This dog requires formal goodbyes

This dog requires formal goodbyes

Pets & Their People features ‘how we met’ vignettes of dogs and their humans, uncovering the particulars of this unique relationship, from touching adoption tales to outlandish quirks.

Some dogs have better manners than people. Take Frankie Mason, for example - she won’t let you leave her house without a heartfelt goodbye. This P&TP peers into the life of Nicolette Mason, designer, writer and creative consultant, and her petite pug, Frankie. Following a prank that involved her parents and a robot pug, Nicolette met Frankie, a real pug who can be characterized by her ceaseless joy and loads of perk. 

Wild One: Did you grow up with dogs?

Nicolette Mason: No, Frankie is actually my first dog, but I’ve always loved pugs. I’m originally from Los Angeles, but went to college in NYC. My parents used to visit me during school break, and one year during the holidays they insisted I come meet them at their hotel room. When I got there they said I had to be quiet because my Hanukkah present was sleeping. On their bed, there was this little pug curled up in a ball. When I got closer, I realized it was one of those mechanical, animatronic dogs. I completely lost it and burst into tears. It was the most heartbreaking moment.

WO: How did you meet your real pug?

NM: I met Frankie just over seven years ago. At the time she was super sick and tiny, maybe three or four pounds. I took her to the vet the day I met her, where they discovered she had parvovirus and three different parasites. The vet basically told me that I shouldn’t get attached because most puppies don’t survive parvovirus. They advised me to make her comfortable and feed her if she could stomach it. It was too late, I was already very attached. 

For the next few weeks I committed to giving her round-the-clock care, feeding her honey with the hope that she would retain calories. Somehow she pulled through and turned into the perky bundle of energy I have today!

WO: Tell us about that perkiness. How would you describe Frankie’s personality?

NM: She’s stubborn, funny and loves to perform! She’ll have very extroverted days, but they’re followed by necessary periods of downtime. I recently hosted a pop-up for Nordstrom and Frankie tagged along. She loved the attention and being around so many people, but the next day she wouldn’t move. She loves the spotlight, but needs a full day to recover afterward.

I’ve recently noticed that if people come to our home and don’t specifically say goodbye to her, she gets really irritable. We had contractors in our apartment and I had to ask them to say “bye” to her as they were leaving. One guy didn’t hear me and had already walked out the door, and the other contractor called him back and was like “you gotta come and say bye to the dog. She gets really fussy otherwise!” He came back and said “bye,” and Frankie was very happy.

WO: Do you travel with Frankie a lot?

NM: Yes! I’m originally from LA so we go back and forth a bunch (Travel Carrier in tow). That said, she definitely has a New Yorker personality. She has her special bodega and favorite stores.

WO: How do you envision Frankie personified?

NM: She’d have some social butterfly or valley girl element to her, but also a monotone voice that’s always delivering sarcastic jabs. If Janeane Garofalo was a cheerleader, that’s Frankie. 

WO: How has having a dog changed you?

NM: I’ve gone through some very difficult and intense life changes over the last few years, and Frankie has been the only common thread through it all. She’s 100% made all the hard stuff more bearable. Her presence has given me something to wake up to each day, and I’ve generally become more patient and calm. I’m a very anxious person and Frankie centers me in a big way.

Photo credit: Sam Liebeskind

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