Anita Powell
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My Dog Day Afternoon (Literally)

One crazy afternoon

Mason 



I couldn’t think of any other title that could and would describe my afternoon with my dogs, but as you read, you will discover what I’ve discovered—that there is something wrong with one of my dogs. 

I have two dogs, Mason and GG, and the problem is with Mason. I try to think of him as a Dr. Dolittle, but in reverse. The relationship he has with other animals is not normal. "What do you mean?" you’re thinking. He incites animals. I know dogs can incite other dogs, and people on some occasions, but with Mason it's squirrels, cats, ducks, and now sand cranes in Florida.
 My dog day afternoon actually started the day before when Mason, ten years old, attacked my nearly seventeen year old GG. They are both Shih Tzus, so they are small, weighing less than twenty-five lbs. GG has lost her hearing, and is not seeing too well. She was lying on the bed and Mason, upon coming up their stairs to the bed, just attacks her for no reason. She’s an old girl, but she was holding her own until he knocked her on the floor. I know you’re wondering what was I doing. I was in shock for about a minute then, hearing GG shriek, I came out of my temporary coma then jumped up as fast as my fibromyalgia-ridden body would let me. I was so mad I was seeing red. I picked up GG, checked her; there was no red color anywhere. Mason got a spanking that afternoon. He knew I was mad, because he walked around with his head down for the rest of the day. There are times when we know that they have to be kept apart, like when he’s sleeping she can’t touch him, or when he’s off in lala land staring at a wall. The wall staring is an often occurrence; I guess over the years we’ve gotten used to it.


The next morning, Mason is barking and running back and forth. I come out to see a squirrel plastered to the screen on the patio. The squirrel would not leave. I swear I think we brought him from New Jersey, because he stands in front of the patio on his two legs, and with a nut in hand, he stands there and eats while watching Mason act like a maniac barking and running back forth. I wonder if the squirrel thinks he’s at the movies, since he came with snacks for the Mason show. This is the same thing that the squirrel in New Jersey did, snacks and all. The neighborhood cats in New Jersey must have wanted to see the same movie because they would start coming by and pace back and forth in front of the door until Mason would start his act. I’m just thankful that in Florida, so far, we haven’t seen any cats in the neighborhood.
 Florida has been interesting. Mason was good when we first got here, but after two months, he must have realized we weren’t leaving, so back to the old Mason. There’s a lot of dogs in our neighborhood. Do you know how hard it is to avoid people with pets? It has been trying.

 

Sand cranes spreading their wings

, sand cranes and babies, 
yesterday afternoon was, to say the least, crazy. We have two sand cranes in the development, one was pregnant, and we had been waiting for the babies. The gestation for sand cranes is 29 to 32 days. Finally, she had her babies, and they are so cute. The cranes have been walking around with the babies and getting food. They came close to the screen with the babies close to them when, of course, Mason sees them and starts with his barking and running back and forth the length of the patio. I guess the baby cranes' daddy didn’t like what Mason was saying and he opened his wings, started making a sound, hopping around, and moved toward the screen. I swooped Mason up and moved very quickly inside, and closed the door. You can bet fibromyalgia didn’t have me moving slow this time. 

I have no idea what set the cranes off yesterday afternoon, because Mason has been acting crazy like that before they had the babies and only one other time they didn’t just ignore him. The other time, the cranes put a hole in the screen, because they wanted him bad.
 The white ducks were never a bother to Mason. Lately, he doesn’t want them around anywhere, that includes in the pond, and the other side of the pond. He’s barking and running around and I guess like the cats and squirrel, they have started walking in front of the patio to see the performance that Mason gives.


I want to give you a good description of the cow incident. We were walking GG and Mason past a field, which had about eight cows. When Mason sees them, he starts his usual routine. Well, I guess the cows weren’t happy with his shenanigans, because they all came to the fence and side stepped their way down the fence as we walked. That was truly a sight to see.
 

That was my dog day afternoon. I often get asked why do we still have Mason. Well, my purpose for Mason was to keep GG moving, which he has. Today, they are back chasing each other; the sand cranes, squirrel, and ducks are not around. I’m having a peaceful Sunday.


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