I promised a Pascal story for this post, so here he is, quite proud of himself in his new sweater!
Pascal has been alternating back and forth the past two weeks between being absolutely delighted to go out walking, and pouting, to be inside, lying around while I ‘ve been busy working on the dress I finished this past week-end.
He has so many funny quirks; many of them centering around food. Besides the fact that generally, Pascal could care less about food, he has a genetic liver disease called copper toxicosis. This is very serious because it means for dogs that have it, that their livers can’t process copper. If left untreated, the copper builds up in their systems until it becomes fatal. I was so lucky to have caught it in its early stages, and he is fine, but it means that besides having to take a lot of medications, his diet has to be very strict to make sure that he consumes as little copper as possible. To make matters worse, the most essential element in controlling this disease is zinc. Zinc comes in large tablets which I have to crush and mix into his food- but only after first giving him a pepcid a half hr. before – otherwise, the zinc upsets his stomach so much that the minute he swallows it, it all comes back up. Anyway, I mention this only because having to mix zinc into his dinner makes it even more important that he eat. I have to do my best to disguise the zinc- and it’s been a real challenge. He does well with chicken, so every night he gets cooked chicken with crushed zinc, disguised with chicken gravy and shredded cheese, in a bowl along with his dog food. There are those nights, (few,) where he actually is hungry and will go right up to his dish and eat- and then there are most nights where I just cross my fingers and hold my breath, hoping that after he runs through his “quirky routine, he will eat. It’s absolutely essential to his life that he have the zinc. We had another one of “those” nights last night, so I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of the quirky routine he puts us both through ~
Pascal and I eat with our backs to each other, his dish being about 6′ away from where I sit at the table. This gives me the advantage of being able to see his reflection in the window. With Pascal watching, I set my plate on the table, go to his placemat on the floor and put his dish down, saying something like, “Ummm- looks good!” I get a “ya right!” look in exchange and instead of going to his dish he comes and sits at my feet, staring at me. I immediately show him the baked potato on my plate which is both my dinner and also my source of bribery. “Go eat your dinner and you can have some potato,” I tell him, to which he feigns his best blank stare that I’m supposed to interpret as meaning he’s clueless as to what I’m saying. Only I know better! So I start eating my potato, but only after first scooping out a generous portion of the inside to save for after he eats his dinner. Still right next to me, he lies down and stares at his dish, as if carefully weighing the pros and cons of eating his dinner. After mentioning the bribe a few more times, I pretend to ignore him, while at the same time, sending mental telepathy saying, “Go eat, go eat!” Finally after what seems like forever, but really isn’t more than 5 minutes, he gets up and walks very slowly towards his dish- but then he stops about 2 feet away and stares at it again- like he’s expecting something to jump out at him. Still watching in the window to see what he’s going to do, I just hold my breath and think, Come on, keep going~ And he does! He actually goes right up to his dish, but he stops again and looks at it. Then I hear him take a bite, followed by a few more. I am so relieved. We’ve made it through another night, I think, and start reading my magazine to the pleasant sound of his slow eating in the background. But a few minutes later, he’s sitting by my side looking up at me as if to say, O.k- I ate! I’m ready for my potato! I look down at him and say, “You’re done? Already? That was awfully fast! He keeps staring at me like he’s very pleased with himself, but I’m on to him-” Let’s go check your dish,” I say. He follows me with his eyes as I walk over to his dish, knowing exactly what I was going to find. “You aren’t finished! All you ate was your chicken. You need to eat the dog food and the cottage cheese, too. You’d better go back and finish if you want your potato! I say, “Here. I’ll fix it for you,” and take a spoon and scrape it into two neat little mounds again. I bring the spoon into the kitchen and when I return he’s happily munching away at the rest of his dinner! I quickly walk past him so as not to disrupt his eating, and return to the table and my magazine.
After several minutes I hear the tag on his collar clinking and he comes running over to me. This time when I look down at him I know he’s finished- he’s wearing the last telltale blob of cottage cheese on top of his nose! And he knows when he looks up at me and sees me smiling, that I know he’s eaten- we both know we’ve made it one more night. He gets his potato! But wow that was hard work!!
My very favorite thing to do when I’m not making my dresses is one that meets with much more approval from Pascal than when I sew, and that is gardening! I adore gardening and Pascal loves to be my “little helper” by keeping me company while I do the work! I few days ago I went around the side of the house, intending on pulling out the tall array of weeds that had moved in over the winter, and was greeted by these beautiful iris!! There is a huge clump of them over there and for most of the year I forget about them because they’re not in bloom, but when I saw them a few days ago, they were so breath-taking, I had to run back to the house to get my camera!——–Which brings me to one last thing, and that is, I enjoy taking photos so much, especially photos of flowers, and I also love writing. I’ve always dreamed about making cards, and I’ve been seriously thinking about combining my love of flowers, photography and writing, and creating some small, (4 or 5/pack,) gift packs of photographic blank notecards, with perhaps a sentence or two below the photo. So don’t be surprised if one day in the near future you see added to the handmade dresses in my etsy shop, and in my website, a new section of note cards for sale!