesn't really like other dogs (and hates cats), but loves people, she was relieved when the other dogs left our house and she regained all my attention. (She told me so.)


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 2 years ago

Ah, sounds just like our dog...a golden retriever no less. He's dog aggressive, which absolutely NO ONE believes is true until they see him in action. His hearing is also selective and when we "try" to play catch with him, we're the ones who end up chasing the ball. It's his way in his own time. I just hope that WE don't end up in court like you!!! I enjoyed this hub...... and it's nice to see someone else with dog issues.....misery does love company, you know??!!

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